(Plainfield, IN – July 15, 2010) ISNA announces a new study of U.S. mosques. The “U.S. Mosque Study 2010” will be led by Dr. Ihsan Bagby, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky, and sponsored by ISNA and CAIR. Co-sponsors for the Study include: International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of W. Deen Mohammed), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), and Muslim Guide. The Study will be conducted in cooperation with Hartford Seminary, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB), and Faith Communities Today (FACT). A Research Committee conducting the Study includes includes in alphabetical order: Nihad Awad (CAIR), Ihsan Bagby (University of Kentucky), Zahid Bukhari (ICNA), Rich Houseal (ASARB), David Roozen (Hartford Seminary and FACT), Iqbal Unus (IIIT), and Safaa Zarzour (ISNA). “The Mosque Study will provide useful information and insights for community leaders and organizations as well as the academic community to assist them in both scholarly research as well as community development,” states ISNA Secretary General Safaa Zarzour. Information included in the U.S. Mosque Study 2010 will be collected from online surveys and phone or in-person interviews. The survey will be available online and will address a range of issues, including: quality of mosque programs, mission and identity of the mosque, diversity and needs of mosque participants, leadership and organizational dynamics and history of the organization. A random sample of mosque leaders from around the country will be selected to participate in interviews to discover the perceptions of Muslim religious leaders on a variety of substantive issues, including: Muslim involvement in American civic life, involvement of women and young adults in mosques, concerns about radicalization in the community and evaluations of mosque staffing.Zarzour states, “This collaboration of academic, professional, and community institutions is unprecedented and reflects the desire of all sponsors to produce credible, valid, useful results from this study for the benefit of everyone.” ISNA urges all mosque leaders to participate in the survey, which is scheduled to launch this July and run through September.
According to various sources, Ihsan Bagby is a black Islamic convert and Professor of Islamic Studies who is the Secretary-General of the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA) and is a member of several U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). ISNA, CAIR, ICNA, IIIT, and the MAS have all been identified by a Hudson Institute report as components of the US Muslim Brotherhood. Previous posts have detailed the growing relationship between the Hartford Seminary and the US Muslim Brotherhood.