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Sep
27

Ahmed Totonji To Speak In Brunei

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Asian media is reporting on a conference in Brunei that was scheduled for mid-September andi titled “‘Envisioning the Future of the Islamic World in the Era of Uncertainties: Views of Scholars.” According to the report:

The Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOAS CIS) of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), is a research centre with a mission to generate Islamic experts and scholars capable of exploring contemporary issues in the framework of Islamic world views and values, as well as appreciating and understanding Islam in daily life from political, economical and social perspectives. This is in line with its vision to develop SOAS CIS into a world-class centre of applied Islamic knowledge, values and intellectual resources. Towards achieving this vision, SOAS CIS is keen to forge academic and cultural relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim scholars of the Middle East, Africa, America, Europe and the Asia Pacific regions. SOAS CIS has already opened its doors to international graduate students from abroad and between September 15 and 17, world-renowned intellectuals and academics will gather at UBD to deliberate on the topic of ‘Envisioning the Future of the Islamic World in the Era of Uncertainties: Views of Scholars’…..The conference is expected to provide much-desired transformational ideas and strategies that would contribute to the answer of the Ummah’s internal problems and the search for better civilisation alternatives. Government officials, lecturers, students and the general public should not miss this exceptional opportunity to listen and gain knowledge and inspiration from the congregation of eminent scholars. “

Speakers of interest were to include:

  • Dr Ahmad Totonji of the International Institute of Islamic Thought in the USA
  • Dr Tim Winter – also known as Abdal Hakim Murad – of Cambridge University in the UK
  • Professor Dr Omar Hasan Kasule of the King Fahd Medical City in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Professor Dr Carl Ernst of the University of North Carolina in the USA
  • Professor Dato’ Dr Mohd Azmi Omar of the International Islamic University in Malaysia,

Dr. Ahmed Totonji was born in Iraqi and was active in U.K Muslim student organizations before he came to the U.S. in 1963 to study for his PHD in Petroleum Engineering . In January 1963, Dr. Totonji, along with other seventy other Muslim students, assembled at the University of Illinois and formed the Muslim Student Association (MSA) of the United States and Canada. One report indicates that Dr. Totonji envisioned a “worldwide network” of organizations patterned after the MSA that later became the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO) in 1966 and which he served as the second Secretary-General. Sometime after receiving his PHD, Dr. Totonji appears to have moved to Saudi Arabia and at some point received Saudi citizenship. He says he assisted in the establishment of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Totonji also served as the Deputy to the Secretary General of he World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY)  from 1973-1979. and said that he left WAMY headquarters in 1982. Dr. Totonji was instrumental in founding both the International Institute of Islamic Thought and the SAAR Foundation, a Northern Virginia Islamic charity that was thought to have been funded largely by the Al Rajhi family of Saudi Arabia. Both organizations received substantial attention in 2002 when many of the organizations linked to SAAR were raided by federal authorities in a terrorism investigation. Although he is no longer listed as an IIIT official, an earlier post discussed a 2008 press release by the IIIT South Africa office which described Dr. Totonji as an “exiled Iraqi leader” and identified him as part of the IIIT board and executive members. Youssef Qaradawi, one of the most important leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood, was also identified as affiliated with IIIT.

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