Record turnout at Islamic convention in Toronto


(December 25, 2010) – The Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) convention in Canada broke new attendance levels on Christmas day with overflowing crowds packing the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“Early indications puts the number between 17,000 and 20,000,” says Ayman Faris, the convention’s Director of Media and Public Relations.

With these numbers, the gathering exceeds previous years’ attendance.

Muslims have come from across Canada and the US to attend lectures from prominent speakers, have meals together, shop in a large bazaar, enjoy popular artists and perform group prayers.

Professor Tariq Ramadan

This year’s headline speakers include leading thinkers and interfaith visionaries – John Ralston Saul, Tariq Ramadan, Ingrid Mattson, Hamza Yusuf, Zaid Shakir, Eboo Patel, Mustafa Ceric and Attallah Shabazz.

The gathering aims to showcase well-known Muslim personalities and speakers “from across the globe sharing a common platform before the widest cross section of our community.”

“RIS was founded in the hopes to provide youth a starting point in understanding the faith of Islam, which could lead them to making decisions based on pleasing Allah,” says Faris.

“We hope the learning will lead to actions that provide humanity with kindness, understanding, and active citizenship,” he added.

Imam Zaid Shakir

This year’s theme deals with Reviving the 10 Commandments in the Modern World.

The convention will “lay out a ‘road map’ as to how Muslims can lead a revival of these commandments as the operative moral basis for checking the ravages of secularism gone mad,” according to the organizers.

Zain Bikha