Jimmy Carter Keynoting Muslim Convention in Detroit

Former President Jimmy Carter will be the keynote speaker for a gathering of Muslims in Detroit this weekend, the Toledo Blade reported.

Former President Jimmy Carter smiles at the Hotel Jerome, Aug. 12, 2014 during the 11th annual American Renewable Energy Day summit in Aspen, Colo. (AP Photo/The Aspen Times, Michael McLaughlin)

Carter’s speech will be at the 51st annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, the nation’s largest Muslim group. The convention is being held Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

The speech comes amid turmoil in the Middle East, after conflicts with Israel and Hamas and the violence by the Islamic State terror group in Iraq.

Carter, a Baptist elected to a single term as president in 1976, has frequently been a critic of U.S. policy in the Middle East and has been a critic of Israel. He will be speaking at an Aug. 30 luncheon about his most recent book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.”

Michigan has one of the country’s largest Muslim populations. The state’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will also deliver remarks at the event. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, will also speak.

Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the national leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is also among the scheduled speakers. In addition, the event includes a “secret special guest,” according to the Toledo Blade.

The conference will also include sessions such as “Generations Rise: Elevating Muslim-American Culture,” looking at Muslim-American advancement over the next five years; an Islamic film festival; and a competition for those who recite the Koran.

The ISNA conference is happening concurrently in the Detroit area with the annual gathering of the Muslim Students Association and Muslim Youth of North America.