The New York Times has reported on a trip undertaken by four young american students last year ” to take the post-9/11 pulse of nine predominantly Muslim countries.” The students were guided by Akbar Ahmed, described as a Pakistani-born American University professor with a distinguished background as author, director, poet and peacemaker. Dr. Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC. and is frequently described as one of the most prominent Islamic moderates who and has received numerous awards and accolades. However, inconsistent with this characterization, Dr. Ahmed also has a long association with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) established in 1980 as an arm of the global Muslim Brotherhood by some of the most important figures in this network. Dr. Ahmed is also a member of the advisory board of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, the publication of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, headquartered at IIIT and also a part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Islamization of Knowledge” project. The exact nature of Dr. Ahmed’s association with the Muslim Brotherhood network requires further analysis, but a brief review of his positions on suicide bombings indicate that he has staked out a position similar to that of Tariq Ramadan, the important independent leader in the Muslim Brotherhood network. That is, while condemning such terrorism as “un-Islamic”, Dr. Ahmed attempts to contextualize the phenomenon, blaming it on social/political circumstances rather than religious incitement. Also, when presented with opportunities to condemn Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Youssef Qaradawi who provide theological justification for suicide attacks, Dr. Ahmed noticeably fails to denounce such individuals by name.
globalmb @ August 5, 2007