Hartford Seminary’s Shameful Ties to Syria’s Dictator

via Articles: Hartford Seminary’s Shameful Ties to Syria’s Dictator.

The Hartford Seminary has occupied a leading position among theological faculties around the nation in accommodating Islam, particularly in its radical forms, since appointing its first Muslim faculty member more than twenty years ago.  Today, that accommodation extends to the murderous regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

Hartford maintains a highly questionable relationship with an Islamic religious and Arabic-language school, the Al-Fatiha Islamic Academy in Damascus, approved by, and allied with, the Assad family.  Founded in 1956, Al-Fatiha promotes aggressively sharia-based finance (Islamic banking) and denounces the current international financial system. 

On January 30, Hartford announced that “Omer Awass … has been named Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, starting in Fall 2012.”  Awass possesses unexceptional standing as a doctoral candidate at Temple University, where he earned his master’s degree in religion, with attendance at al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim religious university in Cairo.  And by way of justifying this rather odd academic appointment, Hartford disclosed that Awass “is a graduate of Al-Fatih Islamic Institute in Damascus, Syria, which has enjoyed a partnership with Hartford Seminary and had students earn degrees at the Seminary.”

Thus, at a time when the Assad regime has slain at least 11,000 of its subjects, according to Syrian opposition sources, and U.S. and other foreign governments attempt to find a means to stop the bloodletting, the Hartford Seminary happily maintains a “partnership” with a religious institution under the dictator’s wing.

Hartford’s blind flirtation with radical Islam is not limited to providing faculty space for Abu-Rabi.  Hartford’s faculty also includes Ingrid Mattson, the headscarf-sporting former president of the fundamentalist Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).  ISNA has been exposed as an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, acting in cooperation with Saudi Wahhabis and South Asian jihadists.  Mattson, who appeared as a Muslim participant in the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, possesses a long and dismaying biography as an apologist for Islamist extremism.  In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mattson was among the most prominent in purveying the claim that jihad in Islam could be only defensive, and in portraying Wahhabism — which inspires al-Qaeda — as a reform movement comparable to Protestant Christianity.  Since then she has promoted a totalistic view of sharia law as applicable to all human transactions — in line with Islamist ideology.

The Hartford Seminary also evinces great pride in its Islamic chaplaincy program, which produces Muslim clerics for service in “prison ministry, hospital, university, military, or community work.”  Given the predominance of Saudi-inspired Wahhabi imams among Muslim prison clerics in many American correctional institutions, Hartford’s Muslim chaplaincy program deserves a long-delayed examination.

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4 thoughts on “Hartford Seminary’s Shameful Ties to Syria’s Dictator

  1. If we had an objective, unbiased president, the State Dept. would be examining these ties, and courts would be ordering changes.

  2. Pingback: UPDATE: Hartford Seminary's Shameful Ties to Syria's Dictator « Creeping … « Regional Wars!

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