This Labor Day weekend, the largest gathering of Muslim Americans in the country will take place in Houston, Texas, at the annual Islamic Center of North America (ISNA) convention. Past conventions have attracted several thousand to north of 10,000 attendees. But this years may be the biggest turnout yetwith well-known special guests like Daily Show host Trevor Noah (no, he isnt Muslimat least not yet!).
Theres even a Trump administration official scheduled to appear on a panel celebrating interfaith initiativesSam Brownback, the former GOP governor of Kansas who now serves as the U.S ambassador for international religious freedom. But frustratingly missing will be all but two of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
Now this is the first time ISNA, which is not partisan, ever tried to organize a presidential forum. And it did so with the help of a well-connected activist, Wael Alzayat, a former Obama State Department official who is CEO of Emgage, an organization that seeks to increase Muslim American activism in U.S. politics.