The Islamic Council of New England was established in 1985 to serve as an umbrella organization for the many individual Islamic Centers and Societies that were struggling to find solutions to common problems. By seeking to improve communication, share limited resources and coordinate their efforts, the Council’s vision was to unite the Muslim community as it promoted a seamless integration into the society at large.
MISSION STATEMENT :
To promote a spirit of unity and solidarity among Muslims by holding conferences, workshops and seminars
To consolidate and coordinate the resources of Muslim communities operating in isolation so as not to reduplicate limited resources
To represent Muslims at the local, state and federal governmental and interfaith levels to increase awareness of their concerns and aspirations
To develop an agenda of priorities of the Muslim Community in the short term and long range
To combat the negative stereotype of Islam and foster a positive image so that non-Muslims would better understand Muslims
To engage with the society at large to confront the threats and challenges that all Americans face so that Muslims are confirmed as an intrinsic component of American society
Each Center in New England is invited to join the Council provided that its own Bylaws are not in disagreement or conflict with those of the Council itself. The Council is non-sectarian and inclusive of Muslims of all cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic backgrounds consonant with the universal brotherhood of mankind as the bedrock of Islam. Each Center that joins the Council is defined as a ‘Member’ of the Council with a representation by two to four individuals who are selected by the respective Centers. Two of the representatives should ideally be the president and the imam the other two could be selected by Boards of the respective Centers and thereby be accountable to their Boards. This arrangement ensures a two way communication between the concerns and aspirations of individual Centers and the consensus opinion of the Council itself. While the Council is there to pool the resources of the community and speak with the required solidarity when needed, it in no ways dictates to any of its members how to act. The Council is s strong as the commitment of its Membership. It is the commitment that can transform an organization from one set in a reactive mode to one to one that is vibrantly proactive.
The details about Membership are provided in the Bylaws section. It is a matter of happenstance that over its more than 25 years of existence there have been many individuals who have continued to serve for this period of time. While many of them do not clearly serve as Board representatives of their respective Centers, they nonetheless continue to provide leadership as they prepare to hand the baton over to a younger and more attuned younger generation to lead the way. Till they retire or are requested to step down they will continue to serve in the capacity of ‘The Council of Elders’.