US President Joe Biden recently sent a letter vowing continued cooperation with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on the occasion of its 59th annual convention. Held from 2–5 September 2022 in Rosemont, Illinois, the event featured appearances by several high-level Biden appointees and leading Democratic politicians, including several members of Congress. According to the Biden letter:
September 3, 2022 I would like to thank you and the Islamic Society of North Americ’s (ISNA) leadership for inviting me to participate in ISNA’s 59th annual convention. This organization’s dedication to supporting and engaging Muslim Americans is invaluable in strengthening communities and empowering Muslim voices across our nation. (…) I look forward to continuing to work with ISNA Muslim Americans across our country to build bridges and underscore our common humanity.
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This year’s edition of the annual convention was described by local media as the “largest networking event for the Muslim community in the country” and was attended by several thousand guests, a substantially lower number than in pre-pandemic years. Titled “Resilience, Hope, and Faith: With Hardship, Comes Ease,” it took place in person for the first time in three years and featured many exhibitions and educational and speaking events. Mirroring past ISNA conventions, speakers at the event included ISNA leadership and multiple other leaders of the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in the US, including:
- Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who has held various positions in ISNA, the American Muslim Council, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Dalia Mogahed, the Director of Research at the US Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a group whose Board of Advisors and staff includes prominent figures in the US Muslim Brotherhood. In 2009, Mogahed was appointed to President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
- Mohamed Magid, former ISNA president and Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society
- Muzammil Siddiqi, Fiqh Council of North America
US diplomat Rashad Hussain, who in 2021 was appointed by President Biden to the post of United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department, gave a keynote speech at a community service recognition luncheon. In 2010, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, was the first to report on Hussain’s long history of engagement with the GMB in the US as well as support for Brotherhood causes, once having called the prosecution of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami Al-Arian, one of many “politically motivated persecutions.” Other convention speakers included high-level politicians of the Democratic Party, such as Indiana Senator Fady Qaddoura, Indiana Rep. André Carson, and Rep. Marie Newman (D‑IL), who addressed guests at the event’s interfaith banquet. White House Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona delivered a virtual greeting message to the audience.
ISNA is a Plainfield, Illinois-based umbrella organization that describes its vision as “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. In 2013 the Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch published an article on the question “The Rehabilitation Of ISNA; Have They Really Changed?”, concluding:
In addition to the presence within ISNA of US Muslim Brotherhood leaders and its ongoing and close ties to both the US and Global Muslim Brotherhood, ISNA has failed to date to acknowledge any aspect of its actual origins or its history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. For these reasons, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch concludes that ISNA remains, as it always has been, an integral part of the US Muslim Brotherhood.
Nine years later, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) concludes there is no evidence to suggest this conclusion needs to be amended.
In 2016, the GMBDW reported on what was described as the ongoing “madness” in the US over anything concerning the Muslim Brotherhood.