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Islamic convention in Detroit this weekend

Brian Rawson-Ketchum

The Islamic Organization of North America is hosting its 12th annual convention in Detroit this weekend. It will take place at Cobo Hall for three days, starting Friday.

It is addressing serious challenges facing the Muslim community in America with a focus on drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and rising Islamophobia, according to William Antoun, assistant outreach director of IONA.

Antoun said another big focus will be "the political fallout from this election and our community's response and obligations and challenges ahead."

Antoun said an important topic will be integration and political and civic engagement.

"Most Muslims in this country are citizens. They are Americans. And they see themselves as Americans," said Antoun. "So how do we change that stereotype or that myth that it's some sort of foreign element to our society - which it's not."

The convention will bring in expert speakers and will feature small workshop opportunities to foster discussion and find solutions.

Antoun said they are hoping to exceed last year's attendance of 2,000.