Jimmy Carter To Give Keynote Speech At Muslim Convention

Former President Jimmy Carter is expected to give the keynote speech at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) 51st annual convention in Detroit’s Cobo Center at a luncheon on August 30, 2014, the Toledo Blade reported.

Carter will highlight the luncheon, speaking on the theme for that evening, as well as the entire weekend conference, “Generations Rise: Elevating Muslim-American Culture.” The convention’‍s opening session Friday will include words from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the national leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member of Congress, will also be speaking Saturday.

That night, the outgoing president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Magid, and four other Muslim speakers will offer ideas for Muslim-American advancement over the next five years. A “secret special guest” is also on the bill.

There will be many other sessions over the four days, including workshops on a variety of topics including religion with both Muslim and interfaith approaches, education, and culture. An Islamic Film Festival and a competition for those who recite the Qur’‍an will be held, and there will be a bazaar/trade show with more than 400 vendors.

At the same time and location as the conference, the Islamic Medical Association of North America, Muslim Students Association, and Muslim Youth of North America will have their annual gatherings. This is the first time the organization will will hold its convention in Detroit. Its headquarters is in Plainfield, Ind, near Indianapolis.

Carter’s speech will focus on his book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, which was releazsed March 25. Carter’s book focuses on bringing to light the discrimination and abuse women face worldwide, emphasizing on human trafficking and the role religion plays in this discrimination, according to Simon and Schuster. Carter’s urgent report covers a system of discrimination that extends to every nation. Carter observes women are deprived of equal opportunity in wealthier nations and “owned” by men in others, forced to suffer servitude, child marriage, and genital cutting. The most vulnerable, along with their children, are trapped in war and violence.

Carter’s book addresses the suffering inflicted upon women by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare. Key verses are often omitted or quoted out of context by male religious leaders to exalt the status of men and exclude women. And in nations that accept or even glorify violence, this perceived inequality becomes the basis for abuse. President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have visited 145 countries, and The Carter Center has had active projects in more than half of them. Around the world, the Carters have seen inequality rising rapidly with each passing decade. This is true in both rich and poor countries, and among the citizens within them. The world’s discrimination and violence against women and girls is the most serious, pervasive, and ignored violation of basic human rights: This is President Jimmy Carter’s call to action.