Mission of ASMA
The ASMA Society, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 founded in 1997 in New York City, is an Islamic cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering an American-Muslim identity and building bridges between American Muslims and the American public.
ASMA's philosophical objective is to strengthen a culturally American expression of Islam based on tolerance and on cultural and religious harmony and to foster an environment in which Muslims can thrive within a pluralistic society without compromising their essential values and beliefs.
An Inclusive Approach
ASMA's participants and members are drawn from two large and specific groups of individuals:
- Muslims seeking to improve their own understanding of Islam and to practice their faith in the company of individuals committed to understanding the true principles of Islam, free of cultural biases;
- Non-Muslims seeking to understand Islam and to overcome negative perceptions of Islam.
ASMA intends to meet six key objectives over the next five years:
- IDENTITY: To forge an American Muslim identity that combines the best aspects of being both American and Muslim.
- EMPOWERMENT OF YOUTH LEADERS: To empower young American Muslims to become spokespeople for a tolerant, harmonious, authentic Islam by encouraging them to identify with the essentials of the Islamic faith that cut across cultural boundaries.
- BUILDING BRIDGES: To aid non-Muslims overcome biases and negative perceptions by dismantling the common stereotypes and myths surrounding Muslims and Islam. Conversely, to work toward dismantling myths regarding Americans held in parts of the Muslim world.
- CULTURAL EXPRESSION: To explore and celebrate the role that various expressions of Islamic art have played in contributing to world civilizations and to promote contemporary Muslim artists and their inclusion into the artistic fabric of America.
- INTERFAITH: Encouraging spiritual evolution in Muslim and non-Muslim Americans by engaging with other contemplative traditions that penetrate beyond different languages, practices and faiths to the common substrate of the religious experience.
- INTRAFAITH: To amplify Islamic arguments demonstrating that Islamic texts, theology and law support the principles of separation of powers, justice, and freedom of religious practice.
ASMA manifests its mission and objectives objective through outreach lectures, inreach study groups, spiritual education, cultural and art programs, coalition building and interfaith dialogue.