The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a nonprofit organization designed to unite and develop the Muslim community across North America.  The ISNA organizes programming for Muslim Americans, including an annual convention, while also pushing civic engagement for Muslims to support left-of-center policies.
Though it brands itself as a moderate community group, the ISNA and some associated groups were founded by alleged members of the fundamentalist Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood. 
The ISNA was founded in 1982, with the help of the Muslim Students Association, and received tax-exempt status in 1997.  Members originally founded the ISNA as a space for solidarity in the Muslim-American community, but in the 1990s, ISNA began a program of “building a muslim [sic] community that is active and visible in greater society” in “partnerships with government and civil society organizations.” 
Many have scrutinized the founding of the ISNA, given that its founders were alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist movement which seeks to subject world polities to Islamic religious law.  ISNA leadership, especially in its formative years, was largely derived from the Muslim Brotherhood.  The Muslim Brotherhood created Hamas, a terrorist organization designed to wage jihad against Israel. 
In 2008, a federal jury in Dallas, Texas convicted the Holy Land Foundation of providing material support to Hamas.  The ISNA was listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the case, with the federal district court judge noting that there is “ample evidence to establish the association” between the ISNA, Hamas, and the HLF.  The government alleged that ISNA’s Indiana offices housed HLF for a time. 
The ISNA was not indicted in the case because most of its association with Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation predated the ruling of the HLF as a terrorist organization; Judge Jorge Solis, who oversaw the case, criticized the government for naming ISNA in court filings. Judge Solis characterized ISNA as an “unindicted co-conspirator” only considered as such in order to make its statements exempt from the prohibition on using hearsay as evidence. 
Nonetheless, ISNA checks which were deposited into an ISNA account for HLF were allegedly made payable to “the Palestinian Mujahadeen,” the original designation of the Hamas military wing.  The United States government memo in the HLF case revealed that the HLF sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hamas leaders from that ISNA account. 
After a first attempt to try the Holy Land Foundation and its leaders resulted in a mistrial, ISNA issued a statement in which it “rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration.” 
Social-conservative writer Rod Dreher, then of the Dallas Morning News, alleged that Sayyid Syeed, then-head of ISNA, scolded Dreher and refused to answer when Dreher questioned Syeed about ISNA board members with reported connections to Islamist extremism. 
The ISNA is involved in both political organizing and education in the Muslim community, organizing programs for Muslim Americans across the country.
Every year, the ISNA organizes “ISNACON,” the largest annual gathering of Muslim Americans in the United States.  ISNACON focuses on social organizing in the Muslim American community, serving as a networking organization for American Muslims in order to “serve humanity.” 
In August 2019, ISNACON19 featured numerous left-of-center and far-left speakers, including Daily Show host Trevor Noah, self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro.  Sanders received a standing ovation at the event.  Linda Sarsour, a left-wing activist associated with the Women’s March, also spoke at the conference. 
ISNA further works to develop teaching within the Muslim community, providing written materials to provide training and educational workshops on the Islamic religious teachings for mosques.  The ISNA has incorporated political issues into educational materials, calling on individuals to engage in the campaign “Greening our Ramadan” to .  ISNA also provides services for the training and development of chaplains and Muslim community leaders. 
ISNA is extensively focused on engaging the young Muslim community. In addition to providing over $100,000 in scholarships to Muslim American students seeking higher education, ISNA organizes the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).   MYNA is organized by young Muslims who run camps, retreats, and political initiatives. 
People and Funding
The ISNA is funded primarily through tuition for its programs and conferences, generating $3,336,946 of its total $3,481,603 of revenue in 2015 from tuitions and programs. 
Sayyid Syeed was president of the ISNA after heading the ISNA’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances and serving as the ISNA Secretary General for 12 years.  Syeed has served in leadership roles across the Muslim community, including work with the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO), the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), and the Islamic Horizon magazine.