The IMMA was founded in the late 1970s by Abdullah Omar Naseef, who was then the vice president of the prestigious King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. The IMMA’s chief product was to be its journal. For the important position of managing editor, Naseef recruited his fellow academic Zyed Abedin, who had been a visiting professor at the university in the early 1970s.
To join the IMMA, Dr. Abedin moved his family, including infant daughter Huma (born in 1976), to Saudi Arabia from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Zyed’s wife, Saleha Mahmood Abedin (Huma’s mother), is also an academic and worked for the journal from its inception. She would eventually take it over after her husband died in 1993, and she remains its editor to this day. Huma Abedin’s brother Hassan, another academic, is an associate editor at the journal.
The journal began publishing in 1979. For its initial edition, Abdullah Omar Naseef — identified in the masthead as “Chairman, Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs” — penned a brief introduction relating the IMMA’s vision for the journal. Zyed Abedin appeared as managing editor in the journal’s second edition in 1979, proclaiming in a short introduction his “deep appreciation to H.E. Dr. Abdullah O. Naseef, President, King Abdulaziz University, for his continued guidance, support, and encouragement.” (I am indebted to the Center for Security Policy, which obtained some copies of the journal, going back many years.)
Not long after the journal started, Naseef became the secretary general of the Muslim World League, the Saudi-financed global propagation enterprise by which the Muslim Brotherhood’s virulently anti-Western brand of Islamist ideology is seeded throughout the world, very much including in the United States.
We are not talking here about some random imam in the dizzying alphabet soup of Islamist entities. In the pantheon of Islamic supremacism, there are few positions more critical than secretary general of the Muslim World League. In fact, one of the MWL’s founders was Sa’id Ramadan, the right-hand and son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood’s legendary founder.
The MWL manages the “civilization jihad” — the Brotherhood’s commitment to destroy the West from within, and to “conquer” it by sharia proselytism (or dawa), as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s top sharia jurist, puts it.
Nevertheless, the MWL has a long history of deep involvement in violent jihad as well.