Columbia, South Carolina, April 18, 2012 - PICNA - Peace and Integration Council of North America - collaborated with the University of South Carolina (USC),
Department of Religious Studies and five other reputable institutions to hold a highly successful program in Columbia, South Carolina, USA, on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the USC School of Law auditorium.
The event was Co-sponsored by IARF - International Association for Religious Freedom, IPSC - Interfaith Partners of South Carolina, ISRA – Islamic Studies and Research Association, USC School of Law and Walker institute of
International and Area Studies. Professor David Linnan of USC School of law moderated the program while Dr. Stephanie Mittchem and Chaudhry Sadiq made welcome comments as co-hosts. Dr. Waleed Elansary then introduced Shaykh ul Islam, Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri in his unique style. Shaykh ul Islam began his lecture with a detailed linguistic definition of ‘Islam’ that revolves around the terms of ‘Peace’, ‘Safety’ and ‘Security’. He then rendered a beautiful explanation of the three levels of Islam, viz. ‘Islam’, ‘Iman’, and ‘Ihsan’, focusing on the compassionate, merciful and humane nature of Islam. Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri skillfully concluded the speech with a succinct and convincing argument that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Islam and terrorism are mutually exclusive. The audience, particularly the faith leaders from other religious traditions, remained spellbound as Shaykh ul Islam delivered his hour long lecture that touched and warmed so many hearts.
“He opened my heart”, said one Christian leader. Other audience members commented on the address as being informative, educational and inspiring. Western society has indeed been either confused or frightened by anti-Islam hype created by the media and other vested interests. Hence, Shaykh ul Islam’s logical and intellectual arguments that he supported by evidence from the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, served to decisively rebut the media’s negative messages.
PICNA was established in April, 2011 and this was their first national level event that was viewed globally courtesy Multimedia Department of Minhaj ul Qur’an. Feedback about this event from all quarters, domestic as well as international, was very favorable and PICNA management is gracious to God for its success. A special event magazine was also published on this memorable occasion.
PICNA’s vision is to be a catalyst for peace and harmony in society. Our mission is to strive for for peace, harmony, goodwill and understanding between people of all faiths and cultures as well as facilitate interfaith dialog and enlighten society about true Islamic values and principles.