Nothing has changed since the Clarion Project’s report on the partnerships between U.S. universities and a Muslim Brotherhood entity. On July 17, over 100 people including elected officials and professors attended an Iftar dinner at the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Virginia.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) was identified by FBI sources as a Muslim Brotherhood front as early as 1988. One source inside the Brotherhood network in America said the IIIT leadership talked about a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States,” beginning with influencing the U.S. government and universities.
The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood mentioned IIIT as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends” in a 1991 secret memo about its goal of a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” IIIT’s offices were raided by the FBI in 2002 as part of a terrorism-financing investigation.
The Iftar dinner began with remarks from Jamal Barzinji, IIIT Vice President and one of the group’s founders.
A declassified FBI memo from 1988 states that Barzinji is one of those “previously characterized as … members and leaders of the IKHWAN [Muslim Brotherhood].” His home was raided in 2003 because, according to the affidavit of U.S. Customs Service Special Agent David Kane, he “is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad]… but also with Hamas.” The Justice Department reportedly cancelled a planned indictment of Barzinji in 2011.
The headline speaker was Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina, the IIIT Chair of Islamic Studies at George Mason University. In 2008, IIIT donated $1.5 million to George Mason University to endow the chair, and the president of the University and Dr. Andrea Bartelo, a professor at the school, have attended IIIT fundraisers.
The “Friends of IIIT” were introduced by Dr. Yaqub Mirza, who is also mentioned as a suspected Muslim Brotherhood leader in the 1988 FBI memo. The IIIT’s highlighted friends at the Iftar dinner were:
· Tom Rust, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates
· Mark Herring, a Democratic member of the Virginia State Senate that is running for Attorney General
· Dr. Ihsan Bagby, Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky. According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, he is “a current or former board member of a number of Muslim Brotherhood-connected groups.”
· Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America. The 1991 Brotherhood memo also identifies ISNA as one of its fronts. The Justice Department also said ISNA is a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity when it labeled it as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial.
· Susan Douglass, Senior Research Associate at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies of George Mason University
· Dr. Jonathan Brown, Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service
· Douglas Johnston, President of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
· Dr. Norton Mezvinsky, President of the International Council for Middle East Studies
It has been argued that IIIT’s Muslim Brotherhood origins are now dated and irrelevant. The FBI disagrees, having raided its offices in 2002 and Barzinji’s home in 2003. It was the focus of an investigation until at least 2007 when the U.S. government tried to compel convicted terrorist Sami al-Arian to testify before a grand jury about his links to IIIT. He refused.
In 2011, a board member of IIIT’s London branch implied that the U.S. government and military are terrorists. The group is also promoting the Islamist ideology in Bosnia.
Elected officials and especially academicians are supposed to be educated. Professors are especially expected to be capable researchers and critical thinkers. These individuals either neglected to conduct due diligence in relation to IIIT — or they don’t care.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.