George Mason University is expanding their new Islamic Studies Program according to the Washington Times, and to help finance that effort they turned to a rather unusual source: the terrorist-affiliated International Institute for Islamic Thought. I can’t say this comes as much of a surprise. Given that these IIIT folks have $1.5 million to dole out so GMU can propagandize for Wahabbi Islamic ideology, I’m sure it took them no time at all to tell the IIIT who to make the check out to.
The IIIT’s Northern Virginia center was among 14 homes and offices raided by federal agencies in March 2002 in an attempt to disrupt domestic financing for global terrorism. The raids - known as Operation Green Quest - resulted in 21 search warrants, 12 arrests, four indictments and the seizure of about $10.3 million smuggled into the United States, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The history of the IIIT provided in the Times is a little sparse, but concerning nonetheless:
The group was suspected to be a major funding source for University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian’s World and Islam Studies Institute. Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to providing services to terrorist groups and is now serving 57 months in federal prison.
DiscoverTheNetworks.org has a little more about these partners to our public university system:
A partner organization to the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) defines itself as “a private, non-profit, academic and cultural institution, concerned with general issues of Islamic thought.” Giving “special emphasis to the development of Islamic scholarship in contemporary social sciences,” it works “from an Islamic perspective to promote and support research projects, organize intellectual and cultural meetings and publish scholarly works” that will help “the Ummah [Muslim nation] to deal effectively with present challenges.” Established in 1981, IIIT is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington, DC), and has set up branch offices in a number of capital cities worldwide.
The Institute seeks to achieve its objectives by: “directing research and studies to develop Islamic thought and the Islamization of knowledge”; “holding specialized scholarly, intellectual and cultural conferences, seminars and study circles”; supporting researchers and scholars in universities and research centers, and publishing selected scholarly, cultural and intellectual works, in English, Arabic and several other languages”; and signing agreements of cooperation with various universities, research centers and academic institutions throughout the world to carry out activities of mutual interest.”
IIIT was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum as one of the Brotherhood’s likeminded “organizations of our friends” who shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These “friends” — which included also the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim Students Association, the Muslim Arab Youth Association, Muslim Youth of North America, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and the United Association for Studies and Research – were identified by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ’sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
Controlled by the extremist, Saudi-based Wahhabi movement, IIIT maintains that reports about mosques distributing hate-filled literature are untrue, and claims that the concept of jihad in no way condones or connotes violence. As an IIIT public-relations flyer puts it: “Jihad does not mean ‘holy war.’ Literally, jihad in Arabic means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression.” The back of the flyer contains a list of recommended websites and books on Islam. Among the authors of these books are such apologists for extremism as John Esposito, Karen Armstrong, Hassan Hathout, and Bill Baker.
IIIT has numerous documented links to terrorism. According to court documents, in the early 1990s the organization donated at least $50,000 to a think tank run by Sami al-Arian, the World Islam Study Enterprise, which served as a front group for Palestinian Islamic Jihad. IIIT is also named as a defendant in two class-action lawsuits brought by victims of the 9/11 attacks. One alleges that the Institute received the bulk of its operating expenses from the SAAR network, whose component groups are accused in another class-action suit of being “fronts for the sponsor of al Qaeda and international terror.” The same suit lists IIIT and nearly all of its officers as supporters of the SAAR network.
Moreover, IIIT’s 2003 tax-exempt IRS filing lists a $720 donation to the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation of Ashland, Oregon, which was designated as a terrorist-funding entity by the U.S. government in 2004.
I’m so happy that our public university system decided to get in bed with radical islamists with terrorist connections. Aren’t you?
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