(Plainfield, IN 8/26/08) Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), joined national interfaith leaders from all walks of life to help kick off the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Wells Fargo Theater inside the Downtown Convention Center in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, August 24, 2008.
Rabbi Tsvi Weinreb, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, was the keynote speaker for the kick-off event. In addition to Dr. Mattson, also speaking was Bishop Charles E. Blake, presiding prelate of the Church of God in Christ and social activist Sister Helen Prejean, who was portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon in the award-winning movie Dead Man Walking.
In her address to the interfaith audience entitled, "Our Sacred Responsibility to Our World", Dr. Ingrid Mattson of ISNA said, "Engagement, dialogue and personal interaction allow for us to know others as they see themselves; as Martin Buber taught us, to engage with others as subjects, not as objects."
On post-9/11 sentiment towards American Muslims, Dr. Mattson pointed out that, "…If there are those who oppose us, there are also those who stand up for us – and in the last number of years, many Christian and Jewish Americans have stood up for the rights of their Muslim neighbors – to be treated equally and with respect…"
In her conclusion to the DNC Interfaith Gathering, Dr. Mattson highlighted the societal contributions of American Muslims by highlighting those American Muslims, "…in public service, in the Department of Homeland Security, in the FBI, in the State Department, and in the US military; Muslim Americans have fought and died alongside other Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq and we are proud of their service."
For Dr. Mattson's speech at the DNC Convention click here
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