• IONA Embraces the Resiliency Project Open or Close

    Press Release: January 15, 2017

    IONA Embraces the Resiliency Project

    The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) is one among many organizations that embraced the Resiliency Project initiated by the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC).

    A group of concerned citizens, leaders of organizations and activists united to discuss the Resiliency Project. The large group of participants from every sector of society felt the need to unite against the anticipated rise in hate crimes as well as policies and other actions the new administration may implement that may be unjust and unconstitutional. The result is the following commitment statement.

    Commenting on the project, Steve Mustapha Elturk, Imam and President of IONA stated, “We, at IONA, pledge to support the Resiliency Project with words and deeds.” When asked about collaborating with other organizations, he replied, “We have no choice but to come together and fight for our collective rights to freedom, equality and Justice. We, as people belonging to one human family, are obliged to stand together shoulder to shoulder in solidarity against all forms of hate, bigotry, prejudice and discrimination against any people, race or religion. This is our collective calling.”

    We encourage you to engage and be part of the movement. You can do so by first endorsing the project by clicking here and when called you will join hands in action to combat the obstacle of discrimination.

    We encourage our members and readers to be an active part of the movement. To endorse the statement please go to “Resiliency Project: Commitment Statement”[1] ,

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA Holds 2016 Annual Convention Open to the Public at Cobo Center Open or Close

    Press Release: November 22, 2016

    IONA Holds 2016 Annual Convention Open to the Public at Cobo Center, November 25-27

    imam mustapha at 12th ionaconDETROIT, November 22, 2016 – The Islamic Organization of North America is pleased to announce its 12th Annual IONA Convention “Living the Faith: The Struggle Continues - Confronting Challenges, Identifying Solutions.” The event will take place on Friday, November 25-27 in Detroit’s Cobo Center. The convention is open to the public, with lectures and workshops on many challenges which include Islamophobia, drugs, alcoholism, mental health issues among other challenges.

    Elaborating on the convention, Imam and President of IONA Steve Elturk shared, “Through our interactive approach, our esteemed speakers and experts will focus on the challenges our community faces through intimate workshops and speeches.” “Our aim is to bring together all sectors of the community including all races and ethnic backgrounds. We are excited to see the community engage in the biggest and most diverse gathering in Michigan at Cobo Center in the heart of Detroit,” concluded Imam Elturk.
    More than 30 speakers are scheduled to engage the attendees in a constructive way confronting challenges and identifying solutions. The convention is a family oriented event. Every member of the family from toddlers to youth to adults will enjoy the many programs designed for them.
    Ahmed Ismail, the Executive Director of the convention says, “We appreciate Cobo’s leadership and staff. They are very accommodating and cooperative. We also appreciate their understanding and being supportive of our cause.” He added, “We look forward to continue working together for the betterment of our community and city.”
    “We hope to see a good turn-out for this event in Cobo Center,” said Claude Molinari, general manager of Cobo Center. “The event brings a great deal of community outreach and organization to the downtown Detroit area at a time of year when it is needed.”

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    Contact: IONA Convention, Azer Colakovic, (586) 558-6900

    The IONA Convention website can be viewed via this link: ionaconvention.org.
    ____________________
    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • In the Wake of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Open or Close

    Press Release: November 10, 2016

    In the Wake of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

    Imam Mustapha Elturk, Ameer of the Islamic Organization of North America, delivered a message to the community regarding the outcome of the 2016 United States presidential election. You can view his message by clicking on the image or reading the message below.

    imam mustapha election
    Assalamu Alaikum WRWB,

    With every new challenge comes a new opportunity. Allah (SWT) said, “And it may be that you dislike a thing and it may (turn out to) be good for you. And it may be that you like a thing and it may (turn out to) be evil for you. Allah knows and you don’t know.” (al-Baqarah, 2:216)
    The Prophet (SAW) once said to Abdullah Ibn Abbass (RAA), “Young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. If you ask, ask of God. If you need help, seek it from God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so. The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’ ”
    This should be our attitude. No need to panic. Things will be alright, in sha Allah. As a matter of fact, the outcome of the elections has opened up opportunities for us Muslims which we would not have if Hillary had won. Mainly, opportunities of dawa, sharing our beautiful religion and message with others. As Allah (SWT) said in surah Fussilat “Repel evil with good, lest those whom you have enmity with become your close and intimate friend.”
    Yes, we need to be cautious, however, there is no need to panic. Be patient and persevere in doing the great work our Faith expects us to do and rest assured that God is with us. In Him alone we place our trust.

    Wassalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh!

    Mustapha Elturk

     

    End
    ____________________
    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • Seek the Welfare of the City Open or Close

    Press Release: September 28, 2016

    Seek the Welfare of the City

    Last night Imam Mustapha Elturk gave a heartfelt presentation to the collective clergy and community leaders from the Presbyterian Church of the greater South East Michigan area.

    The conference titled “Seek the Welfare of the City” was held at First Presbyterian of Birmingham. Many IONA community members also attended. Imam Elturk’s presentation focused on the obligations of charity and good deeds in Islam. He emphasized, “Faith is a personal matter, however, helping humanity, regardless of who they are, is a collective duty upon all people of conscious and faith traditions.” The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.

    The Presbyterian leaders welcomed their Muslim guests. They were cordial, warm and friendly. They were gracious enough to serve halal meals in consideration of Muslims’ diet. Our Muslim brothers and sisters sat at different tables in the fellowship hall where meals were served fostering personal relationships with the Presbyterian community. Many new friendships were formed and existing relationships strengthened with the several churches IONA has had interfaith activities with previously.

    Commenting on the event, Imam Elturk shared, “We appreciate the opportunity to speak at this event and share our teachings on the Islamic obligations toward the needy and the poor, we also appreciate the hospitality they have shown their Muslim neighbors.” He also added, “Under the present political climate more interfaith events like that are needed.”

    seekthewelfareofthecity

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • Orlando Shooting Open or Close

    Press Release: June 13, 2016

    IONA condemns the senseless killing in Orlando
     
    The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) condemns in the strongest terms the horrific tragedy and the senseless killing that left 50 people dead and 50 others wounded in Orlando. We extend our condolences to the families of the deceased and pray for the wounded.
     
    Such despicable acts are contrary to the teachings of Islam. Islam recognizes the sanctity and sacredness of human life. One may not harm or kill. The Quran emphatically stresses this point, “And do not take any human being’s life – (the life) which God has willed to be sacred – except through (due process of) law.” (17:33)
     
    Islam respects the dignity and worth of every human being in his or her own belief and endeavor in the pursuit of life and the truth.
     
    We stand by all people of conscience to mourn the death of the victims while we pray for the survivors and their families for quick healing and for peace.

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • Two High School Seniors Organize Anti-Islamophobia Rally Open or Close

     

    Press Release: January 17, 2016

    Two High School Seniors Organize an Anti-Islamophobia Rally

    anti islamophobiaOn Saturday, January 16, a group of activists organized by two high school seniors from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, marched from the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit to Campus Martius Park to welcome refugees to Michigan and to protest the hate, xenophobia and Islamophobia that has become more rampant in the media and from politicians.

    Vivien and Elly, both Chaldean/Arab American and Christian felt strongly about the recent rhetoric coming from Governor Snyder that the vetting process for refugees was not thorough enough and we should not accept any more. They wanted to have a rally and a march to make their voice heard that all refugees whether Christian or Muslim need to be taken in and welcomed. America should not stand for racism and hatred but for love and acceptance. Imam Mikail

    Members of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) joined the group and supported the cause. William Antoun, the IONA-Detroit Chapter Outreach Organizer said, “This was another great example of non-Muslims coming out and standing for human rights of others, especially Muslims.” When the group made it to Campus Martius Park, Vivien spoke and expressed her views. Imam Mikail Stewart also spoke and said, “America needs to be inclusive of all people since this is the nature of our multi-cultural society.” Several other activists spoke advancing the message of love, acceptance and inclusion.

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • Imam Elturk Speaks at Interfaith Open House in Ann Arbor Open or Close

    Press Release: December 21, 2015

    Imam Elturk Speaks at an Interfaith Open House in Ann Arbor

    imam elturkOn Sunday December 20, the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor hosted an open house interfaith gathering with many neighbors and residents from the area attending. In front of a packed prayer hall with hundreds of guests, three interfaith leaders and the mayor of Ann Arbor spoke. Rabbi Robert Dobrusin of Beth Israel Congregation began the program opening with words of support. Referencing the past persecution of minorities like the Jewish community, he pledged the support of his congregation to stand with the Muslim community not just in Ann Arbor but across the country. “We must stand together for peace. We know the pain of being looked at as the other.” Words of hatred, suspicion and exclusion are painful for everyone he said. His community rejects words of bigotry and division. 

    Reverend George Lambrides, the executive director of the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County, spoke after Rabbi Dobrusin. He shared what he termed the sacred interfaith principles. “Respect for and understanding other communities is crucial. Diversity has always been a bedrock principle of our country. Hospitality must overcome hostility.” He ended with the advice to reach out and be proactive, be in ourselves what we want to see in others.

    Ameer Mustapha Elturk followed the Reverend. He began by talking about unity and referencing the Holy Qur’an 49:13. He commented, “One thing that makes America great is that all of its people with the exception of the Native Americans are or have come from different places from around the world. The experience of the United States of America is very unique in the world because it contains almost literally everybody from the entire world and they’ve all come here in this great land, and if they share anything it is that we are all Americans! We all belong to this country. We must defend the inherent worth, honor and dignity of every person regardless of their skin color, ethnicity, or religion. We come together as a community to demonstrate how united we are.” The Ameer ended his talk by reading messages of support from religious heads of other church and faith organizations and denominations. audience picture

    Ann Arbor mayor Chris Taylor gave the last talk of the afternoon. He had a great message of support. He said, “The gathering that we have here today is a real testament to what we stand for as a community. It’s a testament to our fundamental devotion to pluralism. It is my hope and expectation that we here in Ann Arbor will continue to choose success over failure, that we will continue to choose strength over fear and that we will continue to choose unity over division.” Great words to end with. The communities continued the afternoon with food and socializing at the masjid.

    End.

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • 6th Annual Muslim-Christian Dialogue of the United States - "The Word" Open or Close

    group picture

    Sixth Annual Muslim-Christian Dialogue of the United States - "The Word"

    Press Release: April 26, 2015

    St Catherine University, St Paul, Minnesota, April 23-25, 2015

    By Imam Mustapha Elturk


    A group of Muslim and Christian clergy, religious scholars, and leaders from across the United States met at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota to discuss “The Word of God.” 
    The dialogue between Muslims and Christians began in 2010. The aim is to find common grounds and work together for the betterment of our communities, country, and ultimately, world.

    The conference was organized by the “Muslim-Christian Dialogue of the United States” founded by the co-chairs, Dr. Irfan Khan (Muslim) of Chicago, Director and Founder of the Association for Qur'anic Understanding (AQU) and Mr. Bonn Clayton of Minneapolis, leader of many interfaith and ecumenical groups locally, nationally, and worldwide. Dr. Irfan Khan and Prof. Bonn Clayton

    Other participants included Fr. Joseph Antypas of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Troy, Michigan, representing the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America; Mr. Kim Gustafson, Founder and CEO of Restore! International, Inc. and professor at the Master’s Institute Seminary, representing the National Association of Evangelicals; Imam Mustapha Elturk, Imam and President of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) headquartered in Warren, Michigan; Mr. Naeem Baig, President of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); Dr. Bob Brenneman, a Middle East specialist and Professor of Intercultural Studies & Languages at North Central University in Minneapolis, representing the Pentecostal tradition; Dr. David Penchansky, Professor at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, Department of Theology, representing the Catholic tradition; Dr. Michael Trice, Assistant Dean of Ecumenical & Interreligious Dialogue and Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics and Constructive Theology at Seattle University, representing the National Council of Churches; and Sheikh Abdur Rahman Khan, Chairman of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Shari'ah Council.

    This Conference commenced on Thursday, April 23, and concluded on Saturday, April 25. The participants spent the first two days deliberating on three papers presented by Mr. Kim Gustafson, “The Word of God in the Old and New Testaments,” followed by Sheikh Abdur Rahman, “The Word in Islam,” and Dr. Irfan Khan, “The Qur’anic Concept of Revealed Guidance in Divine Words.”

    The presentations generated an open and frank discussion. Mr. Gustafson explains in his paper the two guiding lines of evidence, Internal and External, for validating the inspiration of Scripture. He shared a couple of passages regarding the process of inspiration, “All Scripture is inspired by God…” (2 Timothy 3:16), and “…Men moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God.” (2 Peter, 1:20-21). He also discussed the three determining truths set forth by John in his Gospel concerning the Logos.

    Sheikh Abdur Rahman Khan in his paper explained that Islam is a continuation of the message received by previous prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, David, Moses and Jesus. He asserted, while citing verses from the Qur’an, that the Qur’an is from God and that it is His speech and that “Its spiritual message includes practical injunctions aimed at the general welfare of individuals, society, and the environment in which we live.” He also addressed the infallibility of God’s final message (the Qur’an), as well as the open challenge therein to produce the like of it.

    According to Dr. Khan, “The Divine guidance in the world of persons has two modes: 1) the revealed guidance and 2) innate guidance.” He further explains, “revealed guidance itself has two modes: a) the messengers of God receive the Divine Guidance in God’s own Words, and b) the messengers of God explain the Revealed Guidance in Divine Words in their own language and through their own practical example.”

     

    All three presenters supported their papers by citing the Holy Qur’an and Bible. The presentations generated healthy discussion that included praises and critiques. In the third and final day the group managed to converge around 16 points. They are,

    We agree that God reveals the Divine word and will in Scripture.
    Our Scriptures are the foundational instrument for our knowledge of God.
    Our Scriptures teach the Oneness of God.
    Our Scriptures proclaim that the Cosmos declares the Glory of God.
    Our Scriptures guide our relations with our fellow human beings and all of creation.
    Our Scriptures are the center of all theological discussion.
    Our Scriptures exercise authority over the life of the believer.
    A primary theme of our Scriptures is the guidance of humankind.
    Our Scriptures compel us to promote the good and to struggle against evil.
    We repudiate any use of Scriptures for the promotion of violence.
    We agree that any interpretation of our Scriptures requires an understanding of their historical context.
    Our Scriptures call us to love God and neighbor and therefore Muslims and Christians are called to develop trusting relationships with, and understanding of, one another.
    Our Scriptures call for us to promote and establish a just and peaceful society.
    While we have different concepts from our Scriptures, we both acknowledge that Jesus is considered as the Word of God.
    Our Scriptures teach the return of Jesus Christ.
    Our Scriptures attest to our accountability to God, which will affect our life in the hereafter.

    Next year’s conference will be hosted by Imam Elturk at IONA’s campus in Warren, Michigan. The theme is “Violence and Eschatology.”

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and Razan Open or Close

    Press Release: April 14, 2015

    IONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and Razan

    IONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA Participates in Food Drive to Honor Deah, Yusor, and RazanIONA participates in “Feed Their Legacy” national food drive to honor Deah, Yusor, and Razan, bright, young charitable Muslims who were killed by their neighbor in an apparent hate crime. Their effort at helping others in need is being carried on by others in their memory as a continuous charity. IONA along with many other mosques and community centers in Michigan collected food items to be distributed to needy families during this upcoming Ramadan. Zaman International in Inkster, Michigan will head the effort of distribution.
    Thousands of food items were collected and sorted by volunteers. A great effort showing Muslims’ charity toward others.

    End.

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

     

  • IONA Mourns the Killing of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya Open or Close

    Press Release: February 19, 2015

    IONA Mourns the Killing of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya 

    Tonight, Ameer Mustapha Elturk, Imam and President of IONA, joined a diverse group of clergy and community leaders offering condolences on his behalf and on behalf of the Imams Council as well as the Muslim community at large, on the killing of the twenty one Coptic Christians by the extremist group ISIS in Libya.

    Imam Elturk assured Father Mina Essak, the head priest of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Troy, MI, and the Egyptian Coptic community, that Muslims are in solidarity with them and that Muslims are committed to working with all people of conscience to fighting extremism, hatred, bigotry and violence.

    “As you know, there is a special place for Christians in Islam as the People of the Book. In no way do the actions of such misguided, so-called Muslims who commit atrocities such as beheading and burning people represent Islamic teachings,” Imam Elturk said, while addressing the audience at the vigil.

    He continued, “Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, allowed the Christians of Najran to worship in his mosque. Omar bin al-Khattab, the second successor to the Prophet Muhammad, refused to offer prayer in the Holy Sepulchre Christian church in Jerusalem when Patriarch Sophronius invited Omar to pray inside the church, for fear that the Muslims would turn it into a mosque. The early teachings and experiences reveal the true spirit of Islam.”

    Clergy from different faith traditions and denominations as well as community leaders shared their grief on the loss of the twenty one souls, echoing each other on the message of love and forgiveness taught by Jesus.

    Imam Elturk prayed for the families of the victims and for peace. He concluded his remarks by quoting the verse from the holy Qur’an, “To God we belong and to Him is our return.”

    End
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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

     

  • Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims Open or Close

    Press Release: February 15, 2015

    Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims

    IONA participated in an interfaith vigil for the three young Muslim students, Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, who were killed, execution style, in their apartment in Chapel Hill, NC, on February 10 in an apparent hate crime.

    The vigil was organized by the national Take on Hate campaign, the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) and CAIR-MI. The DeRoy auditorium at Wayne State campus was almost full with students and community members.

    Imam Almasmari from the Muslim Unity Center opened up the vigil with a recitation from the Holy Quran. Many leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Sikh community expressed their grief as they prayed for the victims and their families. The theme was mainly the need to organize and stand up against not just the wave of Islamophobia, but also injustices against blacks, Hispanics and all other minorities and immigrants.

    Press Release Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims 01Ameer Mustapha Elturk of IONA gave the concluding remarks and prayer. After expressing his sorrow and grief over what had happened to the young bright Muslim students at Chapel Hill, he shared a couple of verses from the Holy Quran that explain, “Good and evil are not equal. Repel evil with good, lest those whom you have enmity with become your intimate friend.” His message was clear, “If the ignorant people throw stones at you, you throw flowers back at them. If they spew hatred remarks at you, you say peace to them. We must be resilient. We must proud of our faith and where we came from.”

    He urged Muslims and all people of conscience to stand in solidarity against hate and bigotry while sending a strong message to Fox News and other biased media outlets that “Islam is not terrorism.”

    He urged his fellow Muslims to be patient and to endure these hardships as the Prophet (SAW) and the believers did when they were persecuted in Makkah simply because of their faith. “It’s a trial,” he reminded them. Imam Elturk concluded his remarks with a prayer asking God Almighty to reconcile and unite our hearts and to guide us towards the path of peace. He also prayed for the souls who have been victims of hate and bigotry to rest in peace.

    Press Release Interfaith Vigil Honors Chapel Hill Victims 02From left to right: Rashida Tlaib, former State Representative, Attorney Haaris Ahmed, President of CAIR-MI, Rabbi Dorit Edut from Detroit, Trilochan Singh representing the Sikh community, Father George Shalhoub from the Basilica of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Imam Syed Hassan Qazwini from the Islamic Center of America, Rev. Loren Scribner, from Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC), and Nancy Thayer from Christian Science and IFLC.

    End
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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA Honored for Peacebuilding by Warren’s Interfaith Community Open or Close

    Press Release: November 24, 2014

    IONA Honored for Peacebuilding by Warren’s Interfaith Community

    Yesterday (Sunday, November 23, 2014), the IONA community led by Ameer Mustapha Elturk, was honored at the 7th Annual Warren Area Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration, “Building a Rainbow of Hope”, organized by the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ) and hosted by Renaissance Unity Church. 

    The annual celebration brings the multi-religious and ethnic community of Warren together in giving thanks and recognizing accomplishments of people and organizations working together to build a more inclusive city. 

    IONA-Honored-for-Peacebuilding-by-Warrens-Interfaith-CommunityImam Elturk receives the Interfaith award from Dr. Paula DrewekIONA, through its leadership—which has been acknowledged as a true ambassador of peace for its community since the IONA Masjid and Learning Center was established in 2007—was recognized for its efforts in helping others and integrating the Muslim community into the greater community by being good neighbors. “As an ambassador of peace for IONA and Islam, Imam Elturk has focused on dialogue and outreach to neighbors and especially to the diverse religious groups in our Metropolitan Detroit region,” Dr. Paula Drewek, a retired college professor, said in her introductory remarks preceding Imam Elturk receiving the award.

    IONA was also recognized for fighting Islamophobia through educational and social programs. “Whether it be anti-Semitism, racism, nationalism, or Islamophobia, the resulting disease is the same: clinging to a false idea or memory rather than going forward and opening up to learn another’s reality,” Dr. Drewek remarked in her speech.

    Imam Elturk in his remarks—after thanking God almighty for the achievements IONA and the interfaith partners achieved—said, “We have made a lot of strides over the years in building an inclusive community.” “The Interfaith partners worked together tirelessly to make sure that the community understands what it means to be tolerant: to accept and to live together as one community,” Imam Elturk added.

    The city of Warren was also recognized for its amazing efforts in responding to and assisting residents after the major flood that took place in August. Mayor Fouts and Councilperson Kelly Colegio were both honored. IONA was part of the volunteer force and also a host site for FEMA representatives.

    The Police Athletic League was also recognized for its work with the youth and so was the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers for all of their astounding work in helping the elderly, handicapped, and homebound residents here in Macomb County.

     End

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    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan Open or Close

    Press Release: November 20, 2014

    IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan

    IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from AfghanistanIONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan

    On September 18, 2014, IONA was the host of a large delegation from Afghanistan sponsored by the State department through the International Visitors Council (IVC). The group, which included five high-ranking political, governmental, and religious figures, came together at IONA to learn about our community and the services we provide as well as our interfaith and governmental networking. Ameer Mustapha Elturk representing IONA,

     Rev. Dan Buttrey from the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC), and Mr. Dawood Zwink, the Executive Director of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC), shared their experiences in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and inter-communal dialogue.

    IONA was honored to be selected to share stories, experiences, and techniques that helped shape the city of Warren after facing fierce resistance from city residents and officials in 2006 while pursuing the establishment of IONA as a mosque and learning center. “Working with interfaith leaders and government officials is key to building an inclusive city,” explained Imam Elturk. He praised the American justice system as he explained the role of the Department of Justice during the conflict.

    Rev. Buttry, working in the field of conflict resolution, admitted how tough it could sometimes get. “The key to success is to remain resilient and not give up,” Rev. Buttry stressed. Mr. Zwink explained the MMCC’s mission in promoting both the Islamic and American values and the work MMCC does with civic engagement, charitable causes, and Jewish-Islamic relations among other activities.

    IONA succeeding International Delegations Afghanistan 11 20 2014 pic2IONA Hosts Succeeding International Delegations from Afghanistan

    It was a great meeting where everyone benefitted. It was so successful that IONA was again selected by request to be visited by a second delegation coming from a different region of Afghanistan.

    Yesterday (Wednesday, November 19), Mr. Malawi Ghulam Sarwar, Head of Heart Peace Council, Herat Province, and Mr. Fazel Karim Aymaq, High Peace Council Member, Kunduz Province, sponsored by the State Department through the IVC, visited IONA to learn more about the great benefits of religious freedom and education here in America and how IONA has integrated into the multi-religious fabric of this country.

    End

    ____________________
    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in Gaza Open or Close

    Press Release: July 13, 2014
    Protesters-rally-in-Detroit-against-violence-in-Gaza 7-13-14Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in GazaProtesters rally in Detroit against violence in Gaza
    Today (Sunday, July 13) at 1:00 pm activists from all over the metro Detroit area rallied in support for the people of Gaza/Palestine and for the residents of Detroit facing water shutoffs.
    The Freedom for Gaza Rally, From Detroit to Gaza started at the Max M. Fischer Music Hall in downtown where droves of multi-ethnic protestors took to the street chanting “Free Palestine!” and “No Hate No War”. Americans from all walks of life participated.
    Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in Gaza b 7-13-14 Protesters rally in Detroit against violence in GazaArabs/Palestinians, Muslims, Christians and Jewish groups were all present. The rally then marched up Woodward Ave to an open park at Warren Ave by Wayne State University where several speakers including Imam Dawud Walid from CAIR-MI and Rashida Tlaib, member of the Michigan House of Representative, called for the end of the military bombardment of Gaza that killed hundreds mostly civilians and children. They also spoke of the unjust shut off of water to over 100,000 homes in the city of Detroit for overdue utility bills. This collective punishment of 

    Detroiters is a joint injustice in Gaza where water, food and medicine have also been cut off. 

    The solidarity of Detroiters with Gaza was made clear overwhelmingly by the voices of the mass of protestors. IONA members including Ameer Mustapha were marching and participating throughout the rally. 

    End

     

       ____________________

    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA Denounces ISIS’ Declaration of Caliphate Open or Close

    Press Release: July 7, 2014

    IONA Denounces ISIS’ Declaration of Caliphate

    The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) condemns the barbaric and un-Islamic actions of the militant extremist terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Their actions of beheading people and desecrating shrines and houses of worship is repugnant to the teachings of the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Islam calls for the protection of monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques not their destruction.

    Top clerics, jurists and scholars from around the world have condemned ISIS’ aspirations of Islamic Caliphate as illegitimate and that their actions are criminal. In their recent statement concerning the declaration of a “caliphate” by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIS), the International Union of Muslim Scholars led by Sh. Yusuf al-Qaradawi said that the caliphate declaration is “null and void” and “lacks any realistic or legitimate standards.” “Linking the concept of caliphate to an organization known to be extremist does not serve Islam,” the scholars said.

    IONA agrees with Sh. Yusuf al-Qaradawi who stated that the declaration of an Islamic caliphate by the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) violates sharia law.

    We caution our brothers and sisters especially the youth from being brainwashed and falling prey to ISIS’ misleading propaganda through the internet or any social media outlet in an attempt to recruit fighters from the US.

    End

    ____________________
    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA Supports the Take on Hate Campaign Open or Close

    Press Release: June 23, 2014

    IONA Supports the Take on Hate Campaign
    Detroit, MI - Ameer Mustapha Elturk, Imam and president of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) and IONA’s assistant outreach director William Antoun attended the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) press conference to announce the local launch of The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE. The press conference was hosted by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, at the historic Cadillac Place building in Detroit.
    TAKE ON HATE is a campaign that challenges the current cultural acceptability of discrimination towards Arab and Muslim Americans. The NNAAC, a project of ACCESS, campaign is supported by many civil rights organizations. The campaign aims to achieve meaningful social change, not only through public education, media and coalition building, but also by providing a platform for Arab and Muslim Americans to speak up and inspire real policy change that challenges institutional discrimination and protects the rights of all communities. “It’s time to confront the ‘acceptable bigotry’ toward Arab and Muslim Americans. Judgment, profiling, slandering, making jokes-no matter how it’s delivered, it’s still hate. It’s still happening. It’s still wrong,” “TAKE ON HATE moves us closer to being a nation that upholds dignity and equality for all-regardless of national origin, ethnicity or religion” said Nadia Tonova, director of NNAAC.
    The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) fully supports the initiative and is committed to working with the local organizers on this very important campaign. “Hate is a vice and is evil. Love is a virtue and is good. We shall confront evil with good and hate with love. ‘Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel evil with good lest your enemy may become a good friend’ (Qur’an, 41:34)”, said Imam Elturk.
    To learn more about the press conference please follow the link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdEIAQE3vjg
    End

    ____________________
    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA’s Community Service Award Ceremony Open or Close

    Press Release: May 26, 2014

    IONA’s Community Service Award Ceremony

    On Saturday, May 24, 2014, the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) held a Community Service Award Ceremony, honoring two companies and three individuals for their volunteer work. State Senator Steven Bieda and Mayor James Fouts from Warren attended as honorary guests. The ceremony commenced with a verse from the Qur’an (chapter 3:177) that highlighted righteousness and its relationship with serving the community.

    Steve Mustapha Elturk, Imam and President of IONA, gave a brief presentation on IONA and its activities. “IONA has grown from 200 families to nearly 1000 families since IONA established its first Mosque and Learning Center in the city of Warren in May of 2007,” Imam Elturk stated. He further explained, “The principle by which we live is verse 13 from chapter 49, ‘O mankind, We created you from a single male and female (Adam and Eve), and made you into nations and tribes so you may know one another.’” He also said, “We don’t simply tolerate people of other faiths, we accept them, we are brothers and sisters in humanity.” IONA has consistently been assisting and meeting the needs of the community (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) through its outreach and community service programs.

    James Fouts, the Mayor of Warren, in his speech said, “I commend Imam Elturk who is a tireless worker for the organization and a strong advocate for human rights and fairness in this community…you are letting the people of Warren and in the United States know that Muslims are no different than anyone else.”

    In acknowledging the efforts and hard labor bringing the community together, Mayor Fouts quoted the resolution that was unanimously passed by Warren City Council in 2010, ‘Re-affirming the American Core Values of Freedom Equality and Justice.’ He quoted, “WHEREAS, the City of Warren is united in speaking out against any expression of prejudice, intimidation, hate, or violence that is aimed at hurting or excluding an individual, a family, or a group of people because of who they are. We are committed to nonviolent solutions to human suffering and injustice, and join together to work for economic well-being and social justice for all.”

    The Mayor welcomes with open arms the hundreds of new families that moved to the city of Warren and recognized the many free programs IONA offers all residents of Warren, including assisting neighbors in need and the bi-weekly free medical clinic. The Mayor ended his speech by saying, “Let’s keep building the bridges of understanding so that any fears or comments made toward one group or another will be permanently eliminated.”

    Senator Bieda in his brief remarks acknowledged those who serve our country, who have come from different ethnic backgrounds and faith traditions including Christians, Jews and Muslims. He admires the diversity of our country. “The diversity makes us stronger,” he affirmed. Inspired by the saying of Muhammad (peace be upon him) which was the theme of the ceremony, “The best of people are those who are beneficial to others,” Senator Bieda was reminded of John F. Kennedy’s quote from his inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” He acknowledged, “…the folks we are honoring here today… gave to the community, they participated and made life better for everybody else… this is a very high calling for somebody to become involved.”

    The Senator commended the Mayor for his support in response to the controversy over the mosque. He called Imam Elturk a friend and said that it was his honor to invite him to the State Capitol where he recently gave a wonderful invocation to the State Senate during Muslim Day at the State Capitol (May 13, 2014). Senator Bieda thanked the volunteers for being part of the community and for working with others to help build a better community, city, state and better country.

    iona-community-service-award-ceremonyThe awards were then presented by the Senator and Mayor to Mr. Terry Hamilton, President of St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, for their support in providing staff and lab work to the annual IONA Free Medical Clinic open to the public, Mr. Mansoor Ahmad from Dazzle printing who supported IONA’s printing needs free of charge, Dr. Taufiq Ahmad Khan for giving back to the community free medical checkups, and Dr. Sirajul Haq for the bi-weekly free medical clinic at IONA. The last award went to Mr. Jamshed Malik for his IT support to IONA.

    Imam Elturk explained that in the Islamic tradition Muslims don’t usually like to be recognized since the work they do is for the pleasure of God, however, Imam Elturk recalled the saying of Prophet Muhammad, “Whoever does not thank people has not thanked God.” The awards were simply a token of appreciation.

    The event was well attended. Members from many chapters of IONA as well as other guests including Karen Smith, the Executive Director for Leadership Macomb and her husband were among the attendees.

    End

    ____________________
    IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.

  • IONA, part of Abrahamic Faith Lecture Open or Close

     

    Abrahamic Faith LecturePRESS RELEASE:March 14, 2013

    IONA, part of Abrahamic Faith Lecture

    On Tuesday night, March 12, St. Fabian Catholic Church in Farmington Hills hosted an interfaith event to discuss and compare the three major Abrahamic faith traditions. Imam Mustapha Elturk from the Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, spoke on Islam. The parish priest Father Jeffrey Day represented Christianity and reform Rabbi Michael Moskowitz from Temple Shir Shalom was there for Judaism.
    The evening started at just before 7 pm with Celia St. Charles from St. Fabian coordinating the speakers and setting up the power point for the lectures. Each speaker spoke from his faith tradition covering seven categories. The first category was Scripture. Rabbi Moskowitz, representing Judaism, the oldest of the Abrahamic tradition, went first. He explained the nature of the writing of the Torah and the Talmud. Fr. Day then spoke on when and how the New Testament was recorded and the differences Christian sects had regarding the bible. He also spoke about the history of changes in the Bible and how the Church changed its stance on Jews and Muslims in the 20th century. Imam Elturk gave a thorough talk on the final divine revelation (the Qur’an) the prophet Muhammad (SAW) received and how it was maintained orally. Modes of worship followed with Rabbi Moskowitz leading. This pattern continued with the categories of afterlife and Mary. Imam Elturk quoted the Quran to explain Mary (AS) who is mentioned often and with an entire chapter named after her. Fr. Day and Imam Elturk presented the views of Christianity and Islam on Jesus and the Trinity. Fr. Day articulated what makes Catholic doctrine different from other sects. According to the Catholics, Jesus is perceived to be divine and is one part of the trinity that makes God. Imam Elturk, again using the Qur’an, explained the Muslims’ beliefs regarding Jesus (AS) and the trinity. He quoted the verses that explain the position of Jesus as a messenger of God and that God is one and alone. He neither begets, nor is He begotten. There was a very friendly atmosphere in the room. The three speakers have known each other from interfaith circles. The audience was entertained by their humor and humbled by their humility. The last category was forgiveness. Rabbi Moskowitz led the discussion giving the Judaic tradition of asking for forgiveness through many of their holiday celebrations particularly Yom Kippur. Fr. Day and Imam Elturk shared their faith perspectives on the subject. The event was concluded with questions and answers.Abrahamic Faith Lecture2

    More than 300 people attended the event. A group from the Muslim community attended to learn and interact with others. Qur’ans in English and IONA literature were made available for free to the audience. They disappeared within the first 20 minutes of the event. St. Fabian had also graciously laid out a nice table spread which made the evening even more welcoming.

     

    END

    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for Justice.
    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • IONA Attends Warren City Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting and Exercises Right To Free Speech and Protest Open or Close


    PRESS RELEASE: March 14, 2013

    IONA Attends Warren City Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting and Exercises Right To Free Speech and Protest

    On Wednesday night, March 13, the Zoning Board of Appeals in the city of Warren held a public hearing meeting with a large agenda. The room was packed with residents where the majority of them came to protest the request for a variance in order to allow a former strip club called Jon Jon’s to re-open.
    Imam Mustapha Elturk along with members of the IONA community attended the public hearing. More than a dozen pastors from different churches and community leaders were present to speak out against such a negative and immoral business seeking permission to operate in our community. Imam Elturk presented and read a letter to the zoning board on behalf of the IONA Muslim community of Warren. Attached is a copy of the letter.
    The voices and concerns of the residents were heard and recognized. The zoning board unanimously denied the request for variance on grounds of non-compliance with zoning requirements.

    We thank Allah (SWT) for giving us the strength to exercise our religious and civic duty of promoting what is right and forbidding evil while keeping our neighborhoods and community safe from this kind of business.

    END
    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for Justice.
    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Click here to read the letter of protest against Jon Jon to the Zoning Board of Apeals

  • Imams Condemn Terrorist Attack at Boston Marathon Open or Close

    Ameer Mustapha, along with the Imams in the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) have jointly issued a Press Release on the occasion of the Boston Marathon Attack. Please Read.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Imams Condemn Terrorist Attack at Boston Marathon

    (Royal Oak, MI, 04/17/13) – On behalf of the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC), we offer our condolences to the family of victims who lost their lives in the unfortunate tragedy in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013. We express our sadness and sorrow for the loss of our fellow innocent citizens. Our prayers and thoughts are with their families and with those who were injured and the people of Boston. We condemn in the strongest terms such acts of terrorism that take the lives of innocent people. This evil act is detested by all faiths and all people. We turn to God for solace and help.
    The perpetrators (extremists) with their perverted ideologies will not succeed in dividing our nation. As Americans, we stand in solidarity with all communities and men of conscience undivided against all acts of terrorism and ideologies that promote such heinous acts.
    May God almighty help heal the wounds of the injured and grant patience to the families who lost their loved ones and fill the hearts of Bostonians and the American people with peace.
    End                

    Imam Mohammad Elahi                  Imam Mustapha Elturk
    Co-Chair Imams Council,                Co-Chair Imams Council,
    Islamic House of Wisdom               Islamic Organization of North America

    The Imams Council of MMCC represents a coalition of Muslim religious leaders (imams) in the Metro-Detroit area.
    CONTACT: MMCC’s Imams Council Co-chairs, Imam Elahi, (313) 655-3215 or Imam Elturk, (248) 210-4156.

    View PDF

  • Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: March 7, 2013

    Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA

    On Wednesday March 6, a delegation from the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan visited IONA to learn about conflict resolution Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA 01and community relations. Their visit to the US (March 1 –March 9)  was part of The Open World Program which is a non partisan initiative funded by the United States Congress to build mutual understanding between emerging leaders of participating countries and their U.S. counterparts.

    Reverends Dan Buttry and Barbara Clevenger from the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC) joined Ameer Mustapha Elturk from IONA who is also the treasurer of IFLC in welcoming the delegation. The delegation was led by Judy Kebl from the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit. Its members were Mr. Kanatbek Abdyraimov, Mr. Denis Vladimirovi ch Pyshkin and Ms. Gulnaz Isayeva who’s titles are Inspector for the State Commission on Religious Issues. The delegation had nongovernmental members also. Ms. Gulmira Khalmatova, a teacher at an Islamic school, a village Imam Mr. Kayymbek Zheenbayev, and Mr. Ulan Shabynov who is a Youth Program Director and an Open World Facilitator. Samir from Chicago was one of the translators. Only 2 members of the delegation spoke English. We were later joined by other IONA members, Ali Al-Katib (Treasurer), Waheed Rashid (General Secretary), Dr. Munawar Haque (staff researcher, editor, and writer), and William Antoun (Assistant Outreach Director).

    The delegation talked about the ethnic clashes in 2010 between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks and the fallout from these that still exist. The government wasDelegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA 02 criticized by outside observers as not doing enough to quell the tensions that still exists between these two ethnic groups. Their task was to learn how these issues are dealt with in other countries so that the Kyrgyz government can better address them in the future. They also asked questions about Islam and how Muslims function in America especially with a diverse ethnic community like IONA’s. Ameer Mustapha articulated the challenges he overcame to establish the masjid and to bring and maintain the different immigrant Muslim groups as well as the indigenous Muslims. Rev. Buttry, who travels and had been to Kyrgyzstan, shared his mission of conflict resolution among ethnic and religious groups. Rev. Clevenger shared the challenges the interfaith community faces. She shared the quick response and unity that came in the wake of Pastor Terry Jones who wanted to burn the Qur’an.

    There was a discussion on the growing number of people accepting Islam not just in America and the West but surprisingly in the East also. Muslims in the former Soviet countries are re-learning their faith, Islam. Denis, a member of the delegation, was ethnically Russian had been raised Orthodox Christian and after accepting Islam his parents followed his path and embraced Islam.

    Delegation from Kyrgyzstan visits IONA 03

    Everyone enjoined a great lunch of Lebanese food from a local restaurant and our guests were quite pleased. They left with a better understanding of Islam in America and how to deal with diversity issues.

    END

    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for Justice.
    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • IONA Condemns the Killing of Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan Without Due Process of Law Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: September  30, 2011

    IONA Condemns the Killing of Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan Without Due Process of Law

    DETROIT, MI – The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) joins other people of conscience in condemning the assassination of two U.S. citizens, Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. We believe the assassinations carried out by our government and approved by our president is in violation of the fifth amendment that states, “No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…” Neither Al-Awlaki nor Khan were tried or charged with any crime.

    IONA in no way shape or form agrees with Al-Awlaki or Khan’s militant views and ideology of violence. Samir Khan, who at one time was a member of IONA, was eager to learn about and live Islam; sincere and devoted to his faith. Shortly after the events of 9/11, Khan started to develop extremist, rash, and militant views. After numerous failed attempts to rehabilitate him and bring him back to mainstream Islam, IONA expelled him from the organization in 2006 and he was barred from attending any meeting and gathering. He isolated himself from his family and the Muslim community and ultimately found himself in Yemen where he met his fate.

    The recent precedent of target killing and assassinating individuals our government deems “terrorists,” without due process of law is detrimental for our country and the very principles on which this country was built. Timothy McVeigh was captured, charged, and enjoyed the full process of the law before he was executed. As U.S. citizens, the aforementioned deceased should enjoy the same rights as McVeigh.

    The policy the Obama administration has elected to continue of a post-9/11 Bush administration policy that authorizes the CIA and military to kill U.S. citizens outside the country is a clear step in the wrong direction. America is steadily swerving away from the very principles of justice and due process of law that once made this country unrivaled. As deputy legal director for the ACLU Jameel Jaffer pointed out, “The targeted killing program violates both U.S. and international law... this is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process, and on the basis of standards and evidence that are kept secret not just from the public but from the courts.”

    Finally, we feel deeply saddened and disheartened, for these acts leave no bright future for America, the great country it once was. We pray for the deceased and their families.

    See: ACLU Statement on Killing of Anwar Al-Aulaqi 

    END

    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for justice.

    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • IONA Commemorates 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Warren Civic Center Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: September 12, 2011

    IONA Commemorates 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Warren Civic Center

    On September 11, 2011, IONA’s Ameer, Imam Mustapha Elturk, stood alongside Warren Mayor James R. Fouts and Rev. Michail Curro (Executive
    Director of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ)), along with several local police and fire department officials to commemorate
    the 10th anniversary of the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001. The gathering of about 1,000 people at the Warren Civic
    Center drew a diverse crowd of Christian and Muslim families, including members of the IONA community.

    Imam Mustapha Elturk, who is also the President of the Board of ICRJ, came forth to represent the Muslim community despite facing opposition
    before the event by some who argued that the gathering should only be for Christians. ICRJ and the City of Warren’s office upheld the
    positive inclusion of Muslims in the community and went ahead to host the event as planned.

    The leaders called upon the diverse crowd to unite in solidarity for their common core values of freedom, equality, and justice. Mayor Fouts
    said, “We must always protect our freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” and that “the equal treatment of all people regardless of race,
    creed, or ethnic background is what America is all about, and we should never ever forget that.”

    Taking note of the resultant ‘Islamophobia’ following 9/11, he reminded the audience that Muslims had also lost their lives on that day; and
    that only those Muslims should be condemned who “betray their religious beliefs with acts of terrorism.” “We cannot condemn all Muslims,” he
    asserted. Imam Mustapha Elturk mentioned the names of some of the Muslim first responders on 9/11, which included Mohammed Salman, Rudina
    Ramadan, and Kevin James. Quoting verse 49 of chapter 13 from the Qur’an, Imam Elturk emphasized its teaching that all men belong to one
    race, and all racial or cultural differences are a cause for mutual discourse, not distrust. “In the end it is all about equality and
    fraternity,” he said.

    Rev. Curro echoed their statements, “We will not see lasting peace until we recognize our common humanity and truly believe that we are all
    brothers and sisters.” While acknowledging the countless individuals who suffered and those who continue to suffer as a result of 9/11, he
    also noted the importance of taking a positive step forth, “It takes spiritual resolve and strength to move forward in hope and not to get
    stuck in the past, focus on the loss, remain angry about the event, or become bitter regarding what happened.”

    The leaders praised the courageous efforts of the first responders on 9/11, including Warren’s very own police force and firefighters, many
    of whom were present at the gathering and honored for their roles.

    The afternoon event included recitals of hymns, prayers, and anthems led by local groups, including the Warren Community Chorus, the teenage
    participants of ICRJ’s 2011 “Listen, Learn, & Live Summer Camp,” and music by the Warren Mott High School Marching Band.

    The event was a reminder for all participants of their shared loyalty towards the nation and respect for all of its citizens. It was a call
    for coming together to honor shared goals and values and to realize the common adversities faced by all. “We as people of conscience, who
    cherish our diversity, have a moral obligation and resolution to live as one family, working together to combat evil through peaceful means,”
    affirmed Imam Mustapha Elturk. “It is time we roll up our sleeves and get to work. Let us build a better future for our children and those to
    come."

    END

    Watch Video: {module 9/11 10th Anniversary}

    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for justice.

    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Celebrating the Resolution Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: September 21, 2010

    Celebrating the “Re-affirming of the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality, and Justice” Resolution

    A special event was held on Monday evening, September 20, at 6 p.m., at the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) to celebrate the recently unanimously passed (June 22) resolution, “Re-Affirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality, and Justice,” by Warren’s City Council.

    The celebration was attended by the City of Warren Mayor James R. Fouts, several City Council members, and religious and community leaders from the Christian and Muslim faiths. It was hosted by Imam Mustapha Elturk at IONA. It included a lamb dinner and an opportunity to get together to celebrate this very important statement from and for the City of Warren.  Imam Elturk presented his bitter-sweet experience in the city of Warren and the historical background of how the covenant effort was started. He remarked, “Fear built on ignorance is man’s greatest enemy.” Imam Elturk elaborated on how the efforts to remove fear through education led to the passing of the resolution that gained support from faith and community leaders and endorsement by the mayor.

    The mayor spoke about his efforts for making Warren an inclusive city, a city for all people of all faiths. He also informed the audience about the numerous e-mails and letters sent to him objecting to the Ramadandisplay in Warren’s city hall. He defended the constitution and the first amendment right of freedom of all religions.

    Rev. Roger Facione from the Mt. Calvery Luthern Church, Fr. Gary Schulte of St. Sylvester Parish, and Rev. Michail Curro of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ), who were among the core group behind the  resolution, also spoke about their efforts supporting the common good of all people. Rev. Curro gave a brief presentation on the ICRJ’s recent inaugural Listen, Learn, & Live Youth Summer Camp for teenagers hosted by Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Warren, and the Mosaic quilt put together by the participating teenagers (4 African American, 4 Chaldean, 5 European American, 3 Filipino, 5 Hispanic, 2Hmong, 1 Indian, and 7 Muslim teens), many of whom will also be involved in the planning of the 3rd Annual Warren Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration.

    The lamb dinner was enjoyed by all in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. All attendees signed the resolution poster that was displayed during the event.

    END

    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for justice.

    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Re-affirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality and Justice Open or Close

    Press Release: June 23, 2010

    History made in the City of Warren
    “Re-affirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality, and Justice”

    Last night was a historic night for the City of Warren. The city council unanimously passed a resolution on “Re-affirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality and Justice.” A document initiated by four clergy.

    Almost two years ago (June 26, 2008) and after months in the making, Imam Steve Elturk of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA), Father Gary Shulte of St. Sylvester Church, Rev. Roger Facione of Calvary Lutheran Church, and Rev. Michael Curro of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ) drafted and signed the “Interfaith Covenant for Freedom, Equality and Justice” vowing to protect against prejudice and discrimination in our communities. IONA was among many victims in the city of Warren as a result of bigotry, intolerance, and injustice.

    The four clergy worked diligently to promote the document among religious and community leaders. With their support and in order to promote the document in schools, businesses, city, and other institutions, the Interfaith Covenant was re-drafted to become the “Community Covenant for Freedom, Equality, and Justice” with the hope to be embraced by all.

    The document finally made its way to Warren’s Mayor, Mr. James Fouts. Mr. Fouts, among other city leaders (CPC, Church-Police-City), embraced the document, with some suggestions and recommendations.
    Those recommendations were adopted, resulting in a document entitled, “Re-affirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality, and Justice,” to be introduced to the city council and adopted as a resolution.
    After addressing the concerns of some city council members expressed in April, 2010, the council passed the resolution, “Re-affirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality, and Justice,” on June 25, 2010. Indeed, this made history in a city known, nationwide, for its unfair treatment of people of other races, colors, and religious/ethnic backgrounds.

    Rev. Curro, the main author of the original document, said in a statement, “It is the hope of all those involved that a “new” Warren emerge that embraces its growing diversity and celebrates this as a strength to build upon rather than a problem to escape.” He also said, “…it is also hoped that the document becomes part of the educational curriculum to be taught.” Rev. Curro is the Executive Director of ICRJ. 

    The clergy responsible for the document hope that it will be much more than a museum piece to be read and appreciated, becoming a “living” document that influences all. They also desire that the resolution be prominently displayed in the Warren City Center and at all public buildings within Warren. Additionally, it is hoped to introduce, teach, and promote the resolution in our houses of worship, schools, businesses, city, police, fire, and other institutions.

    Commenting on this historic moment, Imam Steve Elturk of IONA said, “That’s not to say that everything is going to change overnight with the passing of the Reaffirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality, and Justice resolution. Actually, the work has just begun, and we have a lot of challenges ahead of us to make this great document a living document.”

    It is only through upholding such values and principles as freedom, equality, and justice that can shape and build strong communities. We pray that this bold action shapes both the present and future for Warren as the city further develops, changes, and grows.

    Below is the complete text of the resolution.

    “Re-affirming the American Core Values of Freedom, Equality and Justice”

    WHEREAS, as people of the diverse community of the city of Warren, Michigan, we offer this statement in support of freedom, equality and justice, and together we share a commitment to the well-being of every person in our community, and WHEREAS, the City of Warren believes, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, that all people are created equal and we champion the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We assert that ultimately all people of the world belong to ONE HUMAN RACE. And we declare that the diversity of our world is a gift to be celebrated, honored, and protected, and WHEREAS, the City of Warren believes that all deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential and that all should have equal opportunity for access to education, health care, housing, and employment. We also believe that it is not only our civic but also our moral responsibility to protect the right of all people to live, work, go to school, and worship freely within our cities without the threat of discrimination or harm as a result. And we pledge to work cooperatively in order to foster peace and build harmony, and WHEREAS, the City of Warren is united in speaking out against any expression of prejudice, intimidation, hate, or violence that is aimed at hurting or excluding an individual, a family, or a group of people because of who they are. We are committed to nonviolent solutions to human suffering and injustice, and join together to work for economic well-being and social justice for all, and WHEREAS, let it be declared that the City of Warren believes that freedom, equality, and justice are the core values of our City which need to be proclaimed, taught, and practiced in our homes, schools, and in daily lives for the health and quality of our community, and ultimately, our world.
    NOW, THEREFORE, let it be resolved that the City of Warren City Council: Stands together in support of freedom, equality and justice, and to speak out against prejudice, discrimination, and violence; works together for the betterment of our entire community; promotes nonviolence, justice, and respect for all; supports all local governments, police, schools, businesses, congregations, and non-profit organizations’ efforts to protect the rights of all people; and supports the idea of community events to build bridges of understanding, relationships, and trust among people of different cultures and faith traditions.

    End

    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Renowned Islamic Scholar and Thinker, Dr. Israr Ahmed, Passed Away Open or Close

    Press Release: (Updated) April 15, 2010

    Renowned Islamic Scholar and Thinker, Dr. Israr Ahmed, Passed Away

    An esteemed and well respected Islamic scholar and thinker of our time, Dr. Israr Ahmed returns to his Lord, “Inna lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raj’oon,” to Allah we belong and to Him is our return.

    Dr. Israr Ahmed (may Allah bless his soul) passed away in the early morning hours on Wednesday, April 14th (Pakistan time) at home in Model Town, Lahore, Pakistan. He has left behind 5 daughters and 4 sons all living in Lahore, Pakistan.

    Dr. Israr’s contribution to the ummah is immeasurable.  Through his hard work, dedication, and commitment in conveying the message of the Qur’an to the masses, he touched many hearts and influenced thousands of lives across the globe. His passion to learn and teach the Qur’an was unsurpassed. Shortly after graduating from King Edward Medical College in Lahore in 1954 as a Medical Doctor, he discovered that his mission in life was meant to help and save people (by the grace of Allah) from eternal doom in the next life. He switched careers and made learning and teaching the Qur’an his life time endeavor. He earned a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies from Karachi University in 1965.

    He was influenced by the writings of Abul Ala Maududi as a young student. He was the chief organizer for the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba and became an active member of Jamaati-e-Islami for years.

    Dr. Israr Ahmed came under the influence of such luminaries as Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Dr. Muhammad Rafi Al-Din, Abul Kalam Azad, Abul A’la Maududi, Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani, Hamid Al-Din Farahi, and Amin Ahsan Islahi.

    Dr. Israr developed a coherent Qur’anic thought which enabled him to articulate, promote, and advocate the concept of Islam. Islam is not just a religion in the ordinary sense of the word. Islam is a Deen (a way of life), which has both a private and a public dimension.

    In 1967 Dr. Israr, in his treatise on Islamic Renaissance: The Real Task Ahead, tried to present, to the best of his ability and comprehension, an in-depth analysis of the current religious and cultural attitude of Muslims all over the world. He offered a program as an answer to the ailments of the Islamic movements. In response to this study, he founded, Anjuman Khuddam Al-Qur’an (Central Society of the Servants of Al-Qur’an) in 1971 for the propagation of Qur’anic Wisdom followed by Tanzeem-e-Islami (Islamic Organization) in 1975 for organizing a collective struggle in the way of Allah with the aim of establishing Islam as a Deen on the basis of personal Bay’ah.

    He authored over 60 books and to his credit he has hundreds of audio and video lectures and sermons in Urdu and English that may be found on the internet.

    He left the ummah with a wealth of knowledge, may Allah (SWT) reward him on our behalf the best of rewards. Ameen. Dr. Israr left his fingerprints to witness for him. We ask Allah (SWT) to place him in the company of the prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs, and the righteous ones, Ameen.  And may Allah (SWT) grant his family patience and serenity, Ameen.

    Dr. Israr Ahmed will be missed.

    A funeral prayer in absence of the deceased is organized to commence after salatul-Jumuah on Friday, April, 16, 2010 at the Islamic Organization of North America at 2:15 PM following the Friday prayer.

    END

    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for justice.

    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Interfaith Covenant for Freedom, Equality and Justice Open or Close

    Press Release:June 27, 2008

    Interfaith Covenant for Freedom, Equality and Justice

    Religious leaders from various faith communities met Thursday, June 26, 2008 to sign an interfaith covenant for freedom, equality and justice.

    After months in the making, Imam Steve Elturk of the Islamic Organization of North America, Father Gary Shulte of St. Sylvester Church, Rev. Roger Facione of Calvary Lutheran Church, and Rev. Michael Curro of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ) signed the “Interfaith covenant for Freedom, Equality, and Justice” document vowing to work together to ward off prejudice and discrimination in our communities with the help and support of clergy and civic leaders through educational and cultural events designed for that purpose.

    Below is the complete text of the covenant.

    INTERFAITH COVENANT FOR FREEDOM, EQUALITY AND JUSTICE

    We the religious leaders of the cities of Center Line and Warren, Michigan offer this statement in support of religious freedom, cultural diversity, interfaith and ecumenical cooperation, nonviolence, and economic and social justice.

    We believe, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, that all people are created equally.  We champion the inherent worth and dignity of every person, regardless of color, ethnicity, and/or religion.  We assert that ultimately all people of the world belong to ONE HUMAN RACE. Together we all share a universal commitment to the inherent well-being of every person in the cities of Center Line and Warren.

    We are united toward the cause of protecting the right to worship and to practice one’s religion freely without the threat of intimidation, violence, or discrimination.  We declare that the diversity of our world is a gift from our Creator to be celebrated, honored, and protected.  Every religion strives for justice, peace, and harmony.  We affirm that it is essential to our identity to work together cooperatively towards this end.

    We are united in speaking out against any expression of intimidation, prejudice, and/or discrimination that attempts to injure an individual, families, or a group of people.  This is especially true considering each of our faiths believe in nonviolent solutions to human suffering and injustice.

    We declare that these truths are at the core of our respective faith traditions.  They need to be proclaimed, taught, and practiced in our daily lives for the health and quality of our community and ultimately, our world.

    Therefore, we the undersigned join in covenant to:

    1)  Stand together in support of religious freedom, cultural diversity, and interfaith and ecumenical cooperation, and speaking out against any expression of intimidation, prejudice, and/or discrimination;

    2)  Work together for the betterment of our entire community;

    3)  Promote nonviolence, economic and social justice, and respect for all;

    4)  Reaffirm that our local governments continue to protect the rights of all people and faiths and insure that those nondiscriminatory rights extend to all within our cities.

    5) Regularly hold community events to build bridges of understanding among people of different cultures and faith traditions.

    The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for justice.

    End

    IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Declaration For Life From Faith Traditions of Jews, Christians, And Muslims Open or Close

    Press Release: April 1, 2008

    DECLARATION FOR LIFE FROM FAITH TRADITIONS OF JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS.

    Religious leaders from various faith communities met Monday, March 31, 2008 to issue a "Declaration for Life" that deplores global violence and exhorts to world peace.declaration

    The text of the declaration is as follows.

    Declaration for Life from Faith Traditions of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian

    It is time that we as faith leaders come together and condemn the senseless loss of life all around the world, and at home.

    It is time for all faiths to stand together: The Jewish people have deep roots in Iraq. Abraham, the Old Testament patriarch, was born in the ancient city of Ur, in what is now southern Iraq. Abraham fathered Isaac, who fathered Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God and promised a nation. Jesus is said to have descended from that line. Abraham's other son, Ishmael, was also promised a nation in the bible. He is considered the progenitor of the Arab peoples. From the branch of Ishmael, Islam's central figure, the Prophet Muhammad, descended.

    The time has come for leaders to stand together in holding high regard for human life across the globe when so much conflict, carnage and human bloodshed mocks the mandate of the Hebrew Scriptures: "Thou shall not kill." The Christian Scriptures: "Love one another!" And the Islamic Scriptures:  " killing an innocent person unjustly is like killing all of mankind”

    Global war with countless human casualties depresses and demeans the dignity and worth of humans made in God's image and likeness. God helps moral leaders rise together to stop the carnage enveloped in a culture of fear holding hostage the conscience of America.

    The Children of Adam must stop killing each other. None of our faiths tolerate unjust killing. It is required by our faiths to stand up against all forms of terror, whether committed by individuals or by sovereign states. We must call for justice and peace on earth.  God Almighty expects us, as the Children of Abraham, to speak out against acts of unwarranted violence, no matter where and by whom.

    Certainly, war is the most primitive method of resolving conflicts. We urge a new era of reconciliation where we can end conflicts by loving people on both sides of all issues. God loves the Palestinians and the Jews. He loves Muslims and Christians. He loves African Americans and Whites alike. God loves Democrats and Republicans, Catholics and Protestants. We stand here in repentance because none of us have done enough to love each other and reconcile with one another. We pledge to live up to a higher standard and call on others to do the same. May God forgive us for our failures, guide us in healing and help us to usher in a new era of peace.

    Respectfully submitted by the leaders listed above, and, to be presented to Pope Benedict XVI during his visit with interfaith representatives when he visits Washington, D.C, in April.

    Islamic Organization of North America, IONA

    (586) 558-6900

  • IONA Meets with Dutch Diplomat over "Fitna" Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: March 26, 2008

    IONA meets with Dutch Diplomat over “Fitna”

    Today, the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) joined a delegation of Sunni and Shia Imams to meet with Mr.Jack R. Twiss, Political Counselor, Head of Political Section from the embassy of the Kingdom of the Nertherlands, Washingtom DC. The meeting took place at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and hosted by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan (CIOM.)

    dutch-diplomatThe Chair of the council, Ghaleb Begg, welcomed everyone and opened up the meeting with a brief introduction about the Netherlands. Ghaleb then stated the purpose of the meeting. The Embassy contacted the CIOM to meet with the Muslim clergy and discuss the movie “Fitna” to be released shortly by, Mr.  Geert Wilders, an MP, member of parliament of the Netherlands.

    Fitna, is the Arabic word for "ordeal", "discord", or "strife". Wilders thinks Islam is an ordeal for Western democracies, meaning a difficult or painful experience. He also says he hates Islam. He calls his film a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamicization. Geert Wilders had called for a ban on the Qur'an. He describes the Qur'an as a fascist text which exhorts followers to kill and rape, and compares it to Mein Kampf. He also wants to remove the article on non-discrimination from the Constitution of the Netherlands.

    Mr. Twiss informed us that the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a secular country with a constitution that honors the Freedom of  speech and the Freedom of Religion (article 6 of the constitution). With this freedom of expression it makes it difficult to stop people from saying and/or publishing what they want to say or publish Mr. Twiss said. He continued, government officials have asked Mr. Wilder to share the film before he releases it for evaluation, charges can then be filed against Mr. Wilders should he be found guilty of blasphemy, slander or insult under the penal code. However, the government’s hands are tied because of the freedom of expression law. The constitution makes it difficult to stop the movie before its release.

    Mr. Twiss was reminded by how Islam took Europe from the dark ages to civilization which Mr. Twiss graciously acknowledged. The Imams shared their views with Mr. Twiss making it clear that it would be very hard to control the masses from resorting to any action that might be unpleasant to the Dutch government and its people, because of the love Muslims have for Allah and His messenger and also because of the emotional attachment Muslims have toward the Word of God.

    The meeting was more or less an exchange of views from both sides. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. The repercussion of releasing “Fitna” is, on the positive side, it would give the non-Muslims a chance to learn about the Qur’an while on the negative side, violence might erupt resulting perhaps in the loss of lives. We must act maturely and wisely and take this as an opportunity to reach out to non-Muslims and respectfully propagate the message of our sacred book, The Qur’an. We pray that nothing but good come out of it.

    The meeting was then concluded by a group photo in the beautiful Arab American Museum.dutch-diplomat-1

    Islamic Organization of North America, IONA

    (586) 558-6900

  • IONA Opens Headquarters Office in Warren, MI Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: May 26, 2007

     IONA opens Headquarter Office in Warren, MI

    With the help of Allah (SWT), the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) opened its headquarter office in Warren, MI.  In addition to serving as the administrative center for IONA, the facility will serve as a full-time masjid and learning center for the local Muslim community.  Establishing a vibrant center for IONA has been one of the top priorities of Ameer Mustapha Elturk since assuming leadership of IONA in 2003. This achievement marks an important milestone in furthering the objectives of the Islamic Organization in North America.headquarters

    Additionally, the center will play an important role in educating non-Muslim neighbors about Islam, helping to foster greater awareness and appreciation for Islamic values.  The critical need to educate the local community about Islam was made evident by the extraordinary difficulties IONA encountered from some members of the local Planning Commission and a few prejudiced residents – who in some cases resorted to ethnic bigotry, violent threats, and vandalism to express their opposition.

    Despite this opposition, a coalition of concerned citizenry and local, state and federal government offices banded together to protect the civil and legal rights of the organization.  Ultimately, the U.S. Department of Justice closely monitored the situation, and considered opening a federal lawsuit against the Planning Commission if they continued with their illegal rejection of the petition to open an Islamic center in Warren.  Those who were supportive of the headquarters-1efforts to establish this center were present for the opening ceremonies, held on Friday, May 25th.  US Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan sent a representative from her office to the opening ceremonies and presented IONA with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition “for the grand opening of the Mosque and Learning Center in Warren, Michigan”.  Many local residents also came to witness and welcome the first Islamic center in Warren.  Mustapha Elturk expressed deep gratitude to all those who supported his organization’s efforts to establish the center, including the Interfaith Partners of Southeast Michigan represented by local religious leaders from a number of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hindu communities.

    Additionally, Ameer Mustapha Elturk presented specific awards of recognition to Edwin Bayer, Planning Department Director for the City of Warren for his professionalism and exemplary public service; Ed Bruley, Macomb County Commissioner for his dedication to serving people of all faiths in Macomb County; and Dan Cortez, Free Press Staff Writer, for outstanding journalism and objective news reporting.

    Founded in 2003, the Islamic Organization of North America is a revivalist Islamic movement calling Muslims to repentance, revitalization of faith, and renewal of covenant. The primary objective of IONA is to help its members and the wider Muslim community achieve salvation on the Day of Judgment through loving, whole-hearted and complete obedience to the Will of Allah (SWT).

    Islamic Organization of North America

    586-558-6900

  • Islamic Organization of North America Signs Muslim Code of Honor Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: May 13, 2007

    Islamic Organization of North America signs Muslim Code of Honor

    In light of recent sectarian tensions in the Middle East which threaten to spill over to Muslim communities in the United States, the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) has joined other prominent Muslim communities in Southeast Michigan in signing the Muslim Code of Honor.  This groundbreaking agreement commits the Muslim leaders of Southeast Michigan to emphasize the unity of the Islamic community of believers (Ummah) – whether Shia or Sunni.

    The Muslim Code of Honor has been signed by the leaders of 28 Muslim communities in Southeast Michigan from both the Shia and Sunni traditions.  Among the leading signatories include the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI); the Detroit chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS-Detroit); the Islamic Center of America; and the Islamic House of Wisdom.  With endorsements from nearly all Muslim communities in Southeast Michigan, the agreement is expected to have wide acceptance in the Muslim community.  This effort was spearheaded by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan (CIOM).

    The Agreement defines the community of Muslims as those who:

    • Believe in the Oneness and Supremacy of Allah (SWT)
    • Believe in the prophethood of Muhammad (SAW) as the last and final messenger of Allah (SWT)
    • Believe in the reality of the Day of Judgment
    • Believe in the authenticity of the Qur’an
    • Face the Ka’aba in the City of Mecca during their daily prayers.

    The signatories commit to respect the authority of the leaders of each community, and to respect diversity in modes of worship (‘ibadat) and schools of Islamic thought (madhahib).  Additionally, participating organizations agree that they will not use, spread, or tolerate the rhetoric of takfir (slandering others as non-believers) against any Muslim that meets these criteria.

    Notably, the agreement further commits the signatories to work towards mutual understanding and reconciliation by establishing scholarly study groups (halaqas) to objectively examine Muslim history, creed, and law; and appoint representative Muslim scholars, from both Shia and Sunni traditions, to adjudicate areas of contention.

    Islamic Organization of North America

    586-558-6900

  • Stop the Bloodshed Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: August 5, 2006

    Stop the bloodshed

    Every day, thousands of Americans raise their hand to their hearts and pledge allegiance with the commanding statement – “with liberty and justice for all.” The majority of these Americans are young children– students who believe that their country is just and in pursuit of liberty. Do these attributes apply only to Americans? Does the phrase “with liberty and justice for all” apply past American borders? The events of the past month indicate evidence to the contrary.

    Our government has certainly failed to live up to their own pledge of allegiance. They support the killing of innocent people giving Israel the “green light” to attack South Lebanon. The U.S. supplies smart guided missiles that attack innocent people in their homes, ambulances, churches, mosques, the Red Cross, UN posts and civil defense aides. Our government promotes this war by supporting Israel in these atrocities.   Our own tax dollars fund the mass killings of innocent children, women and aged men, making all Americans complicit in these crimes.

    The “War on Terror” is not a war; it is terror itself, incarnate. It is no hunt for “weapons of mass destruction,” it is those very weapons unleashed. It is incumbent upon all of us to promote justice, not by the American administration’s terms, but by the universal, humane definition of justice. To treat all human beings with dignity and righteousness without regard to race, national origin or religion. We cannot justify the savaging of innocent civilians in the name of “self-defense” and hide behind false notions of “homeland security.” The numbers are painfully clear – this war has nothing to do with justice.

    We must stand united, American and non-American alike, Congressmen and the working man, the poor man and the President, to condemn these horrific acts of violence. We call on all men of conscience to stop these atrocious crimes and for all religious organizations to pray for peace and an end to the hostilities. We ask the media, the American media in particular; to remain unbiased and impartial in portraying the events in the Middle-East, presenting the truth as it happens on the ground, not biased to soothe the American government and its citizens. We must ensure that “Liberty and Justice for All” rings true for all.

    When justice is established, peace automatically prevails.

     

    Islamic Organization of North America

    586-558-6900

  • Meet Your Neighbors - Examining the Shared Heritage of Faith Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: June 12, 2006

    Meet your Neighbors - Examining the Shared Heritage of Faith

    The Warren Community Center Auditorium was the venue for an interfaith symposium “Meet your Neighbors, Examining the Shared Heritage of Faith” the evening of
    Thursday, June 10th, 2006.

    The event, co-sponsored by the National Conference for Community and Justice, Michigan (NCCJ), The Council of American-Islamic Relations of Michigan (CAIR-MI), and the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA), was conceived to fill the void between the public perception of Islam and Muslims, and the actual facts concerning the worlds second largest religion.  IONA was the center of controversy when they announced plans earlier this year to establish a Masjid (Mosque) and Learning Center on their property at 28630 Ryan Road.  The symposium was planned to alleviate fears about the project, and raise consciousness in the community.

    Opening remarks were made by Mr. George Dimas, Deputy Mayor, on behalf of Mayor Steenbergh.

    Featured speakers were Dawud Walid, Director of CAIR-MI., who spoke briefly about the essential beliefs and practices of the Islamic faith.  Barbara Sollose, president of the Central Homeowners of Warren (CHOW) related how the initial climate of uncertainty surrounding the project, was dispelled by the knowledge gained through open communication between IONA and the homeowner’s association.

    Father Gary Shulte, Pastor of St. Sylvester Church, Warren MI, gave a spirited talk featuring his experiences in interfaith relations. He made the point that being aware of our neighbors of various faiths can help to guide us on our search for “how to get to Heaven”.

    The final speaker was Steve Mustapha Elturk, President and Imam of IONA.  His presentation “Social Justice: an Islamic Perspective” was well received by the nearly one hundred community members in attendance.  The similarity of Islamic belief, and American belief as expressed in the Declaration of Independence (“we hold these truths…”) served as introduction to a brief, insightful discourse on equality, fraternity and justice.  Elturk thanked the people who helped IONA prevail in their efforts to get the Mosque approved by the city, and those who helped make the symposium a reality.  To the surprise of the audience, he also thanked those who had opposed the project “obviously not for their opposition but for the opportunity they presented to us to work out our differences. Had it not been for them we would not be here tonight sharing our common heritage with each other.”

    The panel moderator was Reverend Sharon Buttry, an ordained American Baptist Minister, on behalf of the NCCJ.

    A brief question and answer for audience members followed the presentations. An open house is planned at the IONA facility in the future, details to be announced at a later date.

    Islamic Organization of North America
    586-558-6900

  • Warren Planning Commission Accepts IONA Mosque Proposal Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE:  April  11, 2006

    Warren Planning Commission accepts IONA Mosque proposal

    Following an intense two and a half-hour debate, the Planning Commission voted 5 - 3 to approve the revised proposal of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) to open a Mosque and Educational Center at 28630 Ryan Road in the city of Warren, Michigan.

    The Commission meeting was attended by nearly 150 people, equally divided between those who favored the proposal, and those who did not.
    IONA demonstrated in the revised proposal that their project met all the City of Warren ordinance requirements, including those considered for a 'special land use' request. This did little to still the dissent, both among some residents and commissioners alike.

    Major issues remained, “Islamic Call to Prayer,” as well as traffic and parking concerns. In the revised proposal, IONA volunteered to enter a "Restrictive Covenant" excluding the use of loudspeakers outside the building for the prayer call. Some commission members remained unconvinced that the covenant was enforceable, or that the city could legally enter into the agreement.


    Shereef Akeel, IONA legal council, noted that the deed restriction can be entered into county records unilaterally.  The Warren City Attorney advised the Planning Commission that the Zoning Board of Appeals made the restriction of loudspeakers a condition of the variance approval. A violation of this condition would deem the variance null and void.


    Other objections voiced were not limited to material facts in the case. Comments included “how do we know a terrorist cell will not infiltrate the Mosque?” and a question of (ritual) “sacrifices” was also asked.


    In support, some noted that “auto repair shops, liquor and adult book stores” might make worse neighbors than a house of worship.

    IONA president and Imam Steve Elturk agreed to additional conditions suggested by the Planning Commission, including co-signing the “Restrictive Covenant” with the local homeowners association, and an increased performance bond for property improvements.

    “We see the outcome of this meeting as favorable” said Elturk, “but it underscores the need for deeper understanding between Muslims and the community. It is natural for people to be apprehensive when someone new moves in. We will treat our neighbors with the utmost respect...good relations with neighbors is a requirement of Islamic belief.”

    Islamic Organization of North America

  • Islamic Organization of North America Assumes Mantle from Tanzeem-E-Islami North America Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: July 8, 2004

    Islamic Organization of North America Assumes Mantle of Islamic Activism in North America from Tanzeem-e-Islami North America.

    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

    One year after becoming independent , the Islamic activist movement in North America founded by Dr. Israr Ahmad has reorganized under the newly registered Islamic Organization of North America (IONA). IONA replaces the former Tanzeem-e-Islami North America (TINA). This restructuring does not affect our core objectives or methodology. 

    The fundamental objective of IONA is to assist Muslims in attaining the pleasure of Allah (SWT) in order to gain salvation in the Hereafter. As ordained by the Qur'an and Sunnah, this can only be accomplished through sincere conviction of the heart (Iman); complete and loving submission to the Will of Allah ('Ibadah); bearing witness unto mankind (Shahada 'ala-Nass); and establishing a just socio-politico-economic Islamic order (Iqaamut-ud-Deen). 
    May Allah (SWT) bless North America with Islam.

    Islamic Organization of North America

  • IONA, ICNA & MAS Explore Approaches to Islamic Activism Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: July 8, 2004

    IONA, ICNA & MAS Explore Approaches to Islamic Activism

    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

    On June 26 th , 2004 the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) hosted its first annual convention at the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit. The convention featured Mustapha Elturk (Ameer of the Islamic Organization of North America) along with Dr. Talat Sultan (Ameer of the Islamic Circle of North America) and Dr. Souheil Ghannouchi (Former President of the Muslim American Society). The theme of the convention, "Is Islamic Activism a thing of the past?" focused on the current and future prospects for Islamic activism in North America. 

    The leaders of the three leading Islamic activist organizations in the country outlined their respective ideologies and methodologies for Islamic work in North America. A lively and respectful question and answer session provided greater insight into the similarities and differences between the three organizations. All speakers emphasized the need to develop a culture of Islamic activism in the Muslim community - a culture steeped in righteousness and embedded with humble confidence in the relevance of Islam to the entire world. 

    The leadership recognized the valuable and complimentary role each organization has in promoting Islamic activism in North America, and stressed that greater cooperation was needed. While discussing differences, the speakers emphasized the overwhelming unity of purpose and dismissed any notion that the organizations divided the Muslim community in North America. Rather, it was agreed that while the various Islamic organizations were pursuing different strategies, these efforts were mutually reinforcing. 

    May Allah (SWT) bless the Muslims in North America with a strong culture of Islamic activism, and may He guide the leadership of this ummah to lead Muslims to success in this world and the Hereafter, and protection from the Hellfire.


    Islamic Organization of North America
  • Tanzeem-E-Islami North America Announces Independence Open or Close

    PRESS RELEASE: July 28, 2003

    Tanzeem-e-Islami North America announces independence

    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

    Tanzeem-e-Islami North America (Tanzeem) is now an independent organization. The Tanzeem was originally established in 1993 by Dr. Israr Ahmad as part of a global Islamic movement specifically aimed at:

    1. Encouraging and assisting Muslims to strengthen their faith and develop real conviction (Iman) primarily by establishing an intimate relationship with the Qur’an
    2. Encouraging and assisting Muslims to enter into complete and total submission to Almighty Allah (SWT).
    3. Inviting all of humanity to the guidance of Islam.
    4. Establishing a just socio-politico-economic system rooted in the principles of Islam.

    To accommodate the growing popularity of the message among Muslims in North America, Dr. Israr Ahmad has decided to make Tanzeem-e-Islami North America an independent organization. The decision was made following the advice of the shura (consultative) councils of both North America and Pakistan. Per the joint recommendation of the shura councils, Dr. Israr Ahmad decided to complete the transition by July 1st, 2003.
    News of this announcement follows the recent appointment of Br. Mustapha Z. Elturk as the Ameer of Tanzeem-e-Islami North America. Since his appointment, Ameer Mustapha has identified several priorities for Islamic work in North America. These include developing the strong regional strengths of the Tanzeem into a national platform that gives greater prominence to the objectives of the Islamic movement. Additionally, the Tanzeem seeks to develop and promote key institutions to promote the objectives of establishing the Just Islamic Social Order. While the Tanzeem continues to encourage Muslims to acquire the Qur’anic knowledge necessary for revitalizing Islamic civilization, Tanzeem is planning to increase its efforts to introduce non-Muslims to the wisdom of the Qur’an as well as the personal and collective benefits of heeding its guidance.
    Commenting on the significance of this event, Ameer Mustapha stated: “Dr. Israr had been contemplating and considering this decision for nearly the last ten years. Becoming independent is a step in the right direction, and an encouraging sign for Muslims living in North America. Although the ideology as well as the methodology of the founding Tanzeem remains intact, being independent gives us the flexibility to develop our own strategies to accomplish the tasks ordained upon us by Allah (SWT) in this part of the world. The Tanzeem in North America is open to all Muslims residing therein.”
    May Allah (SWT) bless Br. Mustapha and all those who struggle in the cause of Allah (SWT) with the Tawfeeq and the required guidance to fulfill the responsibility as servants to Allah (SWT) and as witnesses unto mankind, Ameen.

    Tanzeem-e-Islami North America