The conference held at the Islamic Center of New England in Sharon, on Saturday, March 31, was appropriately named as "Demystifying Shari'ah" - a word not many were familiar with until a few years ago, a concept so charged today that it fiercely divides communities and send chills down spines.
The aim of the conference was to educate the audience in a spirit similar to what President John F. Kennedy had famously said, "…a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
The full-day long program ended with dinner as per tradition of the Islamic Center of New England – some of my friends find the spicy food served at the ICNE reason enough to attend any event there, so I was hoping that combined with the topic's popularity (or notoriety?) would draw a big crowd. I am thankful to those who came, though I did not see many unfamiliar faces and felt an opportunity for sharing concerns and seeking answers seemed lost. I assumed many were either held up by prior commitments or by the inability to overcome their fears – or perhaps, simply, the advertising efforts needed more work!