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Islamic Circle of North America

Logo of the Islamic Circle of North America
Abbreviation ICNA
Formation 1971
Type Islamic North American grassroots umbrella organization
Purpose/focus To seek the pleasure of Allah through the struggle of Iqamat-ud-Deen [establishment of the Islamic system of life] as spelled out in the Qur'an and the Sunnah of [Muhammad]
Headquarters 166-26 89th Avenue, Jamaica, New York
Region served North America
President Zahid Bukhari
Website icna.org

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), formally chartered in 1971 but active since 1968, is an Islamic North American grassroots umbrella organization.[1][2][3]

It is an offshoot of the Muslim Students' Association (MSA), was founded by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, and its members are primarily of South Asian descent, primarily Pakistanis and Indians.[4]

It is smaller and more conservative than the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), holding separate sessions at its national conventions for women.[5][6] In 2001 it would not allow the female vice mayor of the city where its convention was held to welcome the membership because some felt that a woman's voice is sexually seductive, but in 2002 it allowed a woman to address its annual convention for the first time.[7] Its headquarters are in Jamaica, New York, and includes classrooms, a reading room, and a small mosque, and it has offices in Detroit, Michigan, and Oakville, Ontario.[8]

Controversy had attended its reported alliance with the militant Islamic fundamentalist organization of Jemaah Islamiyah in Pakistan and Bangladesh.[2]

Contents

History

In 1971, a number of South Asian MSA members who had been involved in Islamic movements in their home countries, particularly Jemaah Islamiyah, developed an Islamic study circle (halaqa), in Montreal which became the predecessor of ICNA.[9][10][11] The "Sisters Wing," its women's group, was established in 1979.

Goal

According to ICNA, its goal "shall be to seek the pleasure of Allah through the struggle of Iqamat-ud-Deen [establishment of the Islamic system of life] as spelled out in the Qur'an and the Sunnah of [Muhammad]."

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Program

To:

  1. invite mankind to the understanding of the Creator by using all means of communications.
  2. motivate Muslims to perform their duty of being witnesses unto mankind by their words and deeds.
  3. organize those who agree to work for this cause in the discipline of ICNA.
  4. offer educational and training opportunities to increase Islamic knowledge, to enhance character, and to develop skills for all those who are associated with ICNA.
  5. oppose immorality and oppression in all forms, and support efforts for civil liberties and socio-economic justice in the society.
  6. strengthen the bond of humanity by serving all those in need with special focus on neighborhood across North America.
  7. cooperate with other organizations for the implementation of this program and unity in the ummah

Activities

The Message International (formerly "Tahreek"), begun in 1989, is ICNA's bi-monthly publication.

Its major Dawah activities include a toll-free number for non-Muslims (1-877-WhyIslam), and dawah: field trips, distribution of Islamic literature, through mosques, by mail, through media, in prisons, campus support, flyers online, and through email. WhyIslam.org is an ICNA program. Since Why Islam (WI) was launched in April 2000, the website has been used to propagate a better understanding of Islam for the general public. Sound Vision is an ICNA division, established in 1988, that produces educational Islamic video and computer programs for children and adults.[12][13]

When the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy broke, ICNA condemned the depiction of any prophet, from Adam to Moses to Jesus to Mohammed.[14]

As of 2002, a dozen mosques were affiliated with ICNA.[15]

Annual convention

ICNA's annual convention is one of the largest gatherings of American Muslims in the United States, drawing thousands of people.[16] It is co-sponsored by the Muslim American Society. The 2007 ICNA-MAS convention, the 32nd annual convention, was reportedly attended by over 13,000 people.

Interfaith

ICNA has participated in interfaith dialogue with the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

President

ICNA's president is Dr. Zahid Bukhari.

Controversy

ICNA is reportedly allied with the militant Islamic fundamentalist organization of Jamaat-e-Islamiya in Pakistan and Bangladesh.[2][17][18][19][20][21] Steven Emerson says that it has praised terror attacks, supports the imposition of shar'ia (the Islami code of law), and collects tax-deductible contributions (through charitable organizations that it has created) for Islamist causes.[2]

In 1995, ICNA expressed "deep concern" over the arrest of Sami al-Arian.[22] In 2006 al-Arian pleaded guilty to conspiracy to help a "specially designated terrorist" organization, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and was sentenced to 57 months in prison.[23][24][25]

In July 2002 Anwar al-Awlaki, believed to be a senior talent recruiter and motivator for al-Qaeda who had contact with three of the 9/11 hijackers, the Fort Hood shooter, and the Christmas Day bombing suspect (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab), spoke at a joint ICNA/MAS convention in Baltimore with Siraj Wahhaj.[26]

ICNA was picketed in Texas in 2005 by ten anti-terrorism protesters who said it funds overseas terrorism, though its Dallas president said: "There's no evidence to support their claims."[27]

In September 2007, Joe Kaufman a full-time investigative reporter who had written for national publications since 1995, wrote an article in which he reported that ICNA supported and financed terrorism.[28]

On December 9, 2009, five Muslim Americans, who knew each other from the ICNA Center in Arlington, Virginia,[29] were detained in Pakistan during a police raid.[29] The men had met with Jaish-e-Muhammed in Pakistan and offered their assistance in jihadi attacks.[30] The house they were detained in was occupied by Khalid Farooq, the father of one of the men. He is suspected of ties to Jaish-e-Muhammed, to which the house itself is also linked.[29]

See also

References

  1. ^ Women embracing Islam: gender and conversion in the West,Karin van Nieuwkerk, University of Texas Press, 2006, ISBN 0292713029, accessed January 31, 2010
  2. ^ a b c d Emerson, Steven (2003). "American Jihad". Simon and Schuster. http://books.google.com/books?id=ksd1NXDjRLkC&pg=PA207&dq=%22Islamic+Circle+of+North+America%22&lr=lang_en&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&num=100&as_brr=3&ei=MS1mS9fmK4HOzQTY1pzVCw&cd=10#v=onepage&q=%22Islamic%20Circle%20of%20North%20America%22&f=false. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  3. ^ Defending ideals: war, democracy, and political struggles, Drucilla Cornell, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 041594883, accessed January 31, 2010
  4. ^ Complete idiot's guide to understanding Islam, Yahiya Emerick, Penguin Group, 2004, ISBN 1592572723, accessed January 31, 2010
  5. ^ Islam in America, Jane I. Smith, Columbia University Press, 1999, ISBN 0231109660, accessed January 31, 2010
  6. ^ The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 2, Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000, ISBN 9004116958, accessed January 31, 2010
  7. ^ Muslim women in America: the challenge of Islamic identity today, Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, Kathleen M. Moore, Oxford University Press US, 2006, ISBN 0195177835, accessed January 31, 2010
  8. ^ Becoming American, being Indian: an immigrant community in New York City, Madhulika Shankar Khandelwal, Cornell University Press, 2002, ISBN 0801488079, accessed January 31, 2010
  9. ^ The South Asian religious diaspora in Britain, Canada, and the United States, Harold G. Coward, John R. Hinnells, Raymond Brady Williams, SUNY Press, 2000, ISBN 0791445097, accessed January 31, 2010
  10. ^ Muslim minorities in the West: visible and invisible, Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, Rowman Altamira, 2002, ISBN 075910218X, accessed January 31, 2010
  11. ^ Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, law, and politics, Volume 2, Afsaneh Najmabadi, BRILL, 2003, ISBN 9004128182, accessed January 31, 2010
  12. ^ Muslim communities in North America, Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, SUNY Press, 1994, ISBN 0791420191, accessed January 31, 2010
  13. ^ New media in the Muslim world: the emerging public sphere, Dale F. Eickelman, Jon W. Anderson, Indiana University Press, 2003, ISBN 0253216052, January 31, 2010
  14. ^ The Cartoons Cry, Muhammad Tariq Ghazi, AuthorHouse, 2006, ISBN 1425947646, accessed January 31, 2010
  15. ^ The North American Muslim resource guide: Muslim community life in the United States and Canada, Mohamed Nimer, Taylor & Francis, 2002, ISBN 0415937280, accessed January 31, 2010
  16. ^ The new encyclopedia of Islam, Cyril Glassé, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, ISBN 074256296, accessed January 31, 2010
  17. ^ The vanguard of the Islamic revolution: the Jama Ľat-i Islami of Pakistan, Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, University of California Press, 1994, ISBN 0520083695, accessed January 31, 2010
  18. ^ The idea of Pakistan, Stephen P. Cohen, Brookings Institution Press, 2004, ISBN 0815715021, accessed January 31, 2010
  19. ^ Critical issues in American religious history, Robert R. Mathisen, Baylor University Press, 2006, ISBN 1932792392, accessed January 31, 2010
  20. ^ The Muslims of America, Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Oxford University Press US, 1993, ISBN 0195085590, January 31, 2010
  21. ^ The Oxford dictionary of Islam, John L. Esposito, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0195125592, accessed January 31, 2010
  22. ^ Militant Islam reaches America, Daniel Pipes, W. W. Norton & Company, 2003, ISBN 0393325318, accessed January 31, 2010
  23. ^ MegLaughlin, In his plea deal, what did Sami Al-Arian admit to?, St. Petersburg Times, April 23, 2006, accessed January 31, 2010
  24. ^ Al-Arian Gets Federal Subpoena, Elaine Silvestrini, March 4, 2008.
  25. ^ Elaine Silvestrinin, Al-Arian Arraigned On Contempt Charges, Tampa Tribune, June 30, 2008.
  26. ^ Infiltration: how Muslim spies and subversives have penetrated Washington, Paul Sperry, Thomas Nelson Inc, 2005, ISBN 1595550038, accessed January 31, 2010
  27. ^ Farwell, Scott, "Rally small but well recorded," The Dallas Morning News, October 15, 2007, accessed January 31, 2010
  28. ^ Lee, Douglas, "Texas court asserts protections for online reporter," First Amendment Center Online, July 21, 2010, accessed January 31, 2010
  29. ^ a b c Shane, Scott (December 9, 2009). "Pakistan Detains Five Americans in Raid Tied to Militants". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/10/world/asia/10inquire.html. Retrieved January 28, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Pakistan and FBI confirm US Muslims arrested". BBC. December 10, 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8406408.stm. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 

External links


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