ISNA’S Convention Social Media Flop

Last week after dinner, I was at the kitchen counter with my computer checking out the upcoming ISNA convention online. my daughter dashed in to grab a snack for her friends. She’s enjoying the last summer sleepovers before school starts. On her way to the fridge she stopped in her tracks and stared at my screen in shock. 

Don’t Take US To ISNA’s Convention

The image that got her attention was a poster spotlighting the speakers at ISNA’s upcoming annual convention, which runs over Labor Day Weekend in Houston. 

“Dad, please promise you’re not going to take us there again,” she groaned, rolling her eyes but also a little bit afraid of how I might answer. “Never again, dear, never again,” I answered, reassuring her with a smile.

Breathing a sigh of relief, she started her classic deadpan humor: “You now, I have been waiting with baited breath for the newest Yaser Birjas lecture!” she declared with a twinkle before dashing back out of the room.

Discovering The Flop

I soon discovered my daughter and her friends aren’t the only teenagers who lack a burning desire to take in ISNA panels laden with legions of long-winded long-beards. I searched for “ISNA” on twitter, expecting to see an Ikhwani echo chamber hailing the 55th annual convention. Instead I discovered the most popular ISNA tweet (at least as of last night) is from an MTV producer who didn’t mince words about how he feels about such events or how he ends up there involuntarily: 

I also found four-letter millennial mockery:

Losing The Youth

The Twitter search revealed that ISNA has problems. First, its social media game is terrible. With the convention only a few days away, their posts have hardly generated any engagement on social media. Their posts excitedly – maybe too excitedly – announced that it isn’t too late to get tickets… and no one tweets. Look, I’ve seen events on the local library get more retweets than the huge ISNA mega-convention is generating.

Second, and likely related, ISNA seems to have a generational problem. Most young American Muslims are not excited about their events. They’re actually put off by them. If there was a surge of youth excitement, we should have seen it on social media. And my daughter and her peers wouldn’t be mocking ISNA.

It’s not clear exactly why this is going on. But hey, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer organization!