In 1988, an FBI informant inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network warned that it had a front called the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). The IIIT leadership, the source reported, said they were in the first of six phases to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” Their current objective was to “peacefully get inside the United States government and also American universities." And they have.
The source warned that the Muslim Brotherhood in America has “unlimited funds” and has “set up political action front groups with no traceable ties to the IIIT or its various Muslim groups.” The source’s identification of IIIT as a front is verified in a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo. The Brotherhood itself lists IIIT as number 28 of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends,” working toward the Brotherhood’s self-defined goal, which it says is a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
IIT’s Director of Academic Outreach from 1984 to 1994 was Sayyid Syeed, a founder and former secretary-general of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Footage from 2006 shows him saying, “Our job is to change the Constitution of America” (you can view it in The Grand Deception).
ISNA is also identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group in the 1991 memo and was labeled as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity by federal prosecutors. It was also designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation. Syeed is now the director of ISNA’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances.
In 2002, federal agents raided the Herndon, Virginia offices of IIIT as part of a terrorism-financing investigation. The organization was the top donor to another group run by Sami a-Arian, a Muslim Brotherhood member that was later convicted of being a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader. In a 1992 letter, Sami al-Arian said that his organization and IIIT were essentially one.
However, IIIT lives on, with offices and affiliates in the U.K., Belgium, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Nigeria, Indonesia, India and Brunei.
Its website proudly hosts a picture of two IIIT leaders, Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti and Dr. Hisham Altalib, meeting with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in New York on September 24, 2012 as part of an “interfaith meeting.” Tellingly, the website says Morsi “welcomed the participation of IIIT in the rerform [sic] of higher education in Egypt.”
IIIT has agreements with:
George Mason University, who signed an agreement at IIIT headquarters on September 18, 2008. The IIIT representative was its Vice President, Jamal Barzinji.
A 1988 FBI file states that Barzinji was “characterized as” a Muslim Brotherhood leader. In 2003, his home was raided because, in the words of U.S. Customs Service Special Agent David Kane, Barzinji “is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] … but also with Hamas.” In 2011, it was reported that the Justice Department stopped a planned indictment of Barzinji.
On November 5, 2008, George Mason University, a public university just outside Fairfax, Virginia, announced that IIIT had donated $1.5 million to establish an endowed Chair in Islamic Studies at its College of Humanities and Social Sciences. On November 13, the president of the University held a dinner for the IIIT leadership.
Nazareth College: Located in Rochester, NY, Nazareth College’s Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" with IIIT in January 2006. On December 7, 2011, IIIT endowed an academic Chair in Interfaith Studies and Dialogue.
Shenandoah University: The Dean of its College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Calvin Allen Jr., signed a "Memorandum of Agreement" with IIIT, who was represented by Barzinji. The website states, “IIIT’s instructional division, The Fairfax Institute, will designate an instructor to co-teach with Dr. Allen a course on Islamic civilization.” Dr. Calvin Allen spoke at a IIIT fundraiser on August 26, 2011. Shenandoah university is located in Winchester, Virginia.
Hartford Seminary: On March 17, 2013, the Connecticut theological college announced that it had received the necessary funding for an endowed chair in Islamic Chaplaincy. The largest donor was IIIT who had given the college $1 million.
The press release about the endowed chair says the Islamic Chaplaincy program began in 2003 “to prepare Muslims for chaplaincy positions in hospitals, prisons, universities and the military. It remains the only such accredited program in the United States, and graduates have been named to positions in many such institutions across the United States, most notably at Yale University, Williams College, and Princeton University.”
The President of Hartford Seminary, Professor Heidi Hadsell, said it has “established a productive, creative and effective relationship” with IIIT.
On July 25, 2012, Hadsell spoke at a IIIT fundraiser. She talked about “the continued support that the seminary receives from IIIT, particularly in the area of imam training and education, and the study of Christian-Muslim relations in general.”
Huron University College (Canada): In December 2010, the London, Ontario college began a "cooperative venture" with IIIT to add an Islamic Studies program to its college. It states, “IIIT has agreed to match funds raised by the Muslim Association of Canada and the London Muslim Mosque, both based in London, Ontario, Canada.”
Ingrid Mattson, former ISNA President and a member of IIIT’s Advisory Council, became the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies on July 1, 2012.
According to the press release, Huron University College is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario and is an affiliate member of the Toronto School of Theology.
IIIT also has links to:
United States Naval Academy: Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department, lectured at IIIT headquarters on December 7, 2012. The Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch discovered that he is also teaching for IIIT’s 2013 Summer Students Program.
Binghamton University: On November 31, 2012, IIIT "partnered" with the school to host two lectures by Professor Ali Mazrui on “The Study of Islam in African Universities: Is It a Priority?”
In 2002, Mazrui said: “There is also suspicion that some members of the Bush administration in collusion with Israel are more than ready to plunge the Middle East into turmoil in the hope that the final outcome would be to the territorial advantage of Israel and the strategic advantage of the United States. All this is part of the emerging external sadism of the United States, a readiness to hurt others abroad.”
On May 6, 2011, IIIT hosted a book launching event for Ricardo Rene Laremont, Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Binghamton University.
Eastern Mennonite University: On April 20, 2012, two of the school’s professors attended a seminar on Muslim-Jewish relations at IIIT headquarters. Dr. Ed Martin, director of the university’s Center for Interfaith Engagement, attended a IIIT fundraiser on August 26, 2011.
University of Delaware: On January 5, 2012, Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Professor of International Relations and Islamic Studies, took part in a panel about Islamist political victories at IIIT headquarters.
American University: On January 5, 2012, Dr. Mohammad Nimer, Professor of International Relations, took part in a panel about Islamist political victories at IIIT headquarters. He suggested that the U.S. engage the Muslim Brotherhood, but criticized their “us vs. them” politics.
University of Maryland: On December 16, 2011, Dr. Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi, Professor of Political Science and International Relations and a former Iranian diplomat, spoke for IIIT about Iran.
On August 24, 2011, Dr. Charles Butterworth, Professor Emeritus of Government and Politics, spoke at a IIIT fundraiser. Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, who was also Chief of Staff in the first Bush Administration, also spoke at the event.
Manhattanville College: On June 10, 2011, James Jones, Professor of Religion and African Studies, lectured at IIIT about victimhood and U.S. foreign policy.
Georgetown University: On May 27, 2011, IIIT hosted Louay Safi, Common Word Fellow at the Saudi-funded Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. Safi has strong Muslim Brotherhood ties. He spoke about Muslim-Christian relations.
University of Virginia: On April 29, 2011, Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, Professor of Islamic Studies, spoke at IIIT. He talked about human rights and democratic pluralism in Islam. On October 22, 2010, Adjunct Professor Rachel Mann spoke at IIIT about non-violent activism.
Middle Tennessee State University: On March 18, 2011, Dr. Ron Messier, Professor Emeritus of History, spoke at IIIT about Muslim-Christian relations.
The FBI source in 1988 reported that "in phase 1 of the Islamic revolution as followed by the Ikhwan [the Muslim Brotherhood], the IIIT leadership has indicated that in this phase their organization needs to peacefully get inside the U.S. government and also American universities." IIIT has been working for the past 25 years building relationships with unsuspecting universities in order to achieve that goal, and as documented above, they have made significant progress.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.