Last fall, Professor Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic studies at American University, appeared on media outlets including The Daily Show and CNN and said America’s Founding Fathers admired Islam. I disproved this view in a detailed, heavily documented article. Widely linked, the article garnered a response written by Prof. Ahmed’s research fellow, Frankie Martin, which appeared in the Washington Post last November.
Martin used so much ad hominem and invective in his article — directed towards me — that Daniel Pipes’ Campus Watch wrote that Martin’s piece was an “intemperate — one might even say hateful — attack.”
Ad hominem and invective are frequently used as an attack on civil debate so as to divert discussion away from the facts. So Mr. Martin, I have some more facts.
Professor Akbar Ahmed’s own CV and bio conceal his work with a global Islamist movement known as the Islamization of knowledge. The movement maintains international seminars, conferences, and summer student programs. These events are organized by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), which was founded in 1980 and has headquarters in the United States and satellite offices in the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Islamization of knowledge is defined by its proponents as follows:
Islamization of knowledge simply refers to an attempt through which those aspects of the body and purpose of knowledge and of the process and methodologies of discovering, validating, imparting and applying it, which oppose Islam, are identified and made subservient to the Islamic worldview. [Italics in original]
The Islamization of knowledge movement seeks to ensure that anything taught in the university classroom which “opposes Islam” must be discarded. An extreme example is found in Ahmed’s erroneous statements that the Founding Fathers admired Islam. This was an attempt to “Islamize” Americans’ “knowledge” of the origin of their nation.
The Islamization of knowledge is a global movement that was begun in the 1970s by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In a 1991 memorandum — “On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” – the Muslim Brotherhood itself described its own goals as follows:
The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist process” with all that the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
The Islamization of knowledge is part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “strategic vision … under [which] a minority Muslim group infiltrates through legitimate legal processes a majority’s secular institutions, starting with its universities. Over time, “Islamized” Muslim and non-Muslim graduates of universities enter the workforce, including a nation’s civil service sectors. From there, arguably, those “Islamized” graduates are poised to subvert a host society’s law enforcement branches, intelligence community, military branches, and foreign services.”
When the [International Muslim Brotherhood] has determined that institutions in a host society have been weakened sufficiently “from below” through its “Islamization” reform program, it leaves its phase of “concealment” (kitman) and enters into direct action, which could be anything from a leadership coup in a mosque, to the takeover of a police station, to a government coup d’etat.
The same Muslim Brotherhood document cited above lists several groups as “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Among those listed are the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), and the Islamic Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS). All three organizations are part of a network known as the SAFA Group, which the federal government raided in March of 2002 on suspicion of providing material support to terrorists, money laundering, tax evasion, and ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of the originators of the Islamization of knowledge, and a founding member of IIIT, is American Professor Isma’il al-Faruqi. In 1983, al-Faruqi declared his objective was to see America eventually under the banner of Islam:
Nothing could be greater than this youthful, vigorous, and rich continent [of North America] turning away from its past evil and marching forward under the banner of Allahu Akbar [God is great].