It has come to my attention that the ISNA Zonal Conference will be held from May 24-26 in Baltimore, MD at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center. There are a lot of great speakers planned for this event and it should be worthwhile to attend. I always enjoy attending ISNA-sponsored events no matter where they are held and always enjoy hearing the likes of Altaf Hussein and Abdullah Ali.
However, it has come to my attention that the Hotel Workers at this location are on strike because of the poor conditions under which they work. It is important for the American-Muslim community to stand up as a people that support just causes from people of all faiths and races. A part of the spirit of social justice that Muslims in America need to embrace is in aligning ourselves with organized labor as they strike and negotiate for better conditions and wages for their workers.
The major Muslim organizations led by those such as the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation have also came to this conclusion and held a number of events and seminars in conjunction with the labor movement. A basic part of having solidarity with labor is honoring striking workers by not frequented the companies which they are striking and therefore bringing economic consequences on those being targeted. Crossing a picket line, especially for any organization, is a sign that the struggle of the workers is not important and you see no value in a strike.
That is why it is most unfortunate that ISNA is holdings its event at a hotel that is currently having a strike. As I am writing this I am trying to find out more details; but if the strike is still ongoing and ISNA goes forward with this conference I will be very disappointed. If the strike is resolved this is a non-issue; but if it appears that this picket line will be crossed by ISNA then I will encourage all readers who are about the rights of workers to make their displeasure heard. And, to give credit it where it is due, if ISNA does the right thing in the event the strike is ongoing I will be the first to sing their praises. I am still seeking more info.