USA Today Profile On ISNA Leader Points To U.S. Brotherhood Conflict


USA Today has profiled Ingrid Mattson, the first woman and first convert to head the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Although the profile, posted in the religious news section, is almost devoid of any useful information or background on either Mattson or ISNA, it does make reference to a potential conflict between two U.S Muslim Brotherhood organizations. The article cites criticism of Mattson by political scientist M.A. Muqtedar Khan:

University of Delaware political scientist M.A. Muqtedar Khan gives Mattson mixed reviews. He calls her “an angel” and “the queen of American Muslims.” But he adds, “She’ll never rock the boat. “She’s not radical on anything. She’s allowed ISNA to take strong positions against terrorism, but she’ll never be at odds with the government. You won’t see any criticism of U.S. policies. You’ll see her continue the talk about the diversity within Islam. She’ll make her mark as an activist with things like her chaplaincy program but not as a scholar with influential ideas or someone who modernizes thinking within Islam,” says Khan.

Aside from his position at the University of Delaware, Khan is also associated with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) as as having been a past President of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) which, in turn, is associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). The basis for Khan’s criticism of Mattson is unknown and the political relationships among these various U.S. Brotherhood organizations requires further analysis.

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