Georgetown Univ. Interfaith Center Welcomes Islamists

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Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded interfaith center found itself in hot water, but it won't be for long.

A speaking engagement with an Egyptian Nazi was cancelled, but Islamists need not worry: Muslim Brotherhood supporters and 9/11 Truthers are still welcome, as is a senior Obama Administration official allied with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

The Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown is led by Dr. John Esposito, arguably the strongest non-Muslim defender of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network. The center receives significant Saudi funding, such as a $20 million donation in 2005 alone.

On November 21, the center held its 20th annual conference themed, “Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities.” The chairman of the first panel was Natana DeLong-Bas, a known 9/11 Truther.

In 2006, DeLong-Bas said, “I do not find any evidence that would make me agree that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.” DeLong-Bas is also a defender of Wahhabism, one of the most tyrannical practices of Islam, and disagrees that it bears responsibility for inspiring the 9/11 attacks.

Further, she says that the Hamas terrorist group is a better promoter of democracy and human rights in the Middle East than the U.S. government, and that American efforts do “not rise to the level of what Hamas has achieved,” complimenting their work in health care and education.

One of the speakers on DeLong-Bas' panel was Dalia Mogahed, a former senior advisor to President Obama. She is the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

Mogahed has been described as possibly “the most influential figure guiding the Obama Administration’s Middle East oureach.” One of the reasons she supports the Syrian rebels is because Bashar Assad “cannot deliver…resistance to Israel.”

Mogahed and Esposito authored the 2007 paper that downplayed the extent of extremist beliefs in the Muslim world. She spoke at the 34th annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America (ISNA) and was booked as a speaker for 15thannual fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Both groups are part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network.

Mogahed said in 2008 that the criticism of groups like CAIR is part of a “concerted effort to silence, you know, institution-building among Muslims. And the way to do it is [to] malign these groups. And it’s kind of a witch hunt.” She also believes that “[Islamophobia] presents a grave danger to America as a whole.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim congressman, was invited to speak on the panel but did not attend. He is a close friend of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network. His pilgrimage to Mecca was sponsored by the Muslim American Society.

The Georgetown center also scheduled an event on December 5 named “Egypt and the Struggle for Democracy.” It has been postponed to January 30 because of delays in getting visas for some Egyptian speakers.

Balance isn’t the event’s objective. None of the speakers are opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mogahed and Rep. Ellison are both scheduled to speak.

The Washington Free Beacon pointed out that most of the other speakers are known supporters of the Brotherhood. For example, Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery is a former member of Egypt’s parliament for the Brotherhood. Wael Haddara used to be a top aide to Mohammed Morsi and Mohamed Abbas is a Brotherhood backer.

The speaker representing Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority was Ramy Jan, a member of the country’s Nazi Party. He is a Brotherhood supporter that leads Christians Against the Coup. No segment of Egyptian society is more anti-Islamist than the Christians, but that’s not the impression you’d get from the event.

Jan was disinvited after attention was brought to his background. Esposito pleads ignorance.

This latest event follows a history of Georgetown University's affiliations with Islamists.

It was discovered two years ago that in 2006-2007, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) planned to donate $325,000 to the center to put on an event about “Islamophobia.” The OIC is pushing hard for laws that restrict freedom of speech to stop alleged anti-Muslim sentiment. The money was to be routed through CAIR, specifically its executive director, Nihad Awad.

The Muslim chaplain of Georgetown University is Imam Yahya Hendi. In 2003, Hendi testified on behalf of Sami al-Arian, who was convicted for being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. Hendi stated that suicide bombings are permissible under Islam during his questioning.

The center’s conferences often bring together Islamists from around the world. It has also jointly sponsored events with the International Institute for Islamic Thought, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.

One of the center’s Common Word Fellows is Louay Safi, the executive director of IIIT from 1995 to 1997 and the IIIT Director of Research from 1999 to 2003. He was also the President of the Associaiton of Muslim Social Scientists from 1999 to 2003, another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood front that shares an address with IIIT.

Safi was also the Director of Leadership Development for the Islamic Society of North America. He was designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of Sami Al-Arian. He is also intimately involved with Syrian Islamists.

In 1988, the FBI had a spy inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network that explicitly warned about the IIIT’s plans to infiltrate the U.S. government and universities to “institute the Islamic Revolution in America.” A Clarion Project research report shows that IIIT has had success in that endeavor.

This latest event at Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding shows that the Muslim Brotherhood never gave up on its plan to influence American academia.


Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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