Nearly three years ago, I wrote to the then Principal of Huron College, an affiliate of The University of Western Ontario, warning that their plan to accept $2 million to endow a chair in Islamic Studies was likely to lead to serious problems in the future, in large part because the source of the funding was questionable (see this, this, this, and this). I also pointed out that $2m is nowhere near enough to fund a chair and that clearly much of the funding for this "chair" would be drawn from the general funds.
Neither Huron College nor The University of Western Ontario heeded our warnings. They accepted the money and appointed Ingrid Mattson to the chair. Here is one less-than-supportive view of her credentials [via JT]:
Professor Mattson herself is a former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that was named by the FBI as a Muslim Brotherhood front as early as 1987. In 2007, ISNA was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity shut down by the U.S. government for financing Hamas. During the trial, the U.S. government listed ISNA as one of the “individuals/entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.”
Recently this professor offered a course in proseletyzing for the Muslim faith. A non-Muslim was allowed to sign up for the course as an auditor but was then removed from the course, ostensibly because he wished only to audit the course. However, the prerequisites have changed to indicate the course is open (only?) to Muslims. From the same link,
As Barbara Kay has written,
It should be noted that UWO’s own code of ethics precludes any inquiries into a student’s religion during interactions. So it would seem that, prima facie, 54-year old accountant Moray Watson has a strong case for his accusation of discrimination against Huron College.
Nobody, including Watson, has a problem with a course in public speaking about Islam being offered at a college if it is inclusive. He also has no problem with it being exclusive, but offered in a venue such as a mosque or a community centre or a seminary that is not tax-funded. It’s really quite a simple issue. Open up the course or shut it down.