(Plainfield, IN – Sept 26, 2010) ISNA is proud to share with our community at large the young and diverse new group of ISNA leaders elected to the Majlis Ash-Shura this September. A mix of American born and foreign born Muslims were elected by ISNA members with a broad range of ethnic diversity and ages. “The diversity and youth of our new leadership point to the healthy direction ISNA is taking as it strives to lead the development of the Muslim community in America and bring new and fresh ideas to the table. ISNA members have elected a new group of leaders that more adequately represent the diversity of the American Muslim population,” stated Zarzour. The newly elected leaders join 16 current Majlis members and comprise a young and motivated segment of the community, with ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid and ISNA Vice President Azhar Azeez both under the age of 45. Additionally, a new milestone was reached this election season as ISNA members elected the youngest person ever, Asma Mirza aged 26, to the Majlis.
Below you will find more information on our new leaders, including:
ISNA President: Imam Mohamed Magid
ISNA Vice President-USA: Azhar Azeez
ISNA Majlis Member: Asma Mirza
ISNA Majlis Member: Dr. Ihsan Bagby
ISNA Vice President-Canada: Dr. Mohamed Bekkari
Mohamed Magid, the new ISNA President, is the former VP of the organization and replaces convert Ingrid Mattson who was elected in 2006 as the first female President. The announcement contains a bio of Magid:
Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali is a Sudanese-born American who came to the United States in 1987. He attained his religious education in various Islamic disciplines as a Resident Scholar at Al-Medina Institute. Currently serving as the Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), Imam Magid helped establish exemplary religious services for Muslim communities across the nation to emulate. He has much experience serving the nation-wide Muslim community as ISNA’s East Zone representative and as ISNA Vice President prior to his election in September 2010 as ISNA President.
Azhar Azeez born in 1971 in HYDERABAD, INDIA and has been living in US since 1995. He has bachelors in Finance from the prestigious Osmania University and a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and currently is pursuing his PhD in Islamic studies. For last 14 years he worked for major US corporations such as General Electric, American General Life and Capital One. He is a member of ISNA Executive Council (Central Zone Representative) since 2003 and is also the founder and current President of Islamic Association of Carrollton, Texas one of the large mosques in the suburbs of Dallas, TX. He was also a founding member & past President of Council on American Islamic Relations –Dallas/ Fort Worth Chapter.
Photographic and other public record information indicate that Asma Mirza, a former President of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), is likely the daughter or other close relative of Yaqub Mirza, a Pakistani native living in Virginia who was the former Vice-President of the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003. The SAAR foundation was established in 1983 by individuals who had also established some of the most important U.S, Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Muslim Student Association, the Islamic Society of North America, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought. SAAR is generally thought to have been funded by the Al-Rajhi family of Saudi Arabia and until recently was the subject of an ongoing investigation into possible financing of terrorism. In August 2007, Mirza appeared on a panel at an Islamic Society of North America convention together with Zaki Barzinji, likely a relative of Jamal Barzinji, another important figure in the SAAR network. The leadership of many organizations in the global Muslim Brotherhood is passed down to younger generations and Jamal Barzinji was one of the original founders of the Muslim Student Association in the early 1960’s.
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).
Mohamed Bekkari, the new President of ISNA Canada, is also a board member of the Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation, likely the Candadian counterpart of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the ISNA affilate which owns and controls many of the mosques in the US.
As documented in a Hudson Institute report, ISNA grew directly out of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator as a result of what the government called “ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.” Although it is true that recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history of support for terrorism. Also, as the Hudson Institute report observes, almost all of the ISNA founders remain active in the organization and ISNA maintains close relations with all other components of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.