The Huffington Post is reporting that a woman has recited the Quran for the first time at a convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). According to a Huffington Post report, the recitation met with mixed reactions:
09/09/2013 Tahera Ahmad delivered a beautiful Quran recitation to open the 50th annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention on August 30, becoming the very first woman to do so.
ISNA has represented the interests of American Muslims for the last half-century, and holds a moderate Islamic viewpoint. In a congratulatory video message, President Obama applauded ISNA for its service efforts, saying, ‘Over the last half century, you’ve upheld the proud legacy of American Muslims’ contributions to our national fabric, and this gathering is a testament to that tradition.’
Illinois-raised Ahmad is the Associate University Chaplain at Northwestern University as well as a faculty fellow. She has been educated at a number of prestigious schools, including Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, which is considered the foremost institution in the Muslim world for the study of Islamic law.
Ahmad told the Huffington Post, ‘I am elated to hear from young women who are inspired to now learn this art, as many of them said that they never knew a woman could recite the Quran with such grace. This is not about creating controversy or fitna, this is about digging deep, doing our research and reviving our Islamic tradition and giving women the opportunity to be a part of our rich legacy.’
Read the rest here.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) describes itself as “an independent, open and transparent membership organization that strives to be an exemplary and unifying Islamic organization in North America by contributing to the betterment of the Muslim community and society at large. ISNA emerged out of the early U.S. Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure and documents discovered in the course of the the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the organization was part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA was named as a Holy Land unindicted co-conspirator as a result of what the US Justice Department called the organization’s ” intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.” In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” ISNA has had a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. ISNA of late. Clearly considered to be “rehabilitated” by the Obama administration, ISNA has more recently issued robust condemnations of terrorism beginning with this 2008 ISNA statement that although denying culpability in the Holy Land terrorism financing case, for the first time condemned terrorism while identifying Hamas and Hezbollah by name. ISNA has also been engaged in an active program of interfaith cooperation that has included partnerships with Jewish organizations and visits to concentration camp sites in Europe. Yet despite these new efforts, ISNA continues maintain strong ties to both the US and Global Muslim Brotherhood and has failed to date to acknowledge any aspect of its actual origins or its history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. For these reasons, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch concludes that ISNA remains, as it always has been, an integral part of the US Muslim Brotherhood.
For a detailed analysis of ISNA and its recent history, go here.