Only ten people, including two imams and a reporter, showed up to hear University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, professor of religious studies Carl W. Ernst deliver the "First Annual Ibrahim Abu-Rabi Lecture" on May 7 at the International Council for Middle East Studies (ICMES) in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Ernst was introduced by ICMES founder and president Norton Mezvinsky, who came to ICMES after a 42-year career teaching Middle East history at Connecticut State University.
A self-professed "anti-Zionist," Mezvinsky endorsed the infamous 1975 Zionism-is-racism U.N. resolution and developed amiable relations with the deranged anti-Semitic Lyndon LaRouche movement and once spoke at the LaRouchite Schiller Institute in Germany. He also co-authored Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel with the late Israel Shahak, whose work, MEF Fellow Asaf Romirowsky wrote, "rests on his conviction that Judaism is the font of all evil and that most global issues can ultimately be traced back to Judaism via a world-wide Jewish conspiracy."
In dedicating its inaugural lecture series to the memory of former ICMES director Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, ICMES signals its support of his radical ideology. Mezvinsky tearfully recalled his late "very good friend" and "distinguished scholar," about whose book on the Muslim Brotherhood's Sayyid Qutb Daniel Pipes wrote, "author and subject meld into a nearly seamless whole" so that, for Qutb and likeminded individuals, Abu-Rabi was "their apostle to an English-speaking audience."