The website of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood has reported that three of it’s leader visited Lebanon in early August where they discussed their plans to establish a new university in Lebanon. According to the report:
Dr. AbdulHamid AbuSulayman, accompanied by Dr. Ahmad Totonji, VP of Administration and Dr. Jamal Barzinji, VP of Publications, visited Lebanon on August 12, 2008 to pursue consultation and cooperation in establishing Orient University. The group visited with H.E. Mr. Fuad Seniora, Prime Minister of Lebanon to congratulate him on the new cabinet and to discuss progress on the University Project. A meeting with H.E. Ms. Bahia Al-Hariri was also held to congratulate her on her appointment to the cabinet as Minister of Education. Ms. Al-Hariri expressed to IIIT delegation her satisfaction with the application for the University Project and promised to finalize the formalities soon. Dr. AbuSulayman, Dr. Totonji, Dr. Barzinji and Dr. Tawfiq Awji (Director of LCCR, a IIIT affiliate in Lebanon) visited the site of the proposed Orient University. The site, near Tripoli, overlooks the Mediterranean. While in Lebanon, Dr. AbuSulayman together with Dr. Totonji and Dr. Barzinji paid a courtesy visit to His Eminence the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Rasheed Kabbani.
A previous post discussed the IIIT announcement in April of this year that it had purchased land in Northern Lebanon in order to establish the university. As that posted noted, 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. 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. An earlier post also reported that Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, was identified by the South African IIIT affiliate as an IIIT “executive member.” Two of the IIIT founders, Ahmed Totonji and Jamal Barzinji, were instrumental in the founding of most of the important organizations comprising the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Dr. AbdulHamid AbuSulayman is also one of the most important figures in the history of the global Muslim Brotherhood. All three individuals also have strong ties to Saudi Arabia.
Another previous post reported that the Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood, known as al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Association), was founded and led by Faisal Mawlawi, an important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood and a close associate of Youssef Qaradawi. As that posted noted, in August 2005, Mideast news sources reported that “combatants” from the Islamic Group were fighting alongside Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and that the group’s support of Hezbollah dated back to the 1980’s. It would appear then that IIIT is closely linked to the Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood through its association with Mawlawi and Qaradawi which raises the question of why the Lebanese Prime Minister is supporting the IIIT initiative given the close relationship between Hezbollah and the Brotherhood in Lebanon.