According to promotional material, a United States Naval Academy professor is teaching on behalf of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and where global Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi reportedly serves as a trustee. IIIT recently announced its Summer Students Program for 2013 to be held from May 26 – July 3. According to the IIIT announcement, one of the instructors for the program will be Professor Ermin Sinanovic, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland who will be teaching the following course titled “Muslim World Affairs”:
This course is meant to provide students who had little or no background on the Muslim world with a basic understanding of its contemporary history, its geopolitics, its diverse cultures, languages and ethnic groups. Also, the course introduces the key issues and developments that framed the relationship between the world of Islam and the West, such as the colonial encounter, the capitalist expansion of the West, the emergence of the nation-state and its institutions, the discovery of oil in the Middle East and its implications, the communication revolution and contemporary globalization and their impact on cultures, values and life styles; and finally the US foreign policy towards the Muslim world and its implications. This course will be covered in twelve hours. Instructor: Professor Ermin Sinanovic, US Naval Academy, Maryland.
According to his bio, Ermin Sinanovic is:
…an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. He studied for an MA and a PhD in Political Science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Prof. Sinanovic obtained two BAs (one in Qur’an and Sunnah Studies, the other in Political Science) and an MA (Islamic Civilization) from the International Islamic University Malaysia. His research interests include transnational Islamic revival, Southeast Asian politics, Islamic movements, Middle East politics, Islamic political thought, and Islam and politics in general. At the Naval Academy, Prof. Sinanovic teaches courses on Southeast Asian politics, Middle East politics, and Islam and politics. He speaks Bosnian, English, Arabic, and Malay. “
One of the other instructors at the IIIT summer program will be US Muslim Brotherhood leader Louay Safi, identified in the announcement as affiliated with the College of Islamic Studies of the Qatar Foundation. In 2009 Louay Safi, also an official at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), was at the center of a controversy when it was learned that the US Defense Department brought him to Fort Hood as an instructor and that he had been lecturing on Islam to troops in Fort Hood who were about to deploy to Afghanistan. In February 2010, the activities and lectures of Dr. Safi on all military bases were suspended pending a criminal inquiry by the U.S. military. A shooting took place at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas on November 5, 2009 in which a single gunman killed 13 people and over 30 people were injured in the worst shooting ever to take place on an American military base. The only suspect in the shooting is Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old U.S. Army major serving as a psychiatrist. Dr. Safi has also been recently identified as a leading member of the Syrian National Council, a Syrian opposition group dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Another instructor at the program will be Jasser Aouda (aka Jasser Auda), also identified as affiliated with the College of Islamic Studies of the Qatar Foundation. Dr Auda is best known as a a key advisor to Imamn Feisal Rauf, in turn known for his attempts to build an Islamic center two blocks away from the site of the 911 attacks. Dr. Auda is also a member of the IIIT Academic Council and a founding member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and whose board of directors is comprised of many leaders of the Global Brotherhood. Dr. Auda is currently the Deputy Director of the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics, headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and a Global Muslim Brotherhood leader in his own right.
Dr. Sinanovic has also been featured at other IIIT events and the UK branch of IIIT recently announced that he will be teaching at a summer school from 24 August – 7 September 2013 in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. A flyer about the program indicates that the major speaker at the IIIT Bosnian summer school will be Tariq Ramadan. Dr. Sinanovic is also one of the founding members of the Bosniak Academy of Sciences and Arts, closely associated with Mustafa Ceric, the former Grand Mufti of Bosnia and an associate of Youssef Qaradawi. In September 2008, IIIT met with Dr. Ceric to discuss a proposal to a new University in Bosnia with IIIT acting as a consultant.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) describes itself as “a private, non-profit, academic, cultural and educational institution, concerned with general issues of Islamic thought and education” and using the slogan “Towards Islamization of Knowledge and Reform of Islamic Thought.” The concept for IIIT was developed at a meeting held in Lugano, Switzerland that was attended by many luminaries of the Global Muslim Brotherhood including Youssef Qaradawi. IIIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Iraqi-born Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the Islamization of Knowledge as conceived by Ismail Al-Faruqi and who were also early leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). A1991 internal document of the US Muslim Brotherhood, introduced as evidence in the holy Land Foundation trial, included IIIT in “a list of our organizations and organizations of our friends.”
IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism and both organizations had been under investigation at that time by the U.S. Justice Department until at least mid 2007. The organization appeared to have withdrawn from public view following the 2002 raids but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late. The IIIT Council of Scholars includes a number of important individuals from the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood such as Ingrid Mattson, the former President of ISNA. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia and is heavily involved with publishing and promoting publications by Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Youssef Qaradawi.
While there is no evidence to date suggesting any improper behavior on the part of Professor Sinanovic, the GMBDW wonders about the propriety of an instructor for the US military being so closely associated with an organization that is intimately tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and to its putative global leader Youssef Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite and the head of an organization declared a terrorist entity by the US government who has called for attacks on US troops and civilians in Iraq and for the collapse of the US itself. Teaching alongside Louay Safi, depending on the state of the criminal inquiry into his activities, may also be a serious issue.
For part 2 of this story, go here.