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ISNA Virtual Convention Held In September, Congresswoman Tlaib and Biden Advisor Featured Speakers

October 14th, 2020 06:15

The Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA) held its 57th annu­al con­ven­tion from Sep­tem­ber 5–6. The con­fer­ence was held online and titled ‘The Strug­gle for Social and Racial Jus­tice: A Moral Imper­a­tive.” As was the case with last year’s ISNA con­ven­tion fea­tur­ing then Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bernie Sanders, this year’s event brought togeth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­ers and Biden cam­paign offi­cials togeth­er with impor­tant lead­ers in the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. The most notable of the Democ­rats is Farooq Mitha, Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Joe Biden’s senior advi­sor on Mus­lim-Amer­i­can engage­ment.  In August that Biden had spo­ken before a vir­tu­al con­fer­ence spon­sored by Emgage Action, the Polit­i­cal Action Cam­paign (PAC) asso­ci­at­ed with Emgage USA, and where Mitha is a board mem­ber and for­mer Exec­u­tive Direc­tor. As the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Watch report­ed, the con­fer­ence fea­tured two impor­tant lead­ers of the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic politi­cians list­ed as fea­tured speak­ers include Con­gress­woman Rashi­da Tlaib (D- ) and Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (ran in Demo­c­ra­t­ic Pri­ma­ry for Gov­er­nor of Michi­gan, for­mer VP of the Mus­lim Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan). Con­fer­ence speak­ers tied to the USMB include:

  • Lin­da Sar­sour (fam­i­ly ties to Hamas)

Also speak­ing at the ISNA con­ven­tion were less­er-known indi­vid­u­als rep­re­sent­ing the Insti­tute for Social Pol­i­cy and Under­stand­ing, Dar al Hijrah Mosque, the Yaqeen Insti­tute of Islam­ic Research, and Islam­ic Relief USA.

This year’s ISNA con­ven­tion was heav­i­ly focused on top­ics iden­ti­fied as social jus­tice, racism and race rela­tions, and COVID-19. A GMBDW post from June explored how ISNA has been using the Covid-19 cri­sis to cre­ate the appear­ance that it enjoys more broad-based sup­port than it actu­al­ly enjoys. Anoth­er post from July looks at the instru­men­tal­iza­tion of the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment by the USMB.

The Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA) is a Plain­field, Illi­nois-based umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion that describes its vision as being “an exem­plary and uni­fy­ing Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tion in North Amer­i­ca that con­tributes to the bet­ter­ment of the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty and soci­ety at large.” ISNA emerged out of the ear­ly US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood infra­struc­ture and was named as an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor in the Holy Land Foun­da­tion ter­ror­ism tri­al as a result of what the US Jus­tice Depart­ment called the orga­ni­za­tion’s “inti­mate rela­tion­ship with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, the Pales­tine Com­mit­tee, and the defen­dants in this case.”  Recent evi­dence of the influ­ence of ISNA on US pol­i­tics includes an ISNA leader par­tic­i­pat­ing at a Trump admin­is­tra­tion secu­ri­ty con­fer­ence, and Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates Bernie Sanders’ and Julian Castro‘s speak­ing appear­ance at ISNA’s annu­al conference.