Last week, Imam Talib of MANA attempted to mitigate the “reports of its demise” by emailing a pathetic “Report to the Ummah” to the Muslims. After reviewing the document, I can only say, contrary to Imam Talib’s statement in the report, that the “reports” of MANA’s demise have only been confirmed. There are many things that I can say about this ‘report”, but I will concentrate on the most glaring omission. Namely: WHERE ARE THE FINANCIAL REPORTS? A “report” detailing a litany of failed programs and boondoggles is not what the people had in mind.
Why, to this date, have the people not been given any financial statements on the failed MANA programs? Good word has it, for example, that MANA spent in excess of $600,000 on the two national conferences and lost over $100,000 (of the Muslims’ money) on both. Will they clear this up and give us the details of exactly how so much money was lost on these conferences when they release the financials?
How much do full time employees such as Qasim Khan and Ihsan Bagby’s wife get paid? Will we see detailed reports on the expenses of Qasim flying around the country and renting hotel rooms with MANA (the people’s) money? To say nothing of how much is being spent on meals, cab fare and other per diem living expenses. We can only know for sure with a DETAILED report answering these questions.
How much money was lost on the failed mini-conferences that were held around the country? Most, if not all of those “mini-conferences” lost a substantial amount of money. In short, tens of thousands of dollars of the Muslims’ money was flushed on these “mini-conferences”, and to date we have not been given an account of exactly how much was lost. Will we be given details?
For example, I personally attended one of the “mini-conferences” held at Howard University in February 2010 and I can report that this gathering was by any standard of measure an embarrassing failure. However, reading this “Report to the Ummah” one would be led to believe that it was a success. It wasn’t. Most of the attendees of this conference were speakers and participants of the event. From my long relationship with Howard University and having held many programs there myself, I can tell you that those rooms were not cheap. Meanwhile, downstairs in the same venue, Wesley Muhammad was speaking to a packed room at a Nation of Islam sponsored program.
How much money was lost on this “event”? Was any money spent to fly in speakers and provide hotel rooms? Why did this “Report to the Ummah” give such a false impression? What are we to think of the rest of the report if they were so dishonest about the reporting of this failed event at Howard? Will they answer these questions?
Finally, Imam Talib in his filler at the end writes “Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated”. No Imam Talib! This “report” of yours only CONFIRMS your demise and the sad state of a sad organization that refuses to give an account to the people. You have tried to pull the wool over the people’s eyes with this “report”, but it has not succeeded and even the few supporters you have left feel dejected and embarrassed by it. We will await the detailed financial reports that you promise (not just an annual one but also for the previous years, to include reports on the 2007 and 2008 conventions) that will show how much of our money you have burned. Put everything on the table and let the people see it! Let’s have true transparency!
In his own words, Imam Talib states that they have formed a financial committee to “steer our ship economically aright”. We see here in his own words an admission that they have mismanaged the money, but they are years behind in any type of financial reporting. Yet they seem to be promising only one year of financials. Let us see the financials for all of the conferences and events that you all have held. Let us see how much operation money has been spent. Let us see how much money Imam Qasim is spending on his trips across the country for MANA. Let us see how much is being paid in salaries and honorariums. And since we’re asking tough questions, why is it that after ten long years, MANA has yet to aquire 501c3 status (or even an office address for that matter)? If someone wanted to visit MANA, where would they even go? I will be waiting for you all’s response.
Finally, I want to say LOUD and CLEAR that for all of those who took issue with the persistent challenge to MANA’s leadership: were it not for this blog and the pressure brought to bear by its faithful readers, even this anemic report would have never appeared. May Allah reward those of you that are holding the leadership’s feet to the fire. Continue to do so!
If MANA’s leadership had real jobs, many of them would have been fired long ago