The American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA) has served the Muslim community since 1992. It was established to do da’wah, the work of conveying the messages of God. According to them, da’wah is one of the most honorable works a Muslim is called to do, which they believe is actually the work of all prophets. AMANA aims to articulate what they believe is the truth about Islam. Description of the Center The head office of AMANA is located in North Miami, Florida in a room 400 square feet. It has its own library which provides many Islamic books as well as brochures, bulletins, magazines, stickers, CDs, cassettes, and so forth to be distributed. Right now, AMANA has three branch offices which are in Puerto Rico, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
They are also planning to open new branches in other states. Structure of the Organization as of September 2004 AMANA Board: Br. Sofyan Abdelaziz, Director Br. Mustafa Nassar, Assistant Director Br. Hisham Abdelhadi, Assistant Director Sh. Hossam Khedr, Imam & Islamic AdvisorDr. Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, Esq., Director, Puerto Rico OfficeImam Zafer Awad, Director, Atlanta, GA Office Br. Esam Hamed, Director, Pennsylvania Office AMANA Legal Advisors Imam Ibrahim Dremali, Masjid Boca RatonImam Munir Khan, IMOFImam Rafiq Mahdi, Masjid Al-Imam, Ft. Lauderdale Br. Shazam Mohammad, Masjid Shamsuddin Br. Omar Ali, Muslim AccessBr. Adnan Kazi, Online Advisor Activities Their website indicates that they "work to provide many services for both Muslims and non-Muslims, such as distributing Islamic books, counseling to victims of domestic violence and child abuse, and working with the disabled, orphans, deprived children, and widows."
In addition, they are also advocates against discrimination of Muslims in the work place and other locations. Their website details some of their other activties. AMANA’s View on 9/11 The 9/11 attack did not have any significant impact on AMANA’s activities. All the programs and activities described above are basically continuations of those which were established before 9/11. The Director of AMANA emphasizes that 9/11 is also a Muslim tragedy. Some Muslims died as victims of the attack. Unfortunately, some people, especially the media, only showed it as an attack by Muslims. It is inevitable that some people who commit violence will claim to be Muslims, but they do not represent Islam. According to the Director, the attackers were not true Muslims because Islam does not allow violence in that context. According to AMANA, Islam teaches Muslims to use violence only to defend themselves and recommends that Muslims respect all people.
AMANA, however, never intended to respond to the tragedy of 9/11 frontally and exclusively. For AMANA, there are many things happening throughout the world even worse than 9/11, such as genocide, indiscriminate and ongoing civilian bombing, and series of mass murders. AMANA is attempting to fulfill the Islamic duty to deliver and implement the messages of God and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad. God requires us, AMANA insists, to create peace, helping and taking care of each other no matter what others believe. They point us to the Prophet Muhammad who also recommended and taught us to be peaceful (i.e., he helped a Jew who was not even kind to him).
AMANA informs people through various speeches, the internet, and distribution of Islamic books. They seek to show what real Muslim communities are doing in this country and that Islam is a very peaceful religion. Affiliation with other Communities and Organizations AMANA is an independent Muslim organization without strong affiliations to other organization but has a good working relationship with other organizations that share some of AMANA’s mission. For an example, the director of AMANA, Br. Sofian Abdelaziz, participates in many philanthropic organizations:
1. Member of the Florida State Advisory Committee (SAC) to the United States Commission on Civil Rights
2. Board member of Florida Regional Interfaith/Interagency Emergency Network in Disaster, FRIEND
3. Board member of The Miami Dade County Citizen Corps, which has established programs such as the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Neighborhood Watch (NW), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS).
4. Board member of The Jewish-Arab Dialogue
5. Member of the National Conference for Community and Justice, NCCJ, Broward
6. Board member of Israeli and Palestinian Orphans.
By being involved in non-Islamic organizations, AMANA tries to establish good relationships with non-Muslims. This involvement is seen as necessary for AMANA to explain Islam and for them to understand non-Muslims. In addition, AMANA encourages other Muslims to be responsible and involved in the public arena. In addition, AMANA believes that many 'religious' conflicts, as they are commonly described, are actually 'political' conflicts (i.e., Palestine). In this country, AMANA does not think Muslims have any problem with other religious groups, such as Jews or Christians, but rather appreciates and supports each other. Through their involvement with the Neighborhood Watch program, for an example, AMANA tries to show this principle at work.
Our mission at AMANA is to make our communities stronger, safer, and best prepared to respond to the danger of Islamophobia and the threats of terrorism, hate crimes, public health issues and disasters of all kinds (may Allah forbid). Our mission is to provide a better understanding of Islam to Muslims and information on Islam and Muslims to non Muslims. Our mission is to build more understanding, more knowledge and respect between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
It is important to work with other community leaders with no exception of race, color, religion and origin hand by hand so that our country the United States of America will be a safer and more secure place to live in.