Religions and Spirituality

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American Muslim Council's 6th Annual Grand Interfaith Dinner


The American Muslim Council held their 6th Annual Grand Interfaith Dinner or Iftar on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 at the Royal Albert Palace in Edison, NJ. The theme of this year’s event was, “Standing United for Humanity”.

American Muslims from across New Jersey are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan where they fast from dawn to sunset in an effort to reconnect spiritually and to be grateful for their many blessings. It is a time to better one’s character, to ask for forgiveness, to be more compassionate through acts of kindness and charity. The breaking of the fast at sunset is called the Iftar.

The Annual Interfaith Ramadan Iftar brought approximately 700 people together from diverse faith communities across New Jersey and neighboring states to celebrate the blessed month of Ramadan.

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The program was hosted by Mr. Ahmed Al-Shebab, Board member of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) National and CAIR-NJ and by Ms. Azra Baig, a South Brunswick Board of Education Member and Community Activist.

The keynote address was given by Dr. Wahy-ud Deen Shareef, the Imam of Masjid Waarith ud Deen of Irvington, NJ.  Faith leaders of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh and Hindu traditions spoke on the topic and theme of the event “Standing United For Humanity”.

Special guests included Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Timothy Gallagher, FBI Special Agent in Charge in Newark, NJ who both gave warm wishes for a Happy Ramadan.  ​ 

The event was attended by numerous elected officials including Senator Samuel Thompson, Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, Mayor John McCormac, Mayor Thomas Lankey, Freeholder Assad Akhter, Freeholder Brian Levine and others.

Ms.Essma Bengabsia, President of the Muslim Network, also spoke at the event.

The American Muslim Council presented awards to individuals and organizations including Dr. Ali Chaudry founder of the “Stand Up For The Other Pledge, Make the Road NJ, NJ Muslim Lawyers Association, Muslim League of Voters, and the New Jersey Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The American Muslim Council also recognized the American Muslim Action Network, the NJ Muslim Voter Project, Masjid-E-Ali and Action Together NJ, for their service to the community.

There was a moment of silence which was observed at the event to reflect and pray for all victims of hate, those affected in the community, in New Jersey, across the Nation and around the World. Attendees used their cellphone lights to illuminate the room, the light representing a brighter future filled with peace and love. 

The American Muslim Council Founder & Chairman, Mr. Sam Khan, thanked everyone for attending the Interfaith Ramadan Dinner and encouraged everyone to work together for humanity and for the community and to be politically engaged.

The American Muslim Council is a New Jersey-based organization that promotes Muslim civic participation in the United States of America. The Mission of American Muslim Council is to organize the American Muslim Community in mainstream public affairs, civic engagement, party politics and community outreach.


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