IIFSO’s FOUNDING & HISTORY
The International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO) is a historic global organization of Muslim student associations.
In 1963, the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (MSA) was established on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, bringing together student constituencies from the Muslim world and beyond.
The association provided a sense of identity for foreign Muslim students, while addressing the challenges they faced and focusing on developing well-rounded students with a deep sense of Islamic civic responsibility and solidarity.
Over the years, representatives of the MSA participated in conferences and conventions of other Muslim student organizations across the world, with Muslim youth gathering towards a common goal: the creation of an umbrella organization that could help in the organized promotion of concepts such as the unity of Islamic thought, the universality of Islamic solidarity, and the consolidation of mature Muslim leadership towards the ends of development, growth and social harmony.
The plan to establish a world federation of Muslim student organizations finally realized with the establishment of the IIFSO, was adopted at a convention held at Ibadan University, Nigeria, in July 1966, with the attendance of representatives from Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ghana, and Guinea. A preparatory committee was formed to mobilize ideas and resources for an international conference to be held in Sudan in December 1968.
The Sudan conference of 1968 was visibly international; where delegates of Muslim student organizations from Europe, North America, and Africa were in attendance.
The conference concluded with the adoption of an interim constitution.
Three months later, in February 1969, a larger convocation was held in Makkah during Hajj, where delegates resolved to: reconsider the IIFSO constitution and make any appropriate amendments; make arrangements for convening the IIFSO General Constituent Assembly; and develop widespread contacts in order to introduce the IIFSO, its mission, and purpose, and further secure affiliation from a maximum number of student organizations, and ensure material support for the Constituent Assembly.
The first inaugural conference of IIFSO was held on 13-14 June 1969, at the Bilal Mosque in Aachen, Germany.
Then, the organization has held international conferences in several countries. Each conference has had a positive effect on strengthening the local Islamic community. A second conference was held in Aachen in 1971; while the third and fourth conference took place in Istanbul; with the fifth in Kuala Lumpur; sixth in Khartoum; and seventh again in Malaysia in 1988.
IIFSO has also been active in providing relief and reconstruction aid in areas struck by natural disasters. for instance, IIFSO has organized Islamic work among Latin American populations in North and South America. The mandate for these initiatives were set down in two international conferences held by IIFSO in Mexico (1987) and Columbia (1988).
IIFSO would go on to establish regional roots, holding regional conferences around the world in South and Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific region, North and South America, Europe, as well as Africa.
Empower well-rounded youth to reach their full potential by delivering leadership, education and capacity building programs.
Represent youth of the Muslim world at the level of international policy, while guiding regional strategies in the interest of Muslim states and populations.
Contribute to and support the development, impact, and integration of IIFSO member organizations’.
Promote the understanding and practice of Islamic values, and their effective use in youths’ personal and professional lives.
Inclusively represent Muslim youth and students worldwide through cooperation and coordination with all stakeholders sharing common interests and values in the international scene.
Campaign for the advancement of youth and students, enhancement of their condition, and the resolution of challenges they face.
To realize an open global Muslim youth platform that develops, empowers, and serves youth and students worldwide in achieving their full potential, the development of their communities, nations and regions by drawing on Islamic values of unity and excellence.