The four-day symposium (April 6-9) on the ‘Development of Islamic Jurisprudence Sciences’ continued here yesterday with the key focus on peaceful co-existence. Speakers said Islam epitomises peaceful co-existence. Muslim scholars have always held the view that peaceful coexistence must be anchored on the solid foundation of human dignity and love, or else, it will remain elusive or illusionary. Islam holds that human dignity is an inherent, inalienable and inviolable right of every human being. Speaking to Observer, Prof Abdulaziz Sachedina, Head of International Institute of Islamic Thought, George Mason University, USA, said ‘ In the Covenant of Medina, also called the Constitution of Madina, the Messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave equal rights to all the inhabitants of Medina irrespective of their faith, race or color’. Author of several books such as ‘The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism’, ‘Islamic Biomedical Ethics’, ‘Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights’, and ‘The Role of Islam in the Public Square: Guidance or Governance?’, Dr Sachedina said peaceful coexistence has always been a part of Islam but some groups have attempted to portray a negative picture in order to tarnish the image of Islam. Several delegates said the hate-producing practices are serious impediments in the path of advancing peaceful co-existence, love and kindness among people of all races, nations, cultures and faiths. Islam does not instigate communal hatred and demands the same in return. Professor at USA’s University of Virginia, Dr Sachedina, said one of the reasons for the continued wave of Islamic awakening around the world is the feeling of brotherhood and love among Muslim communities and their respect for people of other faiths, colours and races. Dr Muhammad Tahir Mansoori, author of the book ‘Family Law in Islam’, said the symposium is a very good platform for dispelling the unfounded misgivings about Islam and its support for peaceful coexistence.”According to his resume, Dr. Sachedina is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), founded in 1998 largely by the efforts of Georgetown University academic Dr. Esposito who during the 1990′s served in the State Department as a “foreign affairs analyst” and who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Many members of the early CSID board were associated with IIIT, the American Muslim Council, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). For example, past CSID board members included Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, both associated with IIIT and both important leaders in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who helped to establish many of the most important U.S. Brotherhood organizations. Antony Sullivan, the current CSID Vice-Chair, has many ties to U.S. Brotherhood groups including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the United Association for Studies and Research (USAR), and the Circle of Tradition and Progress (COTP), a group whose other founding members included Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. From its inception, CSID has argued that the U.S. government should support Islamist movements in foreign countries and has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace. A post from May 2012 reported on the appointment of Abdulaziz Sachedina as the IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, George Mason University. Posts from November 2008 reported on the award of a $1.5 million grant from the IIIT to George Mason University for an endowed Chair in Islamic Studies.
A Hudson Institute report details how the IIIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the Islamization of Knowledge as conceived by Ismail Al-Faruqi and who were also early leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism and both organizations had been under investigation at that time by the U.S. Justice Department until at least mid 2007. The organization appeared to have withdrawn from public view following the 2002 raids but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia. Although little is known about the activities of these IIIT affiliates, posts have discussed plans by IIIT to construct colleges in Bosnia and Lebanon.
Other leaders in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood are also known to be or have been active in Oman. The CV of notorious anti-Semite Salah Soltan says that he founded the Faculty of Shari‘ah and Law in Oman in 1996 and from 1995 until 1998 was Associate Professor, Tarbiya (Education) College, Sultan Qabous University in Oman. As previous posts reported, Dr. Soltan (aka Solah Soltan) is a well-known Muslim Brotherhood figure close to Youssef Qaradawi who was resident in the U.S. but left following the suspension of his application for citizenship in connection with news reports about his anti-semitic and pro-Hamas statements. A post from March reported that Muddassir Siddiqui, a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), is part of the Islamic banking system of Oman. A post from March 2010 discussed the notion advanced by columnist Georgie Ann Geyer Oman has “so many of the answers to the Islamic world’s problems.”