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Encyclopedia > Islamic Society of North America

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), based in Plainfield, Indiana, USA, is an umbrella group that describes itself as the largest Muslim organization in North America. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Plainfield is a town in Hendricks County, Indiana, United States. ... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ...

The vision of ISNA is "to be an exemplary and unifying Islamic organization in North America that contributes to the betterment of the Muslim community and society at large." ISNA is an association of Muslim organizations and individuals that provides a common platform for presenting Islam, supporting Muslim communities, developing educational, social and outreach programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities, and civic and service organizations. ISNA's annual convention is generally the largest gathering of American Muslims in the United States. Islamic Horizons is the bi-monthly publication of ISNA. ISNA Elementary School. For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Metro Toronto Convention Centre, late 2004. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... ISNA Elementary School is an Islamic elementary school in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. ...



ISNA provides various services for Muslims and Muslim communities in North America. They publish information about Islam to be distributed with the intention of informing Muslims and non-Muslims about various issues in the religion. They provide a forum for discussing ageing and mortality as well as domestic violence. ISNA also certifies food service and consumer products companies as Halal, and issues Islamic marriage certificates to couples with a marriage licence and who have performed the religious ceremony. The extent to which domestic violence is sanctioned or opposed by Islam is a matter of debate. ... Halal (حلال, alāl, halaal) is an Arabic term meaning permissible. In the English language it most frequently refers to food that is permissible according to Islamic law. ...

Although only a small percentage of mosques are official members, mosque membership in ISNA is an important step to make for many small communities trying to grow.

ISNA holds a national convention on an annual basis, typically on the Labor Day weekend in early September. In the last few years, it has been held in Chicago, IL with increasing numbers attending including people from outside of the U.S. and North America. The convention features Islamic lectures, discussions, debates, nasheeds and Muslim comedy. A notable comedian who has repeatedly performed at ISNA is Azhar Usman. Azhar Usman is one of the worlds few American Muslim standup comedians. ...

Dialog with Jews

ISNA invited Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, to speak before the 44th annual meeting. The URJ is the largest Jewish denomination in the U.S. Yoffie denounced "opportunists" who demonised Islam, and called for an end to racial profiling and legal discrimination against Muslim Americans. Yoffie drew frequent applause and a standing ovation.

URJ leaders said that, although ISNA has been accused of supporting Hamas, the current leadership is more moderate. Pentagon, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security officials also participated in the conference.

“We carefully looked at the leadership’s consistent and outspoken condemnation of terrorism and their backing for a two-state solution,” said Mark Pelavin, director of the URJ’s commission on inter-religious relations and a key player in the outreach effort along with ISNA’s co-founder, Sayyid Syeed. “The FBI and the Pentagon were represented, so this answers the allegations about terrorist associations.”

David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, criticized Yoffie. Steven Emerson accused ISNA of ties to terrorism.[1] This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Funding sources investigated

The ISNA was one of a number of Muslim groups investigated by US law enforcement for possible terrorist connections. Its tax records were requested in December 2003 by the Senate Finance Committee. However, the committee's investigation concluded in November 2005 with no action taken. Committee chairman Charles Grassley said, "We did not find anything alarming enough that required additional follow-up beyond what law enforcement is already doing."[2] The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance (or, less formally, Senate Finance Committee) is a standing committee of the United States Senate. ... Charles Ernest Chuck Grassley (born September 17, 1933) is the senior United States Senator from Iowa. ...


Umbreen Shah of the self-proclaimed progressive group Muslim WakeUp! has criticized ISNA for their conservative nature and alleged misrepresentation of the American Muslim population. Miss Shah takes issue with ISNA's claims that while more than half of American Muslims are black (contrary to surveys of American Muslim demographics, see Islam in the United States), ISNA, claiming to represent all Muslim Americans, reserves little room for them or the ways in which they practice Islam. Muslim Wake Up (sometimes abbreviated MWU!) is a website founded to promote progressive and reformist ideas within Islam. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Shah decried a "tendency in ISNA to enforce a particular religiously conservative philosophy without adapting to the people it serves." She claimed women presenters at ISNA to have been "routinely asked to wear hijab during presentation even though they don’t normally wear the headscarf", thus promoting either hypocrisy or contention when presenters have refused to wear it. She quotes Ingrid Mattson as having said "Most Muslim women are content with separate prayer space in the mosque". Shah also denounced a "police state mentality among ISNA officials. The website also misrepresent various Islamic books such as Sahih Muslim, Sahih Bukharee etc etc".[3]

In his testimony before the US Senate, Dr. Waller told Senators: “The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) refers Muslim clerics to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The Islamic Society of North America is an influential front for the promotion of the Wahhabi political, ideological and theological infrastructure in the United States and Canada." ISNA seeks to marginalize leaders of the Muslim faith who do not support its ideological goals. Through sponsorship of propaganda, doctrinal material and mosques, ISNA is pursuing the Islamofascists’ strategic objective of dominating Islam in North America."[4]One ISNA member, Siraj Wahhaj, was named by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as one of the “unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj also has been accused of urging his followers to overturn the U.S. system of government and set up an Islamic dictatorship.[5] The United States Senate is the upper house of the U.S. Congress, smaller than the United States House of Representatives. ... Siraj Wahhaj (né Jeffrey Kearse) is a well-known[] African-American Muslim convert speaker in North America, and a supporter of Islamic causes in America. ...

In 2007, federal prosecutors named the Islamic Society of North America as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas. Prosecutors applied the label in connection with a trial for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.


In an article, Sheila Musaji has responded to various criticism raised by Umbreen Shah. She states that she searched the ISNA print publications and information on the their website for any claim that they were “the only representative of Muslim Americans from all walks of life", and could not find any. She also points out that many African-Americans may not have been represented in large numbers at the ISNA convention because of the convention by W.D. Muhammad during the same weekend.[6] Warith Deen Muhammad Warith Deen Muhammad was born Wallace D. Mohammed on October 30, 1933. ...


  1. ^ {http://www.forward.com/articles/11554/ "Top Reform Rabbi Gives Watershed Address to Largest U.S. Muslim Group,"] Marc Perelman, The Forward, Sep. 05, 2007
  2. ^ Indiana-based Islamic Society cleared in Senate investigation by King, Robert, Indianapolis Star, November 15, 2005
  3. ^ ISNA Thugs, by Umbreen Shah, September 07, 2005
  4. ^ http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=960&wit_id=2719
  5. ^ http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/0404/final.pdf
  6. ^ Through the Looking Glass: ISNA? Thugs (2005 ISNA Convention), by Sheila Musaji, The American Muslim, September 11 2005

The Indianapolis Star began publishing on June 6, 1903 and celebrated its 100th anniversary on June 6, 2003. ... is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). ... The American Muslim (sometimes called TAM) began as a quarterly print journal, in print from 1989 to 1995. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

External links

  • ISNA Website
  • ISNA's Mission and Values

  Results from FactBites:
Islamic Society of North America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (630 words)
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), based in Plainfield, Indiana, is an umbrella group that describes itself as the largest Muslim organization in North America.
ISNA's annual convention is generally the largest gathering of American Muslims in the United States.
ISNA also certifies restaurants as Halal, and issues Islamic marriage certificates to couples with a marriage licence and who have performed the religious ceremony.
  More results at FactBites »



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