Kyle Shideler | Center for Security Policy
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a Muslim Brotherhood founded think-tank in Herndon Virginia, has worked assiduously to disguise their founders and employees shadowy past.
IIIT has so in part by touting their association with well respected U.S. Academia including Georgetown University, and George Mason University. IIIT even has a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. But according to federal law enforcement, IIIT’s founders provided both ideological and financial support for terrorist groups including including Hamas, Palestinian Jihad and Al Qaeda.
But IIIT may be letting the mask drop by hosting an October 29th event with Imam Suheil Laher. Laher was once the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Muslim Chaplain, oversaw the MIT Muslim Students Association, and gave sermons as the Islamic Society of Boston, which has numerous documented terror ties.
Laher is now an academic dean for Fawakih, which describes itself “one of the United State’s leading and most well respected Quranic Arabic programs.” Fawakih’s Herndon Virginia chapter, where Laher teaches, is held at Fairfax Institute, another name for IIIT.
Americans for Peace and Tolerance this year published a high-quality video about Laher and his history.
While in Boston, Laher served as the President of CARE International, AKA The Kifah Refugee Center, an Islamic charity founded by Al Qaeda Co-Founder Abdullah Azzam. During his time with CARE International, Laher raised funds for the Chechen terrorist group responsible for the Beslan School Massacre. Laher also openly published tracts and sermons where he called for jihad:
When the Muslim lands are being attacked, and the Muslims are being raped and killed, the only solution prescribed by Allah is jihad. Jihad is for all times. […] Jihad does not stop. Those of us who have not yet managed to go and physically help our brothers and sisters should support […] our mujahidin brethren with prayer, with money, with clothes, by taking care of their families, and at some point in person. Otherwise, we must face the wrath of Allah.
Laher would personally endorse Azzam’s call for jihad, according to a document found by the FBI in a raid on a storage facility. In the document Laher wrote:
“The martyred shaykh and mujahid, `Abdullah’ Azzam (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) dispels some common misconceptions/misgivings about the practical realization of jihad today. The extract following is from `Al-Difa’ an `Aradi al-Muslimeen’ (Defence of the Muslim Lands). Please note that the text is copyrighted. With all due respect to other shaykhs, the fatwa of a shaykh living in the midst of a situation must be given priority to someone speaking from the outside. In addition, those who perform ribat and jihad are in a spiritually sharpened state of mind, which makes their fatawa very weighty and valuable. Thus, whenever an issue was ambiguous or enigmatic for people, they would say, `Ask the people of the frontline, for they are the closest of people to Allah.’”
Laher was at MIT at the same time as convicted Al Qaeda operative Aafia Siddiqui. Siddiqui fired on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and was found in possession of plans for a mass casualty attack in the United States, including information regarding a radioactive “dirty bomb”. Siddiqui worked together with Laher, both at the MIT MSA and Care International. According to U.S. Prosecutors Siddiqui trained for her jihad in the United States, together with other Al-Kifah members.
Now residing in the Washington area, Laher’s bio for his IIIT presentation proudly notes his work on “The Law of Jihad” in the publication “The State We Are In,” a collection of Islamic scholars writings on terrorism, including Abdullah Bin Bayyah. Bin Bayyah is the former deputy head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, who co-signed a 2004 IUMS fatwa supporting the killing of Americans in Iraq.
Laher’s presence is yet another reminder that the willingness of today’s Western academics to hobnob with the Islamist ideologues of IIIT does not preclude their continued involvement in supporting and indoctrinating for jihad.