The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has reported on the 39th annual convention held in conjunction with the Muslim American Society (MAS). According to the ICNA report, Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan was featured at the conference for the first time which it said had a record attendance:
May 27, 2013 The energy in the air was palpable on Saturday morning, as people lined up to register before the event officially began. Thousands from across the country gathered at the Baltimore Convention Center over Memorial Day weekend to attend the 39th annual ICNA-MAS convention.
The theme – Faith. Submission. Service. – sought to generate reflection upon the multiple facets of faith and the path on which it directs humanity. It focused the theology of Islam and its manifestation as service to God and service to mankind. In addition to those attending several thousands more watched the live broadcast of the sessions.
A section of the bazaar. More than 120 international scholars, intellectuals, and community activists, including Dr. Tariq Ramadan, Imam Siraj Wahaj, Sh. Omar Suleiman, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, Dr. Yasir Qadhi, Sh. Abdul Nasir Jangda, Sh. Yaser Birjas, Sh. Hamza Tzortzis, Sh. Yusuf Islahi, and Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed, shared their perspectives with a receptive and appreciative audience. The Islamic Circle of North America is grateful for the time and effort exerted by every single speaker at the convention.
Together with the main sessions of the convention, there were a total of 128 sessions over the three day period. Together with the main sessions of the convention, there were a total of 128 sessions over the three day period. Most of the parallel sessions were self contained series, such as the ‘Social Justice Series’, ‘Community Series’, ‘Parenting Series’, and so forth.
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Tariq Ramadan is best described as an independent power center within the Global Muslim Brotherhood who has sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.” Ramadan was banned from visiting the US until January 2010 when the ban was lifted. For further information on Tariq Ramadan, go here.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and considered to be closely tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami organization of Southeast Asia, itself allied with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. ICNA is particularly close to the Muslim American Society and the two organizations have been holding joint conferences in recent years.