Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Islamic History Museum Gathers Scholars

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Islamic History Museum Gathers Scholars

Article excerpt

AMERICA S FIRST AND THE ONLY ISLAMIC Museum and Tougaloo College hosted a national historic conference: "Islamic West Africa's Legacy of Literacy and Music to America and the World," on Feb. 19-20. The conference brought together more than 40 leading local, national and international scholars, educators, artists, and community and student leaders to explore the literary and musical contributions of Islamic West Africa to America culture, and the Muslim American cultural identity. This historic first of its kind conference on Islamic Africa and the African American experience attracted more than 700 participants to the Jackson Convention Complex and the parallel virtual conference, produced by Sound Vision.

The highlight of the conference was the presence of Sheikh Abdel Kader Haidara, who opened as the keynote. He gave an impassioned speech about his family legacy and the significance of this legacy of manuscripts to the global community. He is the heir and director of the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library at Timbuktu of Mali, whose collection of 45 ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu are showcased at the Museum.

Other highlights include the intelligent scope offered by the valiant Dr. Ali Mazrui; the brilliant revivals of the deepest efforts and meanings of the lives of El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), Muhammad Ali, and Imam W D. Mohammed by Imam Plemon El-Amin; and of Dr. Martin Luther King's struggle against racism, militarism, and poverty - and what his efforts offer as an example for Muslim Americans in their quest for political activism. …

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