Shenandoah University Hosts Colloquium Named After US Muslim Brotherhood Founder


The GMDW posted last month that that Shenandoah University, a private university in Winchester, Virginia, had become a new center of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US. Confirming that assessment, US local media has reported on an international higher education colloquium held recently and named after one of the founders of the USMB. According to the report:

September 18, 2019 About 100 people are attending a three-day event at Shenandoah University to foster a global dialogue on civil discourse, diversity, race and ethnicity in higher education. The Barzinji Fall Colloquium, hosted by SU and Bridgewater College, invited higher education representatives from two Muslim-majority countries — the International Islamic University in Malaysia and the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia. The colloquium, which began Monday and ends today, is named for Jamal Barzinji, a Muslim scholar with a passion for higher education. He died in 2015 at age 75. In 1981, Barzinji co-founded the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a nonprofit group headquartered in Herndon that aims to advance education in Muslim societies. In February, school officials and students from the International Islamic University and the University of Sarajevo visited SU and Bridgewater College. In March, 12 representatives from SU and Bridgewater College visited Malaysia and Bosnia. This week, those same representatives gathered at SU to discuss their respective visits. On Tuesday, SU announced it will begin an annual scholarship in Barzinji’s name to honor his legacy as a humanitarian, educator and community builder.

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Barzinji Project director Younus Mirza, gave the opening prayer and Sinanovic was the keynote speaker. According to Shenandoah University’s news page, the colloquium was organized to discuss civil discourse, diversity, race and ethnicity in higher education, as well as health care in diverse societies.

In 2007, the GMDW reported that Shenandoah University had entered into an academic partnership with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a longstanding institution of the US Brotherhood. Twelve years later, in March 2019, Shenandoah University reported on its new “Barzinji Project” named after the late Jamal Barzinji, one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US and that hosted some of the events of the colloquium:

Shenandoah University recently partnered with Bridgewater College and two universities in Muslim-majority countries to learn how to provide better opportunities for civil discourse within higher education. The Barzinji Project is an initiative funded by the friends and family of Jamal Barzinji, who was a Muslim scholar with a passion for higher education. The Barzinji Project focuses on best practices in higher education, and this year’s specific focus was the topic of civil discourse. Delegates traveled across the globe to visit each partner school and exchange best practices, explore the idea of civil discourse, and discover how it is facilitated on each campus.

Among those schools identified as Barzinji Project Partner Schools are the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), perhaps the most important university for the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

As reported in a history of the USMB, authored by the GMBDW editor, the late Jamal Barzinji was one of the founding fathers of the USMB and an IIIT official. Hei was also a founding member of the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), said by U.S. government agencies and officials to have helped spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. Barzinji was also an official at IIIT.

Ermin Sinanović is the Research Director for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a long-standing component of the USMB and as first reported by the GMBDW in 2013, a former instructor for the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. Sinanović, also heads the Center for Islam in the Contemporary World (CICW) at Shenandoah University.

Younus Mirza is the son of Yaqub Mirza, a Pakistani native living in Virginia who was the former Vice-President of the now-defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003. The SAAR Foundation was established in 1983 by individuals who had also established some of the most important USMB organizations.

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