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Selected to Provide Invocation at 2015 Democratic National Committee

Imam Sharif and Michael Van Keulen were both invited to the Democratic National Committee convention. Imam Sharif provided opening remarks and an invocation for the event. Also attending the event were all key leaders in the Democratic local and national party including at that time; Secretary Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders, Governor Mark Dayton, Former Mayor R.T. Rybek, Donna Brazile, Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and numerous others. We felt very honored.

Transcript of Speech That Was Given:

Distinguished leaders and supporters of the Democratic Party, I am honored to extend to you the greeting of peace, assalamu alaikum, “Peace Be Upon You” There is a Somali saying, “minanku minankaagii waaye,” which means, “My home is your home,” or by extension, “My state is your state.” Welcome to Minnesota, home of the largest Somali, Hmong, Oromo, Liberian, and Karen communities in the United States. This did not happen by accident, but by the open arms and open hearts of the good people of our state, Minnesota.

We are here today because you and I both believe that we need one another.

We cannot thrive in this world in isolation.

When you see me on this stage, you may think – Diversity! However, Minnesota asks you to also see Unity.

There is no light between us – we are together. Today, we are one community determined to build and protect our democracy.

We pray to God, that we keep in our hearts the belief that we are one Nation, under God, indivisible. We are not “us and them” as much as we are one, together. We are so grateful that you are here today to serve this great Nation.

We are in this life for a purpose. We ourselves struggle each day to know and live up to this purpose. For many, the purpose is to know, love, and serve God. To be one who serves God is to see the face of God’s love in each and every face. What a powerful responsibility, to see God’s love in every person. Also we hope that others may see the love of God in our own. These beliefs bind us together, and hold us to accountability. It is a belief, a faith, and a bond between us. In the spirit of our shared humanity, I offer this prayer for God’s guidance and protection:

Lord of mercy

We pray to you God to open our hearts

We pray to you God to keep our minds alert

We pray to you God to keep our courage strong

We pray to you God to let wisdom shape our words and actions

We have all around us hope and opportunity

We see all around us those who love their children

We see our brothers and sisters serving one another

We see the light of day enter dark rooms

We must know that Black Lives Matter

Lord, when we lose sight of You, we travel very hard road

We remember lives lost and injured in painful wars

God inform our work together and let that service be worthy of your notice

God help those in this room

Guide this party to hold up the ideal of a party of inclusion Guide this party to its ideal of hope and true justice for all Bring the many faces of humanity before each of us as we act for the benefit of all God help us in our efforts now and the future to hold ourselves before you, prepared for your grace upon us.

Amen

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