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Muslim leader delivers invocation at Will County Board meeting

In a first for the Will County Board, a Muslim leader delivered invocation at the start of a public meeting, officials said.

Imam Haroon Ahmed of the Muslim Association of Bolingbrook took to the podium Jan. 17 after a brief introduction by Will County Board Member Mimi Cowan.

Ahmed referenced the Quran during invocation, speaking in both English and Arabic.

Christian faith leaders primarily have given invocation at Will County Board meetings as history shows, officials said.

The prospect of the changing the rules as to how the Will County Board conducts its meetings has been in talks recently at the committee level.

Board Members Gretchen Fritz, a local deacon, and Herb Brooks, a local pastor, have both presided over invocation a number of times in the past.

The invocation at the Jan. 17 meeting allows for greater separation of church and state.

Cowan made mention of Will County’s assets, saying its greatest strength is its diversity.

“Diversity is a benefit when it comes to solving complex problems, the complex problems we are presented with as legislators,” she said. “When we tackle problems, we seek out the voices of many people with different experiences, educations, and backgrounds. It’s only through that complex, challenging process we will be led to right solutions for our complex problems.”

Ahmed closed the invocation, asking that wisdom and blessings are bestowed upon leaders to help guide their decisions.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion had at a Jan. 17 meeting of the Will County Board:

  • Officials approved a set of 2019 appointments to boards and commissions.

  • In a split vote, officials tabled a decision to appoint Board Member Mimi Cowan to the Illinois State Association of Counties Board. Further discussion is expected at the next regular meeting of the Will County Board.

  • During the board member comments section of the meeting, officials made mention of a Feb. 5 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Will County Health Department building. The event will take place at 1 p.m.

  • The board took time to recognize Jan. 20-26 as School Choice Week in Will County.

  • Officials recognized Sister Vivian Whitehead on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Center for Correctional Concerns.

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