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Islamic Circle of North America

Islamic Circle of North America

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is a Muslim organization that evolved in the early 1980s from the earlier Circle of Friends. The ICNA's declared aim is to invite all people—Muslims and non-Muslims—to submit to the will of God by accepting him as the sole sovereign and by implementing his commandments in all spheres of life. Thus it is essentially a da'wah (missionary) organization. In presenting its message it seeks to make full use of modern communications technology: It employs multimedia resources to disseminate information about Islamic religion and culture. Aimed at general audiences, the audiovisual materials produced by it explain the teachings of Islam, present the Islamic viewpoint on issues affecting Islam and Muslims, and document major events involving Muslims in modern times. A variety of ICNA websites provide online information about Islam, and a toll-free telephonic service answers questions about Islam. ICNA is active in prisons, distributing Islamic literature among inmates and helping converts in the practice of their religion. It has mounted a series of relief efforts for Muslims in need, from Afghanistan to Bosnia. Its Muslim Alert Network closely monitors anti-Muslim activities and literature. But while it has a strong outreach program, it also emphasizes personal piety: Its members, who are expected to perform da'wah for at least a certain numbers of hours every week, are required to adhere strictly to the Islamic code of behavior in their personal life and public dealings.

The ICNA is deeply influenced by the work and writings of Abu'l A'la Mawdudi (d. 1979), the founder of the Jama'at-i Islami (Islamic Party) of Pakistan (and India), and is controlled mainly by Pakistanis. It is governed by a constitution and is run by elected officials. It is headquartered in Jamaica, New York.

See alsoIslam; Islamic Societyof North America; Journalism, Religious; Prisonand Religion; Publishing, Religious.


Barazangi, Nimat Hafiz. "Islamic Education in the United States and Canada: Conception and Practice of the Islamic Belief System." In The Muslims ofAmerica, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad. 1991.

Johnson, Steve A. "Political Activity of Muslims in America." In The Muslims of America, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad. 1991.

Mustansir Mir

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