Billed as "Canada's largest Muslim convention," Reviving the Islamic Spirit – 8th Convention was held in Toronto on December 25 – 27, 2009. Having heard the reports that 17,000 attendees from Canada and the U.S. were expected, I decided to see for myself. I also wanted to know if the convention would stress spirituality, promote moderate Islam, or offer apologias for radical Islam.
The lecture hall, with a capacity of 6,500 people, was completely full and there were still many people outside. The sales area contained around 50 booths selling Islamic clothing and books. I looked for books by reformers such as Salim Mansur, Tarek Fatah, Irshad Manji, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to no avail. Similarly, none of the speakers I heard addressed the violence of radical Islam. This gross omission about something so current and important was telling.
Also telling was the radical lecture by University of Michigan professor Sherman Jackson, which, Usher writes, "[W]as a call to battle. It had little to do with peaceful co-existence with the West, but was an exhortation for Islam to dominate the West."
Read the rest of the essay here.