The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) has reported that it has held a discussion on “the status and future of Islamic Studies in American Universities.” According to the announcement:
Over twenty scholars from different disciplines ranging from religious studies to history to law, science and literature participated in the two weeks event that started on July 27 and ended on August 7th, 2009….The program included a session dedicated to “Reflections on the status and future of Islamic Studies in American Universities”. The focus of the discussion, presented by Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti and D. Zahid Bukhari, was the final report and recommendations of the Center of Islam and Public Policy (CIPP) which was commissioned by IIIT to conduct a comprehensive study on the status of Islamic Studies in American Universities. Also included were social events that brought together the scholars participating in the Summer Institute together with IIIT staff and their families and the students participating in IIIT Summer program for graduate and undergraduate students.IIIT is planning to publish the papers presented during the program in an edited volume later this year.
In addition to Abubaker Al-Shingieti and D. Zahid Bukhari, other well known individuals tied to the U.S, Muslim Brotherhood participating included:
- Charles Butterworth, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland (Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy)
- Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD, Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland (Minaret of Freedom Institute)
- Robert Crane (United Association for Studies and Research)
According to a recent Hudson Institute report, IIIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Barzinji and Altalib 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 The organization appeared to withdrawn from public view following the 2003 raids, but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late.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.