February 22, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a program at least partially underwritten with federal funds, the University of Minnesota is holding an event entitled Shared Cultural Spaces, "Islamic developments in architecture, the arts, sciences and theater will be the topics of a federally-funded conference at the University of Minnesota Feb. 24-26." [see, U of M conference to explore Islam and the humanities, http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2011/UR_CONTENT_290651.html]
We are concerned that these federal funds are being used to further the Islamist ideology of Dr. Ingrid Mattson, one of the program's "presenters."
"... Some of the leading presenters include...Ingrid Mattson, professor of Islamic studies, founder of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program and director of the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. Her research and writing focuses on Islamic law and ethics, as well as gender and leadership issues in contemporary Muslim communities. From 2006-2010 Mattson served as president of the Islamic Society of North America." [source, U of M website]
We call special attention to Ms. Mattson's long association with the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA] which mainstream news organizations including the Chicago Tribune, have linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
"...Elkadi himself helped create several noted Islamic organizations, including the Muslim Youth of North America, which attempted to draw thousands of high school students to Islam by sponsoring soccer teams, providing scholarships and offering a line of clothing. He served as president of the North American Islamic Trust, a group that helped build and preserve mosques.
Some of those organizations eventually would distance themselves from the Brotherhood. The Islamic Society of North America, the umbrella group for the Muslim Youth of North America and the Muslim Students Association, says Brotherhood members helped form those groups but that their overall influence has been limited..." [source, Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe and Laurie Cohen, Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2004 A Rare Look At The Secretive Brotherhood In America
We consider it totally inappropriate that an appearance by Ms. Mattson would be funded by American taxpayers.
The University of Minnesota, at the time of this writing, had not replied to numerous requests for a statement regarding this matter. However in a late breaking addition, below please find the official response, just received from University of Minnesota spokesman, Jeff Falk. It addresses information we had requested regarding the specific source and amount of the funding provided by the federal government for the upcoming Shared Cultural Spaces program.
"University organizers received a $170,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund the conference.
We're obviously excited and honored to be hosting world-leadingscholars here at the University of Minnesota for a timely examinationof the relationships between Islamic countries and the West."
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