Imam Abdul-Baki gave a heartfelt and passionate speech thanking God and his family, friends, the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts and the community for their support. He spoke positively about the diversity of our city and how Mayor Sarno and his administration has welcomed him and the Muslim community into his city. He continued his remarks by saying that Mayor Sarno has worked tirelessly to try and bring people from all walks of life together for the betterment of our community and to improve everyone’s quality of life.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I want to thank Dr. Kamal Ali and my Mayoral Aide Shenell Ford for bringing this joyous occasion to my attention. When I heard that my good friend Imam Dr. Wissam Abdul-Baki, who also brought prayers and greetings to my inauguration ceremony, was celebrating 25 years of devoted service to our community, I wanted to hold a special celebration ceremony here in City Hall to acknowledge and recognize him for his continued dedicated efforts. Years ago, during an unfortunate incident involving a fire, it was Imam Abdul-Baki who stepped up upon my request to assist a Muslim family in need and to reassure them that it was ok to talk to our public safety officials so we could get them the help and resources that they needed. Imam Dr. Wissam Abdul-Baki remains such a truly humble and respected member of our Greater Springfield community. He is truly deserving of this honor and recognition. His words of wisdom, dedicated service and spiritual leadership has touched the lives of so many within our Muslim community and beyond, not just here in Springfield but across the globe. His ability to connect with everyone regardless of their creed, color, background or age, through his kindness, openness and easy-going nature is truly a gift. Imam Abdul-Baki’s knowledge and passion as a devout scholar and practitioner of Islam is unparalleled in the region. It was my honor to host this celebration event. Congratulations my good friend, I wish you continued good health and success. God Bless.”