A Community-Led Imam Search Process | ISBCC: A Case Study
This fifth report in ISPU’s “Reimagining Muslim Spaces” series presents a case study of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), the largest mosque in New England. Specifically, we examine how ISBCC meaningfully engaged its community in a thorough and multi-tiered imam hiring process led jointly by the mosque leadership and community. In presenting the findings from this case study, it is hoped that American mosques struggling with finding and retaining suitable mosque leaders will be able to learn from the process outlined here, and tailor it to best meet their own community’s needs.
The goal of the “Reimagining Muslim Spaces” project is to produce research-driven recommendations to enable the development of a mosque that is:
1. Welcoming: Inclusive and engaging
2. Well Governed: Effective and transparent
3. A Hub for Hope: A source of community service
To illustrate how mosques can serve as hubs for hope, ISPU identified four real life examples of American Muslim Institutions doing just that. Rather than simply providing theoretical advice, our researchers interviewed the very people who built these programs and institutions to identify the secret to their success and the wisdom gained from their struggles. We hope these case studies will inspire and instruct others working to develop institutions that serve and uplift.