As I hope you all know, and as I have made clear in the past, I do not oppose the inclusion of Islamic Studies at Huron University College at The University of Western Ontario. At the same time, as I have indicated in my previous postings, I have some concerns about the source of the proposed funding for an endowed chair in Islamic Studies (see here and here). As a followup, a number of those who signed the original letter (including me) have signed the following letter to Campus Watch:
To: Campus Watch
Re: Funding of Chair in Islamic studies at HUC from questionable sources
We thank Campus Watch for publishing the excellent essay of Barbara Kay on the establishment of a Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College in London, Ontario funded mainly by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). Your coverage sparked quite a bit of media interest in Canada and, at last, this matter is getting public attention.
This report is coming to you from a number of the individuals who signed the original letter of concern to Huron University College. (It is not signed by all of them because we want to get the information contained in this communication out quickly and we do not have the time to contact and receive a reply from all the signatories.) As the message is too long for a letter to any editor we hope you will publish this on your web-site as an update to Barbara Kay’s essay.
To every argument put to them, Huron University College through its acting principal, Dr. T. Fulton, responds that Huron College has done due diligence, examined the issues and that it is ethically acceptable to take the $1 million dollar matching grant from the IIIT because no unindicted co-conspiritor from the IIIT has been convicted in a court of law and nor have any other donors..
We would like to add some new information on this matter. The signers of the letter to HUC learned of the funding of a chair in Islamic Studies on March 8 from the London Free Press, the local newspaper. A sentence from the article says: ″The chair is backed by $2 million in private funding, with support from the Islamic Centre for Southwestern Ontario, the London Muslim Mosque and the Muslim Association of Canada". There was no mention of a matching grant of 1 million dollars to be provided by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). On HUC’s website, which has an appeal for funds for this project, there is a reference to a matching grant from a “major North American foundation″. Through web searches we discovered that the provider of the matching grant was to be the IIIT, which is not even a foundation, let alone a major North American foundation.
We then did some research on the MAC and the IIIT and wrote to HUC & the University of Western Ontario, (UWO) with our concerns. However, knowing that what we had to say would not be welcome news to HUC, we did not just send the letter but also provided a large package of documents and articles backing up all our contentions. The MAC and the IIIT are Muslim Brotherhood related organisations. The founders and executive officers of the IIIT have been involved and cited in numerous terrorist related investigations particularly in the provision of funds to the military wing of Hamas. (We will be happy to supply the document package to any interested party.) On this topic it is fair to say that HUC has simply not paid attention to the materials supplied by us to them. Their argument seems to be that short of a court conviction, anything goes.
When we looked for information on the IIIT & the MAC we didn’t look into the Islamic Centre for Southwestern Ontario (ICSO), located in London, Ontario although it was mentioned as a financial contributor in the LFP announcement described above. Something has happened in the last few days, however, that makes it necessary to bring this organisation into the story now. Ten days ago there was an article in the Ottawa Citizen entitled, ″Gadhafi charity in Canada linked to terrorism. Government revokes status of World Islamic Call Society". (May 7, 2011). In that article we learned that a Gadhafi charity was sending money from Libya to the personal bank account of a gentleman named Assem Fadel who then transferred the money from his personal account in to the bank account of the only branch in Canada of the Libya-based WICS which also happens to be located in London, Ontario. Money was then transferred from the WICS account to terrorist organisations outside Canada. This was the reason the government of Canada removed the charitable status of the WICS. Question: Why is this relevant to the funding of the Chair in Islamic studies at Huron College? Answer: It just so happens that the president and director of the Islamic Centre for Southwestern Ontario is none other than Assem Fadel and he is also the president of the Canadian branch of the WICS. Here we have a clear and indisputable link between Gadhafi sponsored terrorist related activities involving the president of the Islamic Centre of Southwestern Ontario, a funding organisation of the chair in Islamic Studies. This link can not be denied by Huron College even if Assem Fadel claims an innocent explanation for what transpired. This didn’t happen years ago. It happened just over a week ago.
Assem Fadel is not the only local promoter of the Islamic studies project with links to the World Islamic Call Society. At least 2 other major proponents of the chair in Islamic studies have attended conferences of the World Islamic Call Society in Libya. They are Faisal Joseph, a prominent lawyer in London who is closely involved with HUC and Munir el-Kassem a dental surgeon who is also the ex-Muslim chaplain of the University of Western Ontario.
This new information needs to be put before the public so that HUC be asked to take it into consideration and once again examine the question of whether or not they should accept funding from these sources. We recommend highly that they do not.