QUEENS, New York (February 18, 2013) –ICNA’s annual General Assembly meeting was held this year from January 26th -27th in Queens, NY. Members from all over the country gathered to review the work of ICNA and its entities. ICNA’s newly elected president Mr. Naeem Baig was sworn in for the term 2013-2014.
2012 proved to be a year of significant growth for the Islamic Circle of North America, as detailed in reports compiled by the national grassroots organization. Based on “ICNA Vision 2020,” a 10-year visionary plan for the growth of ICNA, the report covers progress made by branches of ICNA over the past four years. The report also discusses new initiatives undertaken by ICNA that align with the strategic goals of ICNA Vision 2020.
Highlights from “A Steady Growth of Fulfilling ICNA Vision 2020” include
• Increased Tarbiyah/educational initiatives: All branches of ICNA worked together to organize four leadership family retreats, which attracted about 1,500 individuals across the country. ICNA’s Islamic Learning Foundation also produced more classes, both on-site and online. 11 classes were held onsite in cities such as Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and San Antonio; over 1,300 people attended these lectures. 6 classes were held online, attracting less than 1,000 students.
• Increase in MGAs: Between 2009 and 2012 there was a net increase of 67 MGAs. The organization now has 455 MGAs and over 5,000 members.
• Better communication throughout ICNA: ICNA maintained better channels of communication at the national level and between national and local levels in 2012. The Central Shura met 17 times (14 phone conferences and three physical meetings), while the HQ/Secretariat met over 28 times (25+ phone conferences, three physical meetings). ICNA’s most attended General Assembly Meeting was held in Dallas in 2012, with 167 MGAs in attendance. The Central leadership also increased its trips, making 95 visits to 35 places in the past year alone. In addition, 6 issues of Working Together, ICNA’s newsletter on unit activities, were sent out to about 2,500 subscribers in 2012.
• Expanded Dawah activity: ICNA’s Dawah Department continued outreach through billboards, publications, Dawah booths, television ads and initiatives by WhyIslam, GainPeace and Message Magazine as well as individual ICNA chapters. Dawah in Spanish was a top priority last year; a successful Spanish language session was held at the ICNA Convention, an annual Spanish Dawah booth at the Cinqo de Mayo Festival was held in LA, and a Dawah team was established in Mexico City. The Dawah Department also collaborated with NHIEC at the 10th Annual Hispanic Muslim Day in NJ, marched for the 2nd year in a row at the Union City Hispanic Day Parade with Radio Islamico.
• Growth in Message Magazine: From 2009 to 2012, Message Magazine’s circulation numbers increased from 50,000 to approximately 200,000. The magazine’s content grew as well, with 50 writers producing nearly 80 articles for Message Magazine in 2012.
• Expansion of social services: ICNA Relief’s services covered health services and mobile clinics, women’s shelters, food pantries, the Mercy on Wheels project, the Back to School Giveaway, and disaster services. In 2012, ICNA Relief worked especially hard on disaster relief following Hurricane Sandy.
• Increased youth activity: ICNA and YM co-hosted several youth conferences nationwide, reaching about 15,000 people through these events. ICNA also organized two youth summits for brothers and sisters. The number of youth study circles and NeighborNets doubled, while YM’s social media presence also significantly increased in the past year.
• Increase in ICNA’s physical acquisitions/properties: ICNA purchased four new properties (Houston, Atlanta, New York City and Southern California), bringing the total amount of ICNA’s properties to 30. This number doubled in size from 2008, when ICNA had 15 physical properties across the United States. ICNA’s headquarters in Jamaica, NY was also renovated and expanded.
• Successful conventions and annual events: Over 15,000 people attended last year’s annual national convention, a three-fold increase since 2005. The convention and the parallel youth conference was also streamed online to 11,000 viewers.
• Growth in revenue: ICNA’s overall financial worth grew 3 times in the past four years.
ICNA launched various new initiatives in recent years to work towards the goals outlined in “ICNA 2020.”
• ICNA Council for Social Justice: The ICSJ established a permanent office in the nation’s capital and worked to develop a strong relationship with major civil rights, social justice, interfaith, Muslim and other political groups in DC. ICSJ also led the Campaign on Hunger and the Understanding Shariah campaign.
• ICNA Social Media and IT Dept.: ICNA developed its IT Department and focused on revamping its online presence on icna.org, social media platforms and through its eNewsletter. In 2012, 30 national eNewsletters were sent out to over 80,000 subscribers. The IT Department also worked to build better online presence for several ICNA entities and chapters. ICNA’s channel on YouTube crossed 2 Million views while its Facebook and Twitter profiles doubled in just the last year.
• Muslim Family Day: Approximately 42,000 people attended Muslim Family Day, which was was held in LA, the Bay Area, Dallas, New Jersey, Chicago, Atlanta, Maryland, Boston, Buffalo, and Albany in 2012.
• National Campaigns: ICNA launched the Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah campaign and worked with a PR firm to engage mainstream national media and gain coverage in outlets such as Reuters, CNN, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, PBS, and NPR. Two issues of Message Magazine and one issue of Noor Magazine were dedicated to the campaign; a national website and hotline were also launched for the campaign. Apart from this ICNA also launched the national campaign “Save family, Save Society” in 2009 and “United Against Hunger, Standing Up for Justice” in 2010.
Mr. Naeem Baig, said “Let us all build a bond of brotherhood and strengthen our relationships with one another. ICNA is committed to working together with all Muslim organizations and masajid. We do not represent any one ethnicity or follow any particular sect. We are an organization of American Muslims and we have made a commitment to work for the betterment of all people. I invite you to join ICNA and I assure you that, inshaAllah, you will not find yourself in the company of strangers.” Read the complete address here.