Sep 1, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(WASHINGTON TIMES) — Isaac’s winds have scattered. The Republicans are basking in the glow of their convention. The Democrats are headed to Charlotte. And the Jumah prayer at the 2012 DNC kicked off a series of hundreds of events that will spread throughout the city for a week.
The Jumah took place at Marshall Park in an open air setting on a rolling lawn that begins at the statue of Martin Luther King and slopes gently downward to a small pond and fountain that face the Charlotte skyline. It was open to the public as an opportunity not only for the Jumah, but also to allow non-Muslims to participate in the observance and explanation of the ritual.Typically, Jumah is a congregational prayer that Muslims observer on Fridays shortly after noon. Friday is the holy day in Islam.
Jumah is mentioned in the Koran in Sura 62: 9-10, “Believers, when you are summoned to Friday prayers hasten to the remembrance of God and cease your trading. That would be best for you, if you but knew it. Then, when the prayers are ended, disperse and go your ways in quest of God’s bounty. Remember God always, so that you may prosper.”
The Charlotte prayer took place at approximately 2:50 pm after a 45-minute message by the “Grand Imam” of the gathering, Siraj Wahhaj.BIMA [Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs] spokesman, and one of the organizers, Jibril Hough opened the program by emphasizing that the Jumah was not endorsed by the DNC. In fact, one of protest signs that appeared at the perimeter of the gathering stated “Democrats attack: morality, families, children.”
Hough also thanked bloggers from around the country for promoting the event through their negative stories on the internet.
Despite a cloudy morning that threatened rain, skies cleared to brilliant sunshine and cottonball clouds dotting a ceiling of blue. Participants began arriving about 12:15 pm though the actual program did not commence until 1:40.
Estimates claimed that as many as 20,000 Muslims might convene over the three days of the event which will continue through Sunday. The Jumah itself attracted between 500 and 1,000 participants.
According to Hough, “The message is to remind Muslims who they are, what their issues are, and to remain focused going forward.”
That was clearly the emphasis of all the speakers, including Wahhaj, at the Charlotte program.
The only signs of a disturbance came about fifteen minutes before the Jumah commenced when a Christian protest group attempted to override the Muslim delegation with blaring speakers. That was quickly subdued by local law enforcement and there were otherwise no disruptions.
In addition to the Democratic protest sign other messages said, “Jesus is the way”, “Jesus is life”, and “Islam is a lie.” Protesters were allowed to display their signs without incident, and they were never challenged in any way.