Controversy Continues Over Global Muslim Brotherhood Funding Of Canadian Islamic Studies Chair


Canadian local media has reported further details on the controversy surrounding the decision by Huron University College to accept funds from Canadian and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups to fund a chair in Islamic Studies. According to a report in the London Free Press:

Dr. Trish Fulton, acting principal of Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario. (CRAIG GLOVER, The London Free Press) The UWO-affiliated college is caught in the crossfire of a decision to accept money from Muslim groups — one local, one international — to help fund a new chair in Islamic studies. Critics say there’s a link to violent jihadism there and the $2 million could influence school courses and choice of chair. Huron College insists neither is true. Education reporter Jennifer O’Brien examines the issue. “The main crux of our concern is not that they are establishing a chair in Muslim studies — in fact, we think it is urgent for the students at Western and the general public to have a better understanding of Islam. Our concern is for the particular funding of this chair,” said Rory Leishman, a freelance journalist acting as a spokesperson for the Western alumni and friends who signed a letter written by UWO professor John Palmer, urging Huron to turn down the funding. According to 26 people who signed the letter, the problem is the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) supports a vision of Islam first outlined by a man named Hassan Al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 and advocated jihad against those who don’t follow Islam. This is based on a statement posted on MAC’s website, which says “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 Al-banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-banna has also been quoted as saying Islam will “obliterate” Israel. Opponents are also concerned about the association between MAC and London’s Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, whose president Assem Fadel, was also the head of a former charity that had its licence revoked over reports it had funneled money to “known terrorist associations.”
Based on the assumption those who provide funding for the chair will have influence over the type of courses offered, the group has even more urgent concerns about the $1 million that will be provided by the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT).

Read the rest here.

Previous posts reported on the the Huron University College and IIIT announcements of the project.

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.

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