Mustapha Elturk, ameer (Imam and President) of IONA, immigrated to the United States in 1976 amid the start of the civil war in Lebanon to continue his higher education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Lawrence Institute of Technology, and a Masters of Liberal Arts in Social Justice from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan.
Imam Elturk is a student of the late Islamic thinker, scholar, and one of the most revered contemporary teachers of the Quran in southeast Asia, Dr. Israr Ahmad (d. 2010) (RA). Under his guidance he gained knowledge in Theology, Fundamentals of Faith (emphasis on Iman (creed), Tawheed (oneness of God), Sciences and Exegesis of the Qur’an, and Sirah, the Prophet Muhammad’s biography. Imam Elturk’s passion for learning and teaching the Qur’an dates back to 1993 when he encountered Dr. Israr Ahmad (RA) during an American lecture tour which inspired him to delve into the meaning and wisdom of the Quran.
He joined the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) in 1995 and became active in propagating the message of the Qur’an to Muslims and those of other faiths through Friday sermons and lectures in Mosques and other facilities across America and abroad. He served as IONA’s Education and Training Director from 1998 to 2003. Thereafter he was appointed Ameer (Imam and President) of IONA headquartered in Warren, Michigan. He left his thriving career as an electronics engineering consultant in 2007 to lead the IONA Masjid and Learning Center established in the same year in Warren, Michigan.
Imam Elturk co-founded the Muslim Chaplaincy Program at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary (ETS) in Detroit, Michigan, where he taught theology, modes of worship, and Qur’anic studies. He is a recipient of the ETS’ 2013 Spirit of Unity Award. Imam Elturk was honored the 2020 Interfaith Leader Award from the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC) for his interfaith leadership and social justice activism.
As a publicly engaged leader and a leading interfaith activist in the Detroit metropolitan area, Imam Elturk served on the Executive Board of directors as Treasurer of the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC). He served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ). ICRJ, a non-profit organization in Macomb County in Michigan, promotes the ideals and universal values of freedom, equality and justice of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also served on the Executive Board of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC), an umbrella organization dedicated to pursuing social justice and promote the best Islamic and American values.
Currently, Imam Elturk:
- is a member of the Imams Council of Michigan where he served as a co-chair.
- serves on the University Islamic Center (Wayne State) board of directors.
- serves on the advisory board of the Michigan Coalition of Human Rights (MCHR)
- is a co-founding member of the American Human Rights Council (AHRC).
- is involved with the Faith Outreach Committee of the People’s Water Board Coalition, an
organization committed to advocate for clean, accessible and Affordable Water and Sanitation for all.
- is a member of the Religious Leaders Forum of the Abrahamic Faiths of Metropolitan Detroit
- is the President of the American Society for Religious and Cultural Understanding (ASRCU) a dawah
organization involved mainly in the prisons and correctional facitilities.