The Facebook page of Mohamed Fadil, the President of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), has reported that he recently met with Ahmad Totonji at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicestershire. According to the post:
This morning, I had the privilege of meeting one of the two living founding fathers of FOSIS Dr Ahmad Totonji. A very humble individual with the greatest wealth of knowledge and experience. Dr Totonji was instrumental in establishing other very important Institutions over the past 60 years. MSA America ISNA, IIFSO and WAMY, just to name a few. It was so inspiring to sit down with him, learn from his wisdom and take his advice on the new direction of FOSIS. I look forward to meeting him again in the near future and to continue learning from him.
Although Totonji’s role in founding most of these organizations was known, this appears to be the first time that is has been revealed that he was a founder of FOSIS, otherwise known as the Federation of Student Islamic Societies and which is an umbrella group of most major university Islamic societies in the UK and close to the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. FOSIS is also a member organization of the Forum of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO), essentially the youth group for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. In March 2015, the GMBDW reported on a new study showing that a large number of events promoted by UK student Islamic societies featured individuals with a “history of extreme or intolerant views.”
In February 2010, we reported that Huda Totonji, likely the daughter of Ahmad Totonji, was on the faculty of Dar El-Hekma women’s college in Saudi Arabia, known to have been co-founded and patronized by an individual designated as a terrorist by the U.S as well as by important Saudi bankers and members of the Bin Laden family. The College was addressed at that time by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Dr. Ahmed Totonji is one of the most important figures in the history of the US and Global Muslim Brotherhood. He was born in Iraq and was active in UK Muslim student organizations before he came to the U.S. in 1963 to study for his Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering. In January 1963, Totonji, along with other seventy other Muslim students, assembled at the University of Illinois and formed the Muslim Student Association (MSA) of the United States and Canada. One report indicates that Dr. Totonji envisioned a “worldwide network” of organizations patterned after the MSA that later became the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO) in 1966 and which he served as the second Secretary-General. Sometime after receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Totonji appears to have moved to Saudi Arabia and at some point, received Saudi citizenship. Dr. Totonji also served as the Deputy to the Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) from 1973-1979. and said that he left WAMY headquarters in 1982. Dr. Totonji was instrumental in founding both the International Institute of Islamic Thought IIIT and the SAAR Foundation, a Northern Virginia Islamic charity that was thought to have been funded largely by the Al Rajhi family of Saudi Arabia. Both organizations received substantial attention in 2002 when many of the organizations linked to SAAR were raided by federal authorities in a terrorism investigation. Although he is no longer listed as an IIIT official, an earlier post discussed a 2008 press release by the IIIT South Africa office which described Dr. Totonji as an “exiled Iraqi leader” and identified him as part of the IIIT board and executive members.