ISNA Announces Historic Muslim-American Survey on Climate Change
Alhumdullilah, ISNA is excited to announce the first ever national survey of Muslim-American views on climate change. And we need your help! Please take the survey here.
We’ve been working with EcoAmerica, George Mason University, and a professional polling firm to develop this 10-15-minute survey that provides a safe space for our community to share their perspectives on climate change.
All participant responses will remain completely anonymous and we will share the results of the survey with you.
One’s faith commitments are critical for many as to how they perceive the world around them and their responsibilities as a citizen upon this earth. Ecological degradation has become the existential issue confronting the natural order which is not only part of social and economic problems but more importantly it is a moral and ethical issue. In less than a month, Muslim communities around the world will be joining the Sacred Month of Ramadan which ultimate goal is to purify us and brings us closer to our Creator using those things at our reach. Through this process of purification, we can look at our food consumption and our lifestyle as tools to obtain those benefits of Ramadan. So, what are the steps to make our Ramadan more environmentally friendly this year?
Some 500 people attended the ISNA Conference in Dallas on April 14, whose theme was: “Upholding Faith: Serving Humanity.”
The conference program, which focused on Islamic education, had sessions for professional development of teachers, principals and administrators of Islamic schools led by several renowned experts and current and former principals of the nation’s top ranking Islamic schools. The program included interactive sessions, training workshops and networking opportunities for Muslim educators and administrators of full-time and weekend Islamic schools.
The speakers included ISNA president Azhar Azeez; Abdalla Idris Ali, former executive director of ISNA Canada; Fawzia Belal, director of Islamic studies, Qalam Collegiate Academy; M. Aftab Diwan, Superintendent at the Islamic School of Irving; Susan Labadi, marketing and website management for the American Halal Association, and marketing director and advisor for DEFINE/LeaderLaunch; Mathew Moes, School Development Lead, Razi Education; Habeeb Quadri, principal of the MCC Full Time School in Morton Grove, Ill.; and Dr. Iram Shaikh-Jilani, Head of School, Brighter Horizons Academy.
The conference also included a bazaar and matrimonial banquet as well as an evening banquet featuring a keynote address from political journalist Mehdi Hasan, who presents UpFront on al-Jazeera English, a special address from former White House staffer Rumana Ahmed, community service recognition award ceremony honoring Akram Syed and Hind Jarrah as well as entertainment from well-known comedian Preacher Moss.
ISNA Joins MYNA for a Weekend Camp Honoring the Legacy of Malcolm X
As part of ISNA's increased focus on racism within the Muslim community, IOICA Director Colin Christopher joined the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) for their Atlantic Region Weekend Camp April 6-8, Lessons from the Life and Legacy of Malcolm X.
Reflecting upon the legacy of Malcolm X, Colin engaged campers in critical conversations exploring the parallels between America in the 1960s and today. Discussions explored the spiritual significance of white supremacy, the internalization of racism within the Muslim community, and how the residue of colonial racial hierarchy and colorism continues to plague Muslim-American communities. Campers shared personal stories of painful experiences related to anti-blackness, colorism within Islamic school settings, and the difficulty explaining these realities to adults.
Camp sessions also allowed students to share strategies for confronting internalized racism within the Muslim-American community with adab and compassion, recognizing that many of the people unconsciously mistreating black and darker-skinned Muslims have in fact also been victims of colonialism and unknowingly carry forward aspects of the system in different, but nevertheless harmful ways.
At the end of the session, campers learned about the history of hip-hop, its foundation in post-civil rights New York city, and how important the art form is for marginalized communities to express themselves around the world. Campers reflected upon the lyrics of Minneapolis-based hip-hop artist Brother Ali, how his Muslim and Albino identities inform his work, and how his words of faith and love inspire youth to find a deeper connection with Allah.
In confronting these systemic challenges within our community, ISNA President Azhar Azeez's recent remarks at the A.C.T. to End Racism Rally in Washington, D.C. reflect our commitment to charting a different path:
"We admit that we have seen racial prejudice and discrimination, bias, and exclusion--in our own churches (mosques) and others--and we have failed to act."
"We have neglected the work of confronting systemic and structural racism; demanding racial justice, insisting on reform of our law enforcement and criminal justice systems, and advocating for the people of color in our communities seeking a better life here in America."
The United States of Love over Hate: A Ramadan Supper Series.
This year, ISNA andShoulder to Shoulderhave teamed up withSe7enFast, and The People’s Supper for The United States of Love over Hate: A Ramadan Supper Series. The primary goal of Ramadan Iftar series is to identify, support, and connect people to Iftars open to interfaith guests across the United States, in order to help facilitate local relationship building among Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
Shoulder to Shoulder will offer guidance to those already planning Iftars, as well as support to those looking to put together Iftars (including both larger community dinners, as well as home-based dinners). Please contact email@example.com
Additionally, houses of worship are invited to display “Love - Your Neighbors” signs outside their buildings during the month of Ramadan, to show their commitment to standing with and getting to know their neighbors.
ISNA Joins Christian Partners for National Workshop on Christian Unity
On Monday, April 16, IOICA Fellow Sara Ahmed joined the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and others for the annual National Workshop on Christian Unity in Silver Spring, MD. Citing recent research documenting the disproportionate media coverage and sentencing towards Muslims, and other empirical evidence of anti-Muslim discrimination, Ahmed discussed the uptick in Islamophobia with Christian partners. Additional group discussions focused upon film screenings exploring the key ingredients for effective interfaith relationship building, peace building traditions in both religions, and the most important actions leaders can take to squash misconceptions about each others' faith communities and theologies. ISNA and the Kingdom Mission Society continued their national partnership campaign screening of Unity Productions Foundation's Sultan and the Saint, facilitating discussions on similarities among peacemaking efforts across place and time.
IOICA Opens New Exhibit Honoring Interfaith Social Justice Advocates
In recognition of the sacrifices of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 50th anniversary of his assassination on April 4, 1968, ISNA's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances officially opened its Faith-Based Trailblazers photo exhibit. The exhibit celebrates the work of 18 faith leaders who drew inspiration from their own faith tradition/s to successfully bring about structural change in their own place and time. IOICA's mission, Advocating Alongside Interfaith Allies to Push for Prosperity for All, draws inspiration from the sacrifice and dedication to faith that each of these leaders demonstrated.
The following leaders were chosen for the Faith-Based Trailblazers exhibit for their dedication to issues ranging from environmental justice to civil rights:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Abraham Joshua Heschel
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Rigoberta Menchú Tum
Abdul Gaffar Khan
Princess Sophia Duleep Singh
ISNA Seeks Transformative Leader:
Executive Director Search Announced
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has announced a search for an Executive Director (ED) to lead the organization at a very historic point in its history. The ED is a new position created as a result of the historic overhaul of the organization's bylaws effective January 1, 2018. The former position known as Secretary General has been abolished.
In consultation with the Executive Committee and more broadly the ISNA Board of Directors, the ED will provide visionary and strategic leadership to build on ISNA's history of service to Islam and Muslims in North America. Dr. Asra Ali, chair of the ED search committee emphasizes that "the new ED will use her or his skills and proven senior level management experience to position the organization to achieve excellence in the creation and delivery of programs and services to meet the needs of our diverse and growing Muslim community."
Communities nationwide are benefiting from in-depth training, lectures, resources and networking opportunities that ISNA provides through our regional conferences.
By supporting these events, you are helping us to uplift, inspire and educate others on numerous topics that can improve lives and communities. This lasting impact will positively affect our society as a whole.
Please become an ISNA Monthly Sustainer to help further our reach and impact together.