An announcement by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) illustrates how the U.S. government is assisting the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood in establishing relationships with foreign Muslims. According to the announcement : [Editor’s note: the multiple typos and incomplete sentences below are in the original text]:
A group of twelve French Muslims who are studying for a degree in Islamic Studies at IIIT France recently completed an intensive certificate program on History and Sociology of Islam in America at The Fairfax Institute at IIIT. They stayed in the Washington, D.C. area from February 14 to February 21. The intensive program included lectures and guided field visits during the day, and dinner lectures in the evening all week from Monday, February 16 to Friday, February 20. The certificate program consisted of min-courses on History of Islam in America, Muslims in American Public Life; Culture and Assimilation; Demographics, Mosques and Organizations; Islam, Other Religions and Foundations of the American Political System. On Monday Professor Sulayman Nyang taught the group and guided them on visits to the National Museum of American History, Masjid Muhammad and Collections and Stories of American Muslims (CSAM). Imam Yusuf Saleem of Masjid Muhammad and Amir Muhammad of CSAM addressed the group. On Tuesday Dr. Zahid Bukhari taught the group and guided them on visits to Council of American-Islamic Relations, where Executive Director Nihad Awad, Public Relations Director Ibrahim Hooper, and Gievrnement Relatiosn Directro Corey Saylor addressed the, Then they visited Capitol Hill where members of Muslim Congressional Staffers Association (MCSA) Assad Akhter and Diala Jadallah met and spoke to the group. On Wednesday, the group was taught by Dr. Omar Altalib, followed by an afternoon of presentations and discussion about IIIT, led by IIIT Vice President Dr. Jamal Barzinji. Dr. Hisham Altalib, Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti and Dr. Iqbal Unus also spoke at this session. The group attended the “American Mosque in the 21st Century” conference organized by the American Muslim Studies Program at Georgetown University on Thursday. The all-day conference was attended by several leaders of the area Muslim community and addressed by scholars and practitioners in the field of American Muslim studies. On Friday, Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad taught them in the morning, followed by a visit to All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center for Jumu’a and presentation and meeting with ADAMS’ officials. This was followed by the concluding session in late afternoon when participants made oral presentation and received their certificates of achievement. The visiting French Muslims included five women and seven men from a diverse background and several professions from accounting to media. For almost all of them this was their visit to the United States and an opportunity to compare and contrast Muslim life in America and France.
Every one of the individuals and organizations and organizations identified by IIIT are tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and its constituent organizations. All though it is not confirmed in the announcement, in the past such visits have been sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s International Visitors Program. A post from last month discussed a similar visit by German Muslims to IIIT sponsored by the State Department.
IIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” 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 2003 in connection with the financing of terrorism. The organization appeared to withdrawn from public view following the 2003 raids, but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia. Although little is known about the activities of these IIIT affiliates, recent posts have discussed plans by IIIT to construct colleges in Bosnia and Lebanon. A report in the Washington Post from June 2007 indicated that IIIT and the SAAR Foundation were still under investigation by the Justice Department.