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:
- Siraj Wahhaj (unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has held various positions in ISNA, the American Muslim Council, and the Council on American Islamic Relations; CAIR)
- Yasir Qadhi (Islamist speaker on the US Brotherhood circuit, associated with Holocaust denial)
- Muzammil Siddiqi (Fiqh Council of North America)
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.