March 10, 2006 - Washington, DC - PipeLineNews.org - On March 8 PipeLineNews.org correspondent Beila Rabinowitz broke a story University Of Central Florida Funding Islamist Da'wa Event which detailed how this publicly funded college was promoting and hosting a Muslim Da'Wa [conversion] seminar featuring noted radical Imams.
We have been in touch with UCF officials, including Kerry P. Welch who is the Director of Student Involvement at the campus, with the intent of making clear our concern that this event should not take place as scheduled on March 17.
We were informed by Mr. Welch that the event will go forward regardless of the concerns of many organizations including the American Jewish Congress.
We have discovered that there is a reason for UCF's intransigence in this matter.
Our research shows that the college is looking to create - through a huge endowment by the IIIT [International Institute of Islamic] a Saudi group linked to al-Qaeda - an "Islamic Studies" chair which will in actuality serve to propagate Islamist intolerance throughout the Southeast.
IIIT's Terror Links
Anwar Ibrahim is a founder and director of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank in Virginia that has alleged links to terrorism. 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 organization by the U.S. government in 2004. Among the Treasury Department's findings were that the Oregon branch of al-Haramain engaged in tax fraud, money laundering, supporting Chechen mujahideen affiliated with al Qaeda, and had "direct links between the U.S. branch and Usama bin Laden." In fact, many of al-Haramain's offices around the world were closed for supporting terrorism.
"There is more evidence of IIIT's links to terrorism. A few examples: according to court documents, in the early 1990s IIIT donated at least $50,000 to a think tank run by Sami al-Arian, the World Islamic and Study Enterprise (WISE), that 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 IIIT 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 as well as every officer of IIIT besides Anwar Ibrahim as a supporter of the SAAR network. This public information was available to SAIS, yet the school extended a fellowship to Ibrahim." - Source Link, Campus Watch
Not wanting to lose that funding UCF policy is being twisted to accommodate and explain away what can only be described as a troubling - March 17 "Returning to Our Rabb" [Lord] Muslim proselytizing - presence on the campus.
In February noted American Islamist apologist John Esposito, ended an address at UCF in this manner:
"...Esposito closed his speech with a reminder of the important role UCF and other universities around the country play in fostering the understanding of Islam that is crucial to its relationship with the West. He expressed optimism in UCF, noting that its growing international focus and interest in Middle Eastern studies is being noticed around the country...UCF must continue to build and develop programs offering dynamic curricula and study abroad opportunities in the Middle East and other Muslim countries, Esposito said. UCF also should bring others from the Muslim world to the campus to interact with students and faculty..." - Georgetown Professor: Wars, Repression, Media Helped Build Conflicts Between Islam, the West
Professor Esposito is closely linked to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) which has been promoting the below referenced - "Al Ghazli Islam Studies Project." Esposito's Alwaheed Center at Georgetown University was funded by Saudi Wahhabist money - the same methodology apparently playing out at UCF.
Of this project IIIT states:
"...The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) will match donations to an endowment for a chair in Islamic studies at the University of Central Florida. The idea of an islamic studies chair is the initiative of a small group of community and university members under the auspices of Al-Ghazali Educational Foundation, LLC. This endowment seeks to bring a distinguished Islamic scholar to the University of Central Florida in the College of Arts and Sciences' Middle Eastern Studies Program.
Led by Imam Tariq Rasheed, Sr. Safia Ansari and Professor Husain Kassim, Al-Ghazali Educational Foundation's effort seeks to help establish chairs for Islamic studies at selected university campuses."
The IIIT mission statement shows that their agenda is indoctrination not education and that adding UCF would merely be one more trophy in the Wahhabist campaign.
From the IIIT website, in which announce that they are engaged in,
"Signing agreements of cooperation with various universities, research centers and academic institutions throughout the world to carry out activities of mutual interest...The International Institute of Islamic Thought is dedicated to the revival and reform of Islamic thought and its methodology in order to enable the Ummah to deal effectively with present challenges, and contribute to the progress of human civilization in ways that will give it a meaning and a direction derived from divine guidance. The realization of such a position will help the Ummah regain its intellectual and cultural identity and re-affirm its presence as a dynamic civilization. - Source Link, IIIT Website
In his response to our request to cancel the conference, the UCF Director of Student Involvement Kerry Welch replied that, "...Obviously, we all agree that one of the things that makes the U.S. a great country is freedom of speech..." "
This is a twisted and cynical justification for holding an extremist Muslim conference. It is also transparent in that the primary consideration at this point seems to be avoiding any offense to the Wahhabis who might potentially endow UCF's Islamic Studies chair.
If the University of Central Florida carries through with the plan to accept funding from the IIIT, it will have made the decision that the University's "mutual interests" are with the supporters of terrorism and Islamofacism.
In that manner the University of Central Florida will be opting to become the "UCF - Ummah of Central Florida" joining the ranks of Jihad U [the University of South Florida] as a hub of terror.