ISNA to Educate their Attendees about the Political Process

ISNABy: Hyacinth Mascarenhas

With elections around the corner, attendees at North America’s largest Muslim conference will be asked to engage in the political process and take on the power of voting inspired under the theme “One nation under God” this Labor Day weekend.

Drawing more than 40,000 American and Canadian Muslims to the nation’s capital, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) will hold its 49th Annual Convention “to help facilitate the incorporation of Islamic principles in the pluralist society and reaffirm the existence of diversity that has historically always existed within Islam.”

“We want to empower the youth to vote and emphasize the importance of voting especially because of the wave of demonstrations and protests around the Muslim world to be able to vote and have a brighter future for their governments and countries,” ISNA’s marketing and registration coordinator Nida Habeeb said.

Developed around six topical areas called the “Objectives of Shari’ah” or “Maqasid Al-Shari’ah,” this year’s program will also deal with typical religious convention topics – religion, family, life, intellect, dignity and property.

Other special sessions on political involvement and community empowerment include “Forming a more perfect union” and “Empowering American Muslim Voters through Institution building.”

“ISNA’s conventions and conferences are rich with exciting and significant programs that add meaning to our gatherings,” said ISNA’s Director of Programs Mukhtar Ahmed. “These programs provide knowledge and awareness about issues that are important to Muslim community in North America.”

According to ‘Engaging American Muslims,’ a 2012 report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, voter registration and turnout has steadily increased over the past decade with more than 1.2 million Muslims registered to vote. Additionally, 86 percent of the population said that it is important for them to participate in politics – seven times as many as who said it is not important,” according to a MAPS survey in 2004.

“With a growing population, Muslim Americans present an opportunity for presidential candidates particularly in battleground states where no one candidate has overwhelming support – such as Florida, Michigan, Ohio and, increasingly, Virginia,” wrote Altaf Husain in a Daily Star article earlier this month.

A member of the board of trustees of ISNA, Husain also wrote that “if Muslim Americans can build upon their emerging civic engagement, they appear poised to constitute a formidable voting bloc during the November 2012 elections.”

Serving Muslims in North America for more than 40 years, ISNA has played a pivotal role in engaging and educating both Muslims and Non-Muslims within the continent. From speaking to the media on behalf of American Muslims to organizing and participating in interfaith initiatives to promote understanding and cooperation, ISNA continues to be a strong voice for the Muslim community in North America.

The 49th Annual ISNA Convention will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. from August 31 through September 3, 2012.


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