ISNA Hosts Qatari Interfaith Center With Ties To Qaradawi


The Islamic Society of North America has reported that earlier this month, it hosted the president and board members from the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) on a 7-day trip across the United States entitled, ‘Exploring Interreligious Approaches to Collaborations for the Common Good.’ According to the ISNA report:

Earlier this month, ISNA leadership hosted president and board members from the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) on a 7-day trip across the United States entitled, ‘Exploring Interreligious Approaches to Collaborations for the Common Good.’ The DICID, which officially opened in 2008, is committed ‘to be a leading model in achieving peaceful coexistence between followers of different faiths and an international reference for interfaith dialogue.’  It is the only international interfaith institution of its kind in the Middle East, and hosts annual conferences on topics of religious and international interest. Examples of DICID conference topics include: fostering religious values and tradition in the new generation, addressing the socioeconomic realities that impact interreligious dialogue, and partnering to fulfill the common religious purpose of protecting the earth and our environment. ISNA leaders regularly participate in these events in Doha, Qatar and were pleased last year to invite DICID leaders to the U.S. to discuss our national strategies on many of these topics.  This year, their visit to the U.S. focused on the grassroots;  The tour provided ISNA with an excellent opportunity to introduce the DICID officials  to its key partners in the local American interreligious communities and allow them a first hand look at the leading interfaith projects in the U.S.  The leaders traveled to Chicago, California, and Washington D.C. on their two week visit. Read the rest here.

An earlier post reported that in April 2010, ISNA organized an interfaith discussion to honor the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) that was attended by White House officials including US Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) envoy Rashad Hussain.

The DICID board of directors and advisers includes many important representatives of the College of Sharia & Islamic Studies at Qatar University where Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi was formerly the Dean. Qaradawi appears to continue to enjoy close relations with the College where he recently attended a graduation and with whom his Center jointly organized a symposium. As previous post reported, in November 2010 Qaradawi had planned to boycott the 8th DICID conference.  According to an Egyptian media report:

Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has announced his intention to boycott the 8th Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue conference. The three-day event is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. Al-Qaradawi said he opposes discourse with Jews in principle. Sources close to the Sheikh said he rejects Jewish political, rather than religious, affiliation. A statement from al-Qaradawi’s office Monday said he took part in the first three conferences, at which strictly Muslims and Christians were in attendance. He refused to attend when Jews began participating, the statement added. “How can we conduct a dialogue in a time when they seize lands, shed blood, burn farms, and demolish houses? Palestine’s conundrum has to be resolved first before we sit together at the same table,” the statement quoted al-Qaradawi as saying. Sources said al-Qaradawi previously met with representatives from Naturei Karta, an international group of anti-Zionist, Orthodox Jews.

Qaradawi is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.

report by the Hudson Institute has identified ISNA as a major part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Although recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history.

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