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A $2-million gift that UWO might want to turn down
by Barbara Kay
For various reasons, some good, many Western universities are keen to establish Islamic Studies programs. And for various other reasons, the same is true of Islamist organizations -which tend toward a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. To this end, with a professed goal of fostering "understanding" of Islam, the latter offer hefty financial endowments to universities.
Some critics worry that such a scenario may be in progress at Huron University College, an affiliate of University of Western Ontario (UWO). Huron offers post-baccalaureate and professional degree programs in theology. The College recently accepted a $2-million endowment for a new Chair in Islamic Studies within the College's historically Anglican Faculty of Theology. About half the money is to come via fundraising facilitated by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), and the other, matching half from the Virginia-based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). A cofounder of the latter group was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007-2008 trial of Sami al-Arian, an Islamist academic linked to jihadism.
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