National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Dinner with the Islamic Society of North America

 |  NCR Today

On Sunday evening, I was honored to attend, as an invitee, an interfaith banquet sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America. It was part of their larger national convention with the theme, "One Nation Under God, Striving for the Common Good."

You might recall the name of this organization, the largest Muslim organization in North America, because it has been an implicit target of attacks in July by Rep. Michele Bachmann and other right-wing critics who want to link it to the Muslim Brotherhood. Among those named as security risks by Bachmann and others was Imam Mohamed Magid, currently president of the Islamic society.

Imam Magid was present at the dinner, of course, and shared the stage with Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Cardinal Emeritus Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., and noted author and scholar of interfaith relations Karen Armstrong. They discussed issues of religious freedom as they are emerging around the globe. (The question of contraceptive coverage in the health care law was never mentioned. They talked about real threats to religious freedom, like Muslims and Christians killing each other in Nigeria.)

NCR-issue-christmas-icon.jpgGive a Christmas gift that lasts all year. Give the gift of NCR!

Interestingly, I learned that Muslim clerics from the United States who have been moved by the support they get from Jews and Christians when they are attacked in the U.S. have traveled to places like Egypt in an effort to protect the rights of Coptic Christians.
t
I became aware of the Islamic Society of North America several years ago, when I interviewed Dr. Ingrid Mattson, then the president of the society. Who knew that a woman was the elected leader of a prominent Muslim organization? Although her role was not clerical, her respected scholarship earned her a prominent leadership role in the American Muslim community.

It was an enlightening evening, showing that American Islam is developing and moving in a distinctly American way.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Christmas-Feature-Flag-300x100.jpg

NCR Email Alerts