July - Sept 2009, Latino Muslims

Islam at a Crossroads to America – Latino Renaissance workshop


International Museum of Muslim Cultures (IMMC)
Eighth Year Anniversary Celebration
Jackson Convention Center
105 E. Pascagoula St.
Jackson, Mississippi 39201

July 10 -12, 2009

The Muslim American community is one of the fastest growing religious-cultural communities in America. This community is very diverse. It represents indigenous Americans to include African Americans, European Americans, Native Americans, and Latino Americans–and immigrant Americans who migrated from every continent and country of the world. This ethnic melting pot shares a common belief and way of life, Islam. However, they represent very diverse Ethnic and cultural communities that are assimilating within the American culture. As the Muslim community continues to progress in America, they face many challenges that can also provide opportunities to positively influence America.

This conference and national dialogue comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s European tour and strategic visit to Turkey, where he extended a friendly hand of partnership to the Muslim world. Thus, the conference begins the dialogue of addressing this “partnership with America” among the Muslim American leadership. The conference theme, “Islam at a Crossroads in America”, begins addressing the challenges that Muslims in America face and how they can utilize their way of life and faith as a vehicle to positively influence and contribute to the American story. The conference’s emphasis is on how Muslims can become more fully engaged within America, among its many cultural and faith communities. The goal of the conference is to explore how and where our challenges as Muslims intersect concerns of the American society as a whole. The conference themes include broadly that of Islamic leadership, its diversity, and finding unity and a leadership model in America equipped to forge this partnership with America; civil rights and civic responsibility; the Latino Renaissance; the Timbuktu Roundtable: A conversation about the historical role of Islamic African leadership in Africa’s development and its prospects for African Americans today; Youth’s Islam: Hip-Hop, Spirituality and the Arts; Islamic Banking and the Economic Crisis; Healthy Family and Marriage Relationships; and Interfaith Dialogue: the Global Call for Peace.

“Latino Renaissance workshop”

The Renaissance (from French Renaissance, meaning “rebirth”;was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historic era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe, this is a general use of the term. To the Muslim world, “Latino Renaissance” is a catch phrase for the “rebirth’ of Islam among Spanish-speaking people. For 700 years the glory of Muslim Spain was heard around the world. The fear that Islam would be a global power shook Europe into the most horrendous period in history the “Inquisition”. In response, genocide and torture worked hand in hand to destroy the art, literary works, medical contributions and architecture of a unique and vibrant society. Today from Cuba to Spain, Latino Muslims are taking charge of history by spreading Islam from East coast to West. They are involved with art, Hip Hop, and the political forefront, in addition to spreading the teachings of Islam and attending learning centers throughout the world. This workshop will touch upon the contributions of Hajj Malik Shabazz aka Malcolm X to present day.

About the International Museum of Muslim Cultures (IMMC)

The goals of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures (IMMC) are to educate the public about Islamic history and civilization and to help provide educational tools for teaching global consciousness, historical literacy, and multicultural appreciation. IMMC seeks to continue to grow as a cultural tourism destination and serve the community as an educational and research center as well as a repository for Islamic objects having cultural, artistic, aesthetic, and historical significance. Additionally, IMMC seeks to facilitate multicultural and interfaith understanding; reduce cultural, religious, and racial bigotry; and advance Mississippi and America’s cultural, religious, and civic discussions to provide a better atmosphere for working together for the common good. IMMC’s inaugural exhibit, which opened in April 2001, is titled “Islamic Moorish Spain: Its Legacy to Europe and the West.”

This reproduction of an antique astrolabe may be seen in the Museum’s Islamic Moorish Spain exhibit. The astrolabe originated in Greece and was introduced to the Islamic world during the eighth century. Astronomers and mapmakers used it to determine time of day or night and the location of celestial bodies.