No MANA Conference for 2009 After Two Failures

Posted: May 11, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Last week the MANA  leadership quietly sent out an email informing its readers that there will be no MANA Conference in 2009 (see letter below). The ostensible reason given was to make it easier for the attendees to travel to local/regional events. However, the truth of the matter is that they have lost a frightful amount of money (we’re talking six figures) on the first two attempts, and no one had the stomach to continue squandering tens of thousands of dollars of the people’s hard earned money, in this struggling economy, on another failed conference.

Have any of you wondered where all the money MANA is raising is going? I am not suggesting that it’s being stolen, but when I learned of the extraordinary sums lost on the two conferences, I had to ask myself was the money being spent responsibly. To my understanding, over the past two years, MANA has failed to provide any type of public financial accounting, even as reports continue to circulate at the grassroots of tens of thousands of dollars being wasted. Shouldn’t MANA be held accountable like any other organization? I guess the only real question now is how long will this charade called MANA go on.

The letter reads as follows

Healing and Reconciliation
As Salamu Alaikum, Dear Brothers and Sisters! 

On April 30th in Washington, DC, MANA’s Diwan met and decided that MANA will focus, this year, on organizing regional events instead of asking everyone to come to one big MANA national conference. Holding regional events will increase MANA’s reach throughout America and lower the financial burden for attendees.

In the coming months, MANA intends to organize, in various locations, events that focus on its Campaign for Healing and Reconciliation.  This campaign aims to bridge the gap between various segments of the American Muslim community in order to maximize our resources and engage in more collective work.  In addition to this national campaign, MANA also hopes to organize Healthy Marriage events throughout America that focus on building strong, sustainable families.
If you would like MANA to come to your area, please contact the MANA Office at 859-296-0206.
We eagerly look forward to our 2010 national conference and have already started planning for it.

Thank you for your continued support! 

Your brother in faith,

 Ihsan Bagby, PhD
MANA, General Secretary

  1. Hamza 21 says:

    Sounds lke good plan to me. Why would does everybody need to travel to one city for conference with today’s technology ? I attend Shaykh Suhaib Webb’s online class on Muhasibi’s book Risalah Al Murshideen and he lives in Egypt.

    What gets accomplished at national conventions anyway? Whether it’s ISNA or any other organization have a national conference for the life of me I can’t figure what exactly got accomplish at those conventions.

    Conventions are nothing but middle class peoples excuse for a party. A sort of keger or backyard boogie for business professionals.

    In order for real change to take affect it’s got to happened at the grassroots. Not over a weekend at a convention. Look at Tavis Smiley’s black union meeting every year it’s been several years now has anything been accomplished? Conventions are a waste of time,money and energy. It would be better and cheaper to send Imam Talib Abdur Rasheed to every city with MANA then to send all MANA members to NYC.

  2. Shaheed says:

    The last MANA conference was lame and it was pretty empty last time out. It doesn’t surprise me that they lost money. The venue was expensive

  3. Mohammed Musa says:

    the amount is over $100,000

  4. Ali M says:

    as-salaamu ‘alaikum

    Akhee why are you trying to embarrass the Muslims by making this information public? What is the benefit except to lower the morale of the Muslims and make them think that the Muslim leadership is somehow inept? We should be making du’aa for our leadership for their success in leading

  5. Najee says:

    MANA was formed to help us. Let’s try to give them a chance. It’s only been two years. Lots of businesses lose money in the first two years. It would be prudent to revisit this in about 5 years or so

  6. @ Najee

    Oh, I’m sorry, was MANA suppose to be a business? I thought it was a religious, non-profit organization required to form a board of trustees who oversee its operations. A board is also required to issue financial reports to the organization’s membership. The only time a “business” has to do this is if it is publically held (sells stock).

    So what are we talking about here; religion or business?

  7. Najee says:

    @ ARM

    You don’t seem to know this, but in the US a non-profit is a business. I also don’t understand why you are doing this when MANA is at such a young stage and has not been given a proper chance to do its work. Let’s talk about this in about 5 years or so when they have had a chance to do something. As it stands they just started

  8. Umm of 3 says:

    @ ARM

    Don’t you know that the revolution got SOLD?

  9. Najee says:

    BTW, are you not willing to give Obama a chance? He’s only been in office for about 100 days.

  10. Kareem Salam says:

    @ Najee

    You are comparing apples to oranges. Why should the people continue to donate their money to an organization that is apparently mishandling the money in such a way? People who are donating their money are investing in the organization. I am sure that they would not like to hear that their donations are being wasted. Why should we continue to allow them to burn through money in such a way for another five years???

  11. Salafi Burnout says:

    To all that seek the truth! Join the pitchfork and torch wielding mob against these criminals that have ruined so many lives! See my site for more details

  12. Sis Haneefah says:

    I believe the problem with MANA is that they have no direction or ideology. It is a hodge podge of different groups brought together to try to satisfy everyone while satisfying no one.

  13. Ammar Abdul-Aziz says:

    I thought MANA was already defunct

  14. Wow, amazing.
    Brother Abdur-Rahman – the problem with “seek and destroy” methods of cyber- “journalism” is that they eliminate sincere inquiry and information, by substituting selective facts and unbridled supposition, for the truth. Such sincere inquiry is an essential element of communication, which in turn leads to understanding.
    Muslim bloggers and the like must be more responsible before they start wounding the sincere character of Muslims ,and adding to the poison of an already fetid pool of fitnah. Allah knows that there are too many instances of injustice in our faith community, and they need to be appropriately and responsibly exposed , but we need to all work together to eliminate injustice, not add to it.
    We of MANA are not perfect, but we are sincere and far from incompetent. Your report of our demise is premature, your picture of the burning air-ship going down, and dismissal of the work of a lot of good people as a “charade”, are insulting and mis-leading. The seeming eagerness with which some seem to rush to judgement about the supposed “failure” of MANA is disappointing, but understandable. We as a people are used to being disappointed, and exploited, and many of us have crushed hope. But there is hope in the Ummah, by Allah’s Mercy.
    Personally, I appreciate you sending me notice of the link to this post , but responsible journalism (if that’s what this is), and even more so – taqwa and Islamic brotherhood ,require some simple, investigative inquiry, as we learn from study of Allah’s Book ( 4:83 ). To do so would have led to the truth.
    For Instance – question: “MANA, is it true that you lost money on your two conferences?” “answer: “Yes. Holding quality conferences like our people deserve, in a first-class venue like the Philadelphia Convention Center, in today’s economy , is expensive. We worked hard, planned in great detail, and executed our tasks with tenacity and proficiency,and Allah knows best.
    We even included some degree of possible deficit, in our planning . However the deficit factors (resulting from such elements as total expense to our target population of large family grassroots folk, the effect of that on overall attendance, etc.) exceeded even our planning,not once, but twice. And contrary to what some think, we are very careful and responsible with the believer’s money.
    So we re-evaluated our approach because as one Diwan member reminded us during an executive, organizational , self-critical session, “We did not form MANA just to have annual conferences, but to WORK”. question:”MANA, are you in debt?” answer “No, our bills are paid,alhamdulillah.”
    question “Was financial loss on the two events the only thing you took into account, in deciding whether or not to have a 2009 conference?” answer: “No. we on the MANA Diwan evaluated several options, as there was a strong call for another conference (e.g. “Why don’t you have it on a college campus?”). But we have decided that the time is right for shifting MANA focus, modifying it to put more emphasis on the local, on the ground work being done in cities, and perhaps to get it going in others. This is why we intend to move to more of a mini-conference, local in various cities type of format,instead of a big, annual event solely in one city. We haven’t eliminated the national gathering. We just believe that with the need to build infra-structure in the inner cities, encourage operational unity, and yes – dealing with the reality of a national economic down-turn that is effecting everyone, and has everyone – Muslim and non-Muslim – re-adjusting their strategies , that for us to do so is only prudent. Our next conference is tentatively projected insha’Allah, for 2010″.
    question – “Is MANA defunct?” answer – “Far from it! Please go to for an update on our activities (and where the money goes that we fund-raise).Sign up for our cyber newsletter, and keep abreadst, or better yet – join the work!”. question: “Is this shift consistent with what you have communicated thus far?” answer: “Yes, it is. Our first conference was specifically identified as a “working conference”, focusing upon “The State of Black American Muslims”. Our 2nd conference focused upon “Forming a Domestic Agenda”. We believe now is the time to enhance our work by “stepping up the pace” of our grassroots work. We seek to increase our outreach and service to the believers, based upon what we learned and determined at our two annual conferences. ”
    My brother Abdur-Rahman, Is that so hard to do? We don’t think so. We believe that we ALL need do better, because only Allah is perfect. We say to all, pray for the success of MANA as its success is yours. The brothers and sisters associated with the work of MANA , from the leadership to the on-ground workers and volunteers, to the participants, are honorable people, and your brothers and sisters in faith. Don’t count us out because we take a hard punch and our knees wobble a bit. We are just beginning, and we are in this as a long-term struggle. May Allah forgive us all and guide us aright, amin.

    As-Salaamu Alaikum
    Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid (the only way that I spell my name)
    Deputy Amir, MANA.

  15. Umm Sadeeq says:

    We as a people are used to being disappointed, and exploited, and many of us have crushed hope

    Imam Talib

    I don’t know if even you know how TRUE the above statement I quoted from you is. People have really been hurt in the past decade and are very skeptical. You speak about exposing the corruption but I have not seen the “leadership” do this. In fact they often share the stage with some of the worst offenders.

    As for the conference, I must admit being confused by MANA’s agenda. It is all over the place and I just can’t see any focus and frankly I don’t think the conferences drew people because of that. There was no excitement. And there is none now

  16. Hamza 21 says:

    Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid (the only way that I spell my name)
    Deputy Amir, MANA.

    As Salaam Alaykum

    My apologizes Imam. I could have sworn you spelled your name with two ee’s

    However I agree with Umm Sadeeq. MANA’s lack of clarity of what you intend to accomplish is really hurting not only the organization but muslims in the US as well. When I first heard of MANA a year or so ago I was tempted to join the organization but I can’t for the life of me figure out what exactly MANA does.

    When a person looks at organization they want & need to know three things:

    WHAT specifically does your organization intend to do?
    HOW specifically does intend to do it?
    WHEN, by what date, do you intend to accomplish these acts?

    MANA doesn’t seem to have answers to these questions. Until it does not many will be willing to help you with your endeavors. Inshallah you will take my words under advisement and add some clarity to the confusion.


  17. ASA

    We certainly will, jazakallah. But also please allow me to say again (as stated above)that work is already underway, as can be seen from our web-site, as well as some answers to your questions.

    shukran again, stay tuned,
    Imam Talib

  18. […] share in that blame, for I was one of the few people who tried to warn the community of what was going on in MANA, and publicly condemned the dangerous path of embracing the Farrakhan and his officials. It is […]

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