Ingrid Mattson, ISNA’s new president, recently issued a letter to the tens of thousands of ISNA supporters. Here is the letter.
Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,
I pray that this letter finds you and your family enjoying all the blessings of Ramadan. These precious days pass quickly, so I urge you to benefit the most from them by increasing your prayer and Qurâ€™an recitation, and by reaching out in compassion and charity to all those in need.
In our activities, ISNA strives to achieve two major objectives: to provide a unifying platform for the diversity of Muslims in North America and to provide guidance and education on key issues affecting our communities. To this end, shortly after Ramadan, we will be inaugurating our new Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances (IOICA) in Washington, DC. From this office, we will be able to interact daily with other national religious organizations, like the National Council of Churches, as well as expand our partnerships with faith-based organizations and causes such as the Muslim-Christian Initiative on the Nuclear Weapons Danger (MCI) and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) â€” projects that can be adopted in your community to see actions that go beyond words. In addition to these partnerships, ISNA will become a greater presence in our nationâ€™s capitol as a voice for Muslims. This is not a political role, but one of representation. ISNA will meet with federal officials, as well as members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to share an accurate understanding of Islam and to increase awareness about how government policy affects Muslims.
At the same time, ISNA will be increasing our presence in local communities. The ISNA Leadership Development Center will be visiting several cities in upcoming months with the Leadership for Community Empowerment (LCE) program. LCE provides an intensive seminar focusing on a communityâ€™s particular needs such as communication, leadership development, conflict resolution, strategic planning and developing women-friendly mosques. ISNA Youth Programming and Services is organizing two much anticipated youth camps for spring and summer 2007. ISNA Vice-President Imam Magid, myself and other members of the Majlis as-Shura and area experts will be visiting mosques across the US and Canada.
In this season of giving, when our Prophet Muhammed, Godâ€™s peace and blessings be upon him, who was the model of generosity, was even more generous, we ask you to help us continue our work on behalf of North American Muslims. As a donor to ISNA, you are not only fulfilling your obligations of zakat, but purifying your wealth as well.
Inshaâ€™Allah, this year will be filled with growth and new initiatives. May Allah reward you for your continuing support of ISNA â€” your organization.
Sincerely, Ingrid Mattson, Ph.D.
President, Islamic Society of North America