June 20, 2017
By: Heather Ryan
Ako Abdul-Samad is a man of many hats. He represents a portion of North-Central Des Moines, founded Creative Visions Human Development Institute and is the Chair of the American Muslim Alliance. Mr. Abdul-Samad became the leader of the American Muslim Aliance in 2015 and announced today that he will be moving the national headquarters from California to Des Moines, effective immediately.
Iowa may seem like an unlikely place to find strong Muslim communities, but the state boasts one of the first settlements in the nation. With a history that dates over 100 years, there are as many as 50,000 practicing Muslims in the Hawkeye state. The American Muslim Alliance aims to engage Muslims into the social, economic and political fiber of the nation. Additionally, they work toward a better understanding of the Islamic religion while dispelling fear and hatred during the Trump administration’s vilification campaign.
Representative Abdul-Samad plans to move the annual national conference to Des Moines in Spring 2018. The conference will welcome Muslims from around the nation to discuss timely issues. The diverse and inclusive gathering will be the first of its kind in Central Iowa and comes at a critical time for religious relations in America. “As long as forces work to divide our nation, we will continue to be pushed down a path of fear and hate,” Abdul said. “Our mission is to build bridges between people of all faiths while providing an education about the peaceful religion of Islam.” He concluded.
Personally, I am not only excited for Des Moines to be host to this event, I am also excited for Representative Abdul-Samad to provide leadership in these troubling times. For more information about the American Muslim Alliance click HERE and to follow how amazing Ako is, follow his Facebook page HERE.