FRANKLIN (Somerset) – An eclectic serving of speakers, musical performances, art displays and poetry readings marked a gathering Saturday of Muslims from across the Garden State and beyond.

The diverse lineup of “Islam in the West: Past Glory, Present Reality” at the Garden State Exhibit Center shouldn’t catch anyone by surprise, said Ron Smith, a 36-year-old convert to Islam from New York.

“That’s what Islam is – diversity. You have that no matter what,” Smith said. “It’s important to show that. In today’s world, it doesn’t get shown enough.”

About 2,000 people from across the region were expected to attend the event, sponsored by representatives from Islamic Video Productions, New Islamic Directions and Bayann Inc.


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