To seek the pleasure of God Almighty through striving for the betterment of society, disseminating the universal message of Islam and offering programs for education, self-development, social services and social justice.
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading Muslim grass roots organization established in 1968. ICNA has many projects, programs, and activities which are designed to help in the process of molding the individual and reforming societal perspectives about Islam. The Islamic Circle of North America was formed as a response to the growing need for a supportive Muslim community in North America. The organization initially focused on educating its growing membership about Islam, the goal being to adhere to Islamic values amongst a religiously diverse community.
In the past decade, ICNA has expanded its reach across the US while maintaining an active presence in local communities. ICNA has worked to establish connections between Islam and the public, collaborating with numerous Muslim organizations to reach this end. ICNA also works closely with many national interfaith organizations for the betterment of society. In October 2011, ICNA launched a national campaign to dispel myths and misconceptions about Shariah. “Defending Religious Freedom Understanding Shariah” will run until December 2012. By focusing on self-development, education, outreach and social services, ICNA has cemented its place as a leading grassroots organization in the American Muslim community.
Naeem M. Baig
Naeem M. Baig, is Vice President for Public Affairs of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). ICNA is a grassroots Muslim American organization with over 30 chapters. He also serves as the Executive Director of “ICNA Council for Social Justice”. Mr. Baig served as the Secretary General of the Islamic Circle of North America from 2000 to 2004, and later from 2006 to 2008. He was elected to serve on the National Board of ICNA for the 2010 – 2012 term.
Mr. Baig played a major role in strengthening ICNA’s Interfaith Relations Department. During his time as the Secretary General, ICNA became member of many inter faith organizations, such as Religions for Peace USA and the National Muslim Christian Initiative. Mr. Baig served as the consultant on the ‘Study on Christian-Muslim Relations’, sponsored by the Department of Interfaith Relations of the Presbyterian Church (US). Currently, he co-chairs the ‘National Muslim-Christian Initiative’.” He is a member of the Taskforce on Global Initiative on Faith, Health and Development. He also serves as the Muslim Coordinator for the ‘Catholic-Muslim Mid-Atlantic Dialogue’, which takes place every year between Catholic Bishops and Muslim leadership in America.
Zahid H. Bukhari, Ph.D
Dr. Bukhari, who has been reelected for a second term as President of the Islamic Circle of North America, serves as Executive Director of the Center for Islam and Public Policy (CIPP). He served as Director of the American Muslim Studies Program at the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian understanding, Georgetown University, Washington DC. He also worked as the Director of Project MAPS: Muslims in American Public Square, at Georgetown University. He currently serves as a member of the Governor of Maryland’s Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs. Dr. Bukhari has a Masters in Economics from University of Karachi and a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Connecticut. Dr. Bukhari’s research is focused on religion and politics in the United States and South Asia. He has vast experience in survey research and has worked as Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute of Public Opinion, a member of Gallup International. He has published and presented papers on Islam in the West, Muslim public opinion in the US, interfaith relations in the USA, and other topics in national and international forums. He is also editor of a research volume, Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square: Fears, Hopes and Aspirations.
Sheikh Abdur Rahman Khan
Sheikh Abdur Rahman Khan is a graduate of The Islamic University Madinah, faculty of Shari’ah, specializing in Islamic Inheritance. He is a graduate of The University of Guyana in English and holds a Diploma of Education. Sheikh Khan is the former principal of the Guyana Islamic Institute, a position that he held for a period of eight years. He is the Imaam and head of Islamic Studies at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Rockford, Illinois. Sheikh currently serves as the principal of Al-Rahmah School in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a resident scholar and Khateeb (lecturer) at the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park, Chicago. He is actively involved in the field of Da’wah (Religious Dialogue). Sheikh Abdur Rahman Khan is the Chairman of ICNA Shari’ah Council and an executive member of the Fiqh Council of North America.
Board of Directors
Dr. Zahid Bukhari President
Mohammed Tariqur Rahman Secretary General
Naeem M. Baig VP for Public Affairs
Dr. Mahmood Aijazi VP for Organization
Syed Waqas Ahmed Deputy SG IT
Hanif Ismail Deputy SG Organization
Junaid A. Shaikh President ICNA West Region
Haseeb Abdali President ICNA Houston
Salman Yasir Mujahid President ICNA Chicago
Sr. Fariha Shakeel President ICNA Sisters Wing
Sr. Salma Malik VP ICNA Sisters’ Wing
Dr. Khurshid Khan Ex President ICNA
Sheikh Abdool Rahman Khan Chairman ICNA Shariah Scholars Committee
Dr. Mohammed Yousufuddin
Dr. Mohammad Yunus Chairman ICNA Education Dept
Dr. Mohsin Ansari Chairman ICNA Relief
Maqsood Ahmad Executive Director ICNA Relief
Dr. Talat Sultan Chairman ICNA Outreach
Islamic charity, with a Cape Verdean flavor
Back-to-school cookout fosters cultural dialogue
August 28, 2011
All yesterday afternoon, people kept offering to get Malika Rushdan some lunch. After all, she was at a cookout.
“Sorry,’’ she told them again and again. “I’m fasting.’’
Then she had an idea. She would be able to eat after dark. “Could you make me a plate to go?’’
Fasting from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that ends this week, is a well-known practice. Charity, too, is an important part of the holiday.
Charity is also a key value for activist Isaura Mendes, a Cape Verdean Catholic who has organized a benefit cookout on Groom Street in Dorchester every year since 2005 to honor her two sons, who were slain on the streets.
Last year, at a festival, Mendes and Rushdan got to talking. “I work with young people. I know the struggles they face,’’ said Rushdan. “Isaura touched my heart.’’
The result: The annual Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy barbecue is now a cross-cultural event. Kids who showed up yesterday hoping for free food and a ride in an inflatable Moon Bounce also got backpacks filled with school supplies, courtesy of ICNA Relief, the charity arm of the Islamic Circle of North America.
“Half the people here have probably never even talked to a Muslim,’’ said Rushdan. “But we’re hoping to create understanding.’’
ICNA Relief gave away about 4,000 backpacks in the New York City area last Ramadan, but this is the first year it has gone national, with hopes of distributing 15,000 bags in all. In addition to yesterday’s campaign in Dorchester, it is holding similar events in some 30 other communities, mostly on the East Coast, and in California and the South.
All of those giveaways are taking place at Islamic schools. Boston’s is the only one that is reaching out to a local neighborhood, said Rushdan. It is surely the only one with Cape Verdean sizzle.
Rushdan gave away all 100 backpacks she had yesterday. Pre-Irene drizzle dampened the festivities but not anyone’s spirits, and by 2:30 several dozen people were milling around the Groom Street cul-de-sac.
With the help of six volunteers, Rushdan set up a table where pamphlets on Islam were mingled with brochures telling the story of the Mendes family. Mendes stood next to her,
jokingly admonishing the kids that if they took the backpacks, they had better get As on their report cards.
Clyneya Christmas, 12, had earned her bag – she is a straight-A student. Her friend Emily DaSilva had earned hers by spreading the word about the event. “Isaura gave me pamphlets so I could tell people about it,’’ she said.
Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, from a mosque on Shawmut Avenue, was happy with the turnout, too. “People see a little simple event like this and they figure it just flowered,’’ he said. “But things like this don’t happen on their own.’’
Charity is one of the main pillars of Islam. The 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, including 2.6 million in the United States, are required to give throughout the year, as well as at Ramadan. In the final days of the month, they donate a small sum – calculated according to income, as Christian tithes are – to those in need, so that anyone who wants to eat a holiday meal is able to.
On the last day of the celebration, Muslims will decorate their homes with lights and dress up for feasts with family and friends.
Then they will go back to work. ICNA Relief is in the middle of refurbishing a shelter for women and children on Intervale Street, and there are always more kids who need school supplies.
“For our first year, this was a huge success,’’ Rushdan said, eyeing the line of people in front of her table. “But what I’m really excited about is next year.’’
Hotline answers questions about Islam
August 15, 2011
Islam Billboards on New Jersey Turnpike Stir Controversy
MYFOXNY.COM – While most billboards you drive by on the New Jersey Turnpike advertise things like hotels or cars, the billboards getting attention recently advertise a certain religion and are stirring up controversy.
One billboard shows an American flag with the words “Islam? Get the facts.” Another reads “Ramadan– 1.57 billion celebrating– find out why.”
The Islamic Circle of North America put them up. They want you to call their information hot line.
Mohamed El Filali from the Islamic Center of Passaic County said it is all about educating people.
“Prejudice is built on misinformation or ignorance,” Mohamed El Filali said. “I think it’s extremely important for people to hear information from the source as to what is Islam, who are Muslims and what have you.”
But some aren’t convinced the public is ready to be educated. The pain of 9/11 is still too raw. Some told Fox 5 that the billboards shouldn’t be up there.
Drivers on the turnpike aren’t the only ones who will see these billboards. Similar ads are going up on highways in dozens of other states.
Big Mohammed’s House
The Daily Show
May 5, 2011
Group giving away free school supplies
August 05, 2011
HOUSTON (KTRK) — Houston-area Muslims are uniting this weekend to help needy families in the community get prepped for the start of the school year.
The Islamic Circle of North America is hosting its national Back2-School Giveaway, where 1,600 school bags filled with school
supplies will donated to children who need the school supplies. The bags are filled with notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, rulers, crayons and scissors.
“Islam teaches us that a person is not a true Muslim who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry, so these efforts an essential part of being a good Muslim,” the organization said in the statement. “Through the Back to School Giveaway, we hope to both help struggling families provide for their children and inspire the American Muslim community to partake in this commendable act.”
The giveaway locations are:
- ICNA Helping Hand Office at 11955 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77099 on Saturday, August 6, 2011, from 12-4pm
- ISGH Hamza Mosque at 6233 Tres Lagunas, Houston, TX 77083 on Saturday, August 6, 2011, from 12-4pm
- ASIA Center at 618 Barringer Lane, Webster, TX 77598 on Sunday, August 7, from 12-4pm
State Fair booth volunteers answer questions on Islam
The Sacramento Bee Jennifer Garza
July 19, 2011
Visitors to the California State Fair can find booths demonstrating everything from juicers to cleaning products. For the fourth year in a row, there is also a booth about Islam…
…”I think it will be as good as or better than last year,” said Shane Yoder, president of the Sacramento Chapter Islamic Circle of North America, which sponsored the WhyIslam? booth. Last year, the group handed out 2,500 Qurans at the fair.
“There’s definitely a lot of interest,” he said.
Spreading faith at the State Fair may seem unusual, but Yoder said the casual atmosphere and the diversity of people make it an easy place to talk about their religion.
“There are people who have a negative stereotype of us,” Yoder said. “This gives them a chance to talk about Islam one on one. It’s a casual atmosphere.”
Two Christian groups have now joined them at the fair. WhyIslam? sponsored its first booth in 2008. Amazing Grace Missions arrived in 2009 and William F. Smith in 2010, according to State Fair organizers.
The State Fair booth is only part of an effort in the Sacramento area to educate non-Muslims about the faith, said Yoder. ICNA, which focuses on outreach and education of Islam, is sponsoring a billboard campaign – 16 will appear in the region next month – coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan.
The group will also give 500 backpacks to needy children.
“Charity is an important part of our faith,” Yoder said.
He added that his faith does not proselytize but is seeking to educate others about Islam.
“Our goal is to build an interfaith dialogue and tolerance,” he said.
Visitors have been polite and Muslims have interesting talks with fairgoers of a variety of faiths, Yoder said. “Of course we have a handful of people who have been confrontational,” he said. “They are passionate about their beliefs.”
He said the volunteers will not argue with anyone…
He said the volunteers will not argue with anyone.
State Fair officials said they have had no complaints about the WhyIslam? booth.
“Our No. 1 concern is public safety for the fairgoers and the vendors,” said Mary Ann Costamagna, director of the media center for the fair. “I have heard that they have been wonderful to work with.”