A South African Islamic organizaton has reported that the annual conference of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, will be held in Capetown this year. In what may prove to be a highly embarrassing admission, it has reported that Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi is formally affiliated with IIIT. According to the press release issued by the Awqaf South Africa:
The delegation will be hosted in South Africa by the Office of Ebrahim Jadwat, a long standing associate of the IIIT, Awqaf South Africa and the Muslim Students’ Association of the Cape (MSA). The conference will take place from 20 – 26 January 2008, according to organiser Mikaeel Collier, spokesperson for Awqaf SA. “The IIIT usually convenes bi-annually and has been hosted in different parts of the world but Cape Town was chosen as the location this year. The IIIT is basically a group of Islamic educationalists and academics from all over the globe. At this conference, they will discuss topics on Islamic education, culture, knowledge, the state of the international Muslim community as well as the vision for Muslims for the next few years,” Collier told VOC on Wednesday…“The conference will be a closed meeting where the IIIT has an advisory body meeting as well as the executive meeting. However, we have scheduled meetings outside that closed session and we will be meeting with key Muslim organisations, academics and government officials in South Africa. They will also be delivering khutbahs at various mosques on the 26th January. Between the National Awqaf SA and the MSA, there will be a community workers’ workshop taking place after the conference has concluded.”
An online biography describes Ebrahim Jadwat as a disciple of Ahmed Deedat, the well-known and recently deceased South African Islamist:
Ebrahim Jadwat is a businessman and has been associated with Sheikh Ahmed Deedat ever since his youth. Sheikh Deedat impacted greatly on his religious outlook and continues to serve as a source of inspiration for him. He was one of the founders of the Muslim Youth Movement, an organisation that played an important role in introducing Sheikh Ahmed Deedat to the Middle East and nominated him as a candidate for the prestigious Faisal Prize. He played a critical role in the establishment and development of several Islamic institutions.
According to the New York Times, Deedat was a backer of Osama Bin Laden as well as an anti-Semite:
In Durban, the Islamic Propagation Center International has long been financed by the bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia, and its founder, Ahmed Deedat, who is now dead, was a vocal anti-Semite and ardent backer of Osama bin Laden.
The Awqaf South Africa press release goes on to name the some of the IIIT board and executive members described as:
… the foremost scholars, academics and intellectuals in the Muslim world, including the leading Islamic theologian Dr. Yusuf Al-Qardawi, the former Finance Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Anwar Ebrahim, the exiled Iraqi leader Dr. Ahmad Totonjie and the founder and rector of the International Islamic University (IIU) in Kuala Lumpur, Professor Dr. Abdul Hamid Ahmad Abu Sulayman, to name a few.
IIIT was founded in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge” and Youssef Qaradawi, now the leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, played an important role in the European meeting which gave birth to the organization. However, until now, his name has never been mentioned as a formal member of the organization nor does his name appear in IIIT registration documents. Qaradawi is banned from travel to the U.S. and has made numerous statements supporting suicide bombing and attacks on Coalition forces in Iraq. IIIT itself is associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003 and is still under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department in connection with the financing of terrorism. Should the information about Qaradawi’s role in IIIT be correct, it might cast doubt upon the propriety of the organizations connection with the U.S. government.