It is widely understood that the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group recently named by the Justice Department a co-conspirator in a high profile Hamas financing trial, was founded in 1981. However, according to the organization, in word and activity, it was instead established nearly two decades earlier, in 1963. Question: Why the discrepancy, and should the group it claims as its 'self,' the Muslim Students Association (MSA), receive the same pro-terrorist label?
July 3, 2009, will mark the beginning of the 46th Annual ISNA Convention. The event will feature a number of prominent leaders of the radical Muslim community, including Mokhtar Maghraoui, imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR); Muzammil Siddiqi, former National President of ISNA and current member of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) Board of Trustees; Safaa Zarzour, Program Chair for the ISNA Education Forum and Chairman of the Chicago office for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago); Altaf Husain, the former National President of the MSA and current Executive Committee member of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA); and Abdul Malik Mujahid, the former National President of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the founder and current President of ICNA's multimedia wing, SoundVision (SV).
Calling the event the "46th Annual ISNA Convention" is slightly deceiving, as ISNA only came onto the scene less than 30 years ago. ISNA was the 1981 brainchild of alumni from the Muslim Students Association (MSA), a group founded by members of the violent Muslim Brotherhood, in coordination with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian. As stated in Al-Arian's bio, "In 1981, he helped establish the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim grassroots organization in country." Yet, ISNA claims as its own the birthright of the MSA, which was created 46 years ago.