The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) has announced that it was scheduled to hold an outreach program at Shenandoah University in Virginia. According to the IIIT announcement, the program was to be held in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities, an arm of the US government:
Thursday, October 24, 2013 The International Institute of Islamic Thought and The Fairfax Institute will conduct an outreach program at Shenandoah University on Thursday October 24, 2013. The program -which starts from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Brandt Student Center (703 University Dr., Winchester, VA, 22601)- includes an information booth featuring Abbas Baghdadi, an Arabic calligrapher and book exhibit in the main lobby. Dr. Daoud Nassimi, who will teach ‘Introduction to Islam’ during the spring 2014 semester, will introduce a documentary film, ‘The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain,’ at 2 p.m. in the BSC, Room 118. This program is offered in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and presented by Shenandoah’s Muslim Student Association, Student Life’s Intercultural Programs, the College of Arts & Sciences and the Alson H. Smith Jr. Library. The program is open to the university and Winchester communities.
In 2007, IIIT entered into a partnership with Shenandoah University described as follows:
IIIT vice president Dr. Jamal Bazrinji and dean of Shenandoah University’s College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Calvin Allen, Jr. signed a Memorandum of Agreement on June 13 to initiate and promote academic cooperation between the two institutions. The signing took place at IIIT’s office in Herndon, Virginia. The agreement calls for cooperation in “course development, educational programs, and research with a goal of promoting an understanding of Islam and Muslims in America, and Islamic civilization and culture, “based on “the principles of equality and reciprocal benefit.” Also agreed upon was the first cooperative venture under this agreement. IIIT’s instructional division, The Fairfax Institute, will designate an instructor to co-teach with Dr. Allen a course on Islamic civilization. Shenandoah University is a growing liberal Arts academic institution aiming at extending its program beyond its campus and establishing partnerships to do so. Through its research affiliates in the U.S. and in many parts of the world, IIIT will contribute to the University’s efforts to build relationships and programs in line with its objective to train “global citizens”. These could include study abroad programs as well as additional courses on Shenandoah’s campuses in Winchester and Leesburg as well as on The Fairfax Institute’s campus in Herndon.
In August 2011, the Shenandoah Dean of Arts and Sciences spoke at an IIIT Iftar event that also included Governor John Sununu, former Chief of Staff at the White House for President George Bush, Sr.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) describes itself as “a private, non-profit, academic, cultural and educational institution, concerned with general issues of Islamic thought and education” and using the slogan “Towards Islamization of Knowledge and Reform of Islamic Thought.” The concept for IIIT was developed at a meeting held in Lugano, Switzerland that was attended by many luminaries of the Global Muslim Brotherhood including Youssef Qaradawi. IIIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Iraqi-born Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the Islamization of Knowledge as conceived by Ismail Al-Faruqi and who were also early leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). A1991 internal document of the US Muslim Brotherhood, introduced as evidence in the holy Land Foundation trial, included IIIT in “a list of our organizations and organizations of our friends.” 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. The IIIT Council of Scholars includes a number of important individuals from the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood such as Ingrid Mattson, the former President of ISNA. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia and is heavily involved with publishing and promoting publications by Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Youssef Qaradawi who, according to one source, serves as an IIIT trustee.
This is not the first time that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has supported a US Muslim Brotherhood organization. The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) has also been funded by the NEH, an independent federal agency of the United States described as a funding organization for various democracy-promotion programs carried out by other organizations committed to spreading democratic principles.
Last week, the GMBDW reported that US Naval Academy instructor Ermin Sinanovic is now serving as the IIIT Research Director.