Huron University College Appoints Former ISNA President As New Islamic Studies Chair

Ingrid Mattson

Huron University College in Canada has announced the appointment of Dr. Ingrid Mattson as the first Chair of Islamic Studies. According to the announcement:

Oct. 14, 2011 /CNW/ – Huron University College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ingrid Mattson as the inaugural London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at its Faculty of Theology. The Chair in Islamic Studies builds on an almost 150-year tradition at Huron University College of open discourse and engagement between people of different faiths. Dr. Mattson will begin her appointment on July 1, 2012. Dr. Mattson brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and expertise to this area of study and Huron is privileged to have a scholar of her calibre,” said Dr. Stephen McClatchie, Principal of Huron University College. “We are honoured that, with her pick of many positions around the world, Dr. Mattson has decided to return to Canada and accept our appointment to the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies.” Dr. Mattson was born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo and earned her PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. She is the first convert to Islam and the first woman to lead the Islamic Society of North America. Before accepting the Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College, Dr. Mattson was Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford Connecticut. She has also been an Advisor to both the Bush and Obama Administrations. “It is an honour to be back in Canada and to accept this position at such a prestigious institution as Huron University College,” said Dr. Mattson. “Huron has a remarkable history of critical inquiry and I look forward to building on this tradition by offering Huron students the opportunity to learn about a faith that more than 20 per cent of the world’s population practices, in an open and liberal environment.” Building on almost 150 years of theological education in the Anglican tradition and having already made similar appointments in Comparative Religions and the Hebrew Bible, creating a Chair in Islamic Studies is a natural progression in terms of curriculum and program development at Huron University College. As this is the first Chair in Islamic Studies at a faculty of theology in Canada, with Dr. Mattson’s impeccable credentials and academic record, it is a privilege for Huron University College to have her join the faculty and hold this historic position.”

Previous posts have reported on the controversy surrounding the decision by Huron University College to accept funds from Canadian and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups to fund the chair in Islamic Studies.

Ingrid Mattson was elected as President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 2006 after long service as an ISNA functionary including as ISNA Vice-President. She is also the director of the Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations which appears to be developing growing ties with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), another important part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and one of the funders of the Huron chair. Mattson was appointed in 2009 to the then newly established IIIT Council of Scholars and was replaced in 2010 as ISNA President.

A Hudson Institute report details the Muslim Brotherhood origins and ties of both ISNA and IIIT.

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