Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

FFRF challenges NYC grant to Muslim group

Vol. 35 No. 10 December 2018

FFRF is calling attention to a constitutional violation by the New York City Council.

A concerned New York taxpayer contacted FFRF to report that the city has awarded a grant to the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) as part of the Muslim Empowerment Initiative. The group reportedly intends to use these taxpayer funds to pay for several religious events.

The Islamic Council received an allocation of funds from the City Council for fiscal year 2019 totaling $20,000. As part of the Muslim Empowerment Initiative, these funds were reportedly meant to be used to “educate Muslim New Yorkers on their fundamental rights, conduct case management and provide referrals for various legal, social and health care services.”

The Islamic Circle of North America is, at its core, a proselytizing organization. Its website states that “Dawah has always been the top priority of ICNA.” Dawah is a two-pronged concept consisting of external and internal Dawah. Internal Dawah involves teaching Muslims about aspects of Islam, while “external Dawah” is to invite non-Muslims to Islam and teach them about Islamic beliefs and practices.