In the latest development concerning the relationship between U.S. universities and the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), the QFIS website reveals that six U.S. universities have established a permanent relationship with QFIS. According to a QFIS web page:
Established in 2007, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS) is an international center for Islamic thinking and dialogue. Its aim is to enhance research into Islamic culture and promote the diversity and tolerance of the Islamic Fiqh, or understanding. Learning takes place in an open, intellectual environment and produces a structure of study that will enable future generations of scholars to become experts in Islamic culture and ideology. These graduates will be well-equipped to tackle the challenges facing Muslim communities across the world. QFIS offers programs in: Master of Science in Islamic Finance, Master of Arts in Public Policy in Islam, Master of Arts in Islamic Studies with a specialization in Contemporary Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Religion and Contemporary Thought, Master of Science in Urban Design and Architecture in Muslim Societies, Master of Arts in Contemporary Muslim Societies .Postgraduate Diplomas in: Islamic Finance. General Islamic Studies. Public Policy in Islam. Research is a critical component, with six specialized centers providing opportunities for postgraduate students, residents, and visiting scholars to investigate research topics in their field of interest.
The QFIS page then goes on to identify its six research centers with the Al-Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal at the top of the list. A post from 2008 had discussed the plans for the center named after Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. At that time, the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and Northwestern University in Qatar were identified as the two most recent additions to the Qatar Education City,
Another QFIS web page now identifies what it describes as “branch campuses of eight strategically selected elite international universities, delivering world-class programs chosen to ensure Qatar is equipped with essential skills and specialisms.” Six of those campuses represent the following U.S. universities:
- Texas A&M University at Qatar
- Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
- Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar
- Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar
- Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
- Northwestern University in Qatar
Four of the above universities were among the six U.S. universities that helped to co-organized the launch ceremony for the newest of the QFIS research centers to be headed by Tariq Ramadan, another critically important leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and co-directed by a close associate of Qaradawi. As discussed in an earlier post, the launch ceremony also included representatives of two organizations headed by Youssef Qaradawi and an organization tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, and support for Al Qaeda. Another post reported that Georgetown University academic and Global Muslim Brotherhood supporter John Esposito was amongst the event speakers who also included Qaradawi himself.
The GMDR has devoted an unusual amount of space to this topic because we believe that the formation of the center represents a highly significant coming together of Qaradawi and Ramadan, the two most important leaders of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi is known as a virulent anti-Semite 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.
The fact that major U.S. universities feel comfortable with associating themselves so closely with Qaradawi and his representatives speaks volumes as to how rapidly the Global Muslim Brotherhood is becoming legitimized as a mainstream political force.