#ISNAstories: Understanding the Line Between Faith and Culture in the U.S.

Last month over 15,000 people attended the 51st Annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Convention in Detroit.


Last month over 15,000 people attended the 51st Annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Convention in Detroit’s Cobo Center. The event included a keynote address from President Jimmy Carter, an art gallery featuring Muslim artists, and a number of discussions surrounding this year’s theme – “GenerationsRise: Elevating Muslim American Culture.” 


WDET worked with local volunteers to capture #ISNAstories of those who attended.

We heard from a range of people, both young and old, about how being in the United States has impacted their faith and culture. Praveen Mohammed shares the difference between how she and her children learned about Islam. 


Many of the young Muslims we spoke to agreed. The difference between the way their parents learned about the faith and the way they practice Islam today is all based on a misunderstanding of what is a cultural practice versus a religious custom. Merium, an attendee of ISNA’s Muslim Youth for North America (MYNA) explains. 


“Overseas religion and culture are very integrated…Because we’re growing up [in the U.S.], in a culture, in a society, that’s very multicultural and multi-ethnic, it’s easier for us to see the line between religion and culture.”

Masood Huq offers a different opinion, sharing how western influences have impacted more than the just the culture of young Muslims. It has also encourages many to be more inclusive in practicing their faith. 

The ISNA Convention hosted a set of interfaith dialogues. Conversations took place over how people from various cultures and religious backgrounds can work together in order to strengthen humanitarian efforts. 

For more information about ISNA, visit www.isna.net




  • Courtney Hurtt
    Courtney Hurtt is the Associate Director of Product Development and Business Operations for WDET. A life-long learner with a deep interest in digital storytelling, her job is to help WDET reach new and diverse audiences in innovative ways.