The Huron University College has announced the establishment of a $2 million Chair in Islamic Studies funded with major financial assistance from the US and Canadian Muslim Brotherhoods. According to the announcement:
On Saturday, March 5th Huron University College hosted a gathering of over 100 Muslim community leaders from London and Windsor to celebrate the establishment of a $2 million Chair in Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College – the first Chair in Islamic Studies to be established in a Faculty of Theology in Canada. Also in attendance was Khalil Ramal, Member of Provincial Parliament for London-Fanshawe, and Chris Bentley, Member of Provincial Parliament for London West, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, and Attorney General of Ontario. Continuing Huron’s tradition of building bridges between the Anglican and Muslim religious communities in London, a relationship that dates back to the Rev. Dr. John Morden’s tenure as Principal of Huron from 1962 until 1984, the purpose of the Chair is to bring to Huron University College a scholar with exceptional academic credentials who can also represent an authentic voice within the Muslim community of Southwestern Ontario….In addition to individual contributions, major support for the Chair has been provided by Mr. Sam Bouji, President and C.E.O of Global Education Marketing Corporation, the Islamic Centre for Southwestern Ontario, the London Muslim Mosque, the Muslim Association of Canada, and the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), a non-profit foundation based in Herndon, Virginia, dedicated to furthering Islamic scholarship in higher education.
An earlier post discussed an IIIT announcement about plans for the Huron University College Islamic Chair. Previous posts have also discussed IIIT financing of an Islamic Chair at the University of Central Florida and a failed IIIT attempt to endow a Chair at Temple University which was canceled over the University’s concern about IIIT’s role in a terrorism financing investigation.
According a Hudson Institute report, IIIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the Islamization of Knowledge as conceived by Al-Faruqi and who were also early leaders of ISNA. 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 March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism and both organizations had been under investigation at that time by the U.S. Justice Department until at least mid 2007. The organization appeared to have withdrawn from public view following the 2002 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. IIIT has al been involved withn.
The MAC appears to be one of the only organizations in the world that acknowledges its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the MAC website:
MAC’s roots are deeply enshrined in the message of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Its modern roots can be traced to the Islamic revival of the early twentieth century, culminating in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood. This movement influenced Islamic activities, trends and intellectual discourse throughout the world including those of Muslims who came to Canada in search of freedom, education and better opportunities. MAC adopts and strives to implement Islam, as embodied in the Qur’an, and the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam, Hassan Albanna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. MAC regards this ideology as the best representation of Islam as delivered by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
In addition, a 2007 MAC webpage lists US Muslim Brotherhood leader and Canadian National Jamal Badawi as a director of the organization. Dr. Badawi is a leader in many of the most important organizations of the global Muslim Brotherhood including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (Canada), the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR). As previous posts have noted, recently released documents indicate that he was (and probably still is), a member of the leadership structure of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. He can be characterized as one of the leading ideologues of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and has traveled widely all over the world as a representative of the U.S. Muslim community. Dr. Badawi was also listed by US federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspriator in the Holy Land terrorism financing trial.