D.C. Branch Of Saudi University Closed; Had Been Known For Extremism


The Saudi news agency has reported that the Washington D.C. branch of a Saudi Islamic university with ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood has been closed. According to the report:

The official Saudi news agency has reported that the branch of the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Washington, D.C. has been officially closed, after years of inactivity. It was the second overseas branch of the university to be shut down. During its operation, the university taught an extremist religious curriculum called “The Institute for Arab and Islamic Sciences,” which was the reason for its closure. Intellectuals in Saudi Arabia have been calling for the closure of the main branch of the university in Saudi Arabia as well as of all its overseas branches due to its support for extremism and takfir.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies described The Institute for Arab and Islamic Sciences (IIASA) as follows:

The Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America is the largest source of Saudi hate literature in the Washington area. The institute is located at 8500 Hilltop Road, Fairfax, Va. 22031, a branch of Imam Muhammad bin Sa’ud University in Riyadh, the main religious university in the country, and is managed and staffed by Saudi diplomats. The Institute practices gender segregation against its women students who are confined to a small part of the building and forced to use a back entrance. It also practices religious supremacy and bars Shi’a students, teachers, and books. Shi’a Muslims make up 20% of Saudi Arabia but their beliefs are taught as Jewish manipulations not as an Islamic tradition. The Institute teaches Wahhabi Islam to over 400 students, tuition free, mainly training them to serve as imams in U.S. mosques, i.e. as community leaders infected with extremism. The head of the U.S. branch is a Saudi diplomat, Dr. Ahmed Turkistani. The university has six branches outside Saudi Arabia that annually cost the country over $100 million, and over 60 institutes in the country in addition to four campuses.

News reports indicate that the IIASA was raided and shutdown by Federal agents in July 2004. The same reports describe the ties between IIASA and Jaafar Idris, a Sudanese cleric who had been deported in January 2004 for visa violations:

A law-enforcement source said the raid might have been linked to Jaafar Idris, one of 16 persons from the institute deported from the United States in January. Mr. Idris is a Sudanese national who held Saudi diplomatic credentials and had an office at the Saudi embassy. He lectured at the institute and espoused Wahhabism, the source said. The law-enforcement source said Mr. Idris was president of American Open University in Alexandria and helped found the Islamic Foundation of America in Springfield, which a federal law-enforcement official said operated a school, a mosque and a prison-outreach program. The foundation’s Virginia office was visited by well-known Islamic extremists – including Sirhaj Wirhaj, a New York imam who was an unindicted conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to the source. No one at the institute answered its phone yesterday. Founded in 1989, the institute is affiliated with al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is a nonprofit group that offers free courses in Islamic studies and in Arabic.

Idris and/or the Open American University are known to have participated in the 2002 and 2003 conferences of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Ahmad Shleibak, a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), is both a graduate of Muhammad bin Saud University and a former professor at Open American University. FCNA is affiliated with ISNA which is, in turn, part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

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