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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > The Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova and the Saudi Wahhabists

The Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova and the Saudi Wahhabists

July 12, 2006

Badr Al-Olayan, 2nd left, Abdul Rahman Al-Jomaih, and Abdul Aziz Hanafi, (FIE treasurer ) right, distribute certificates and prizes to outstanding students during the graduation ceremony at JCCI auditorium. (AN photo) article below : http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=61867&d=10&m=4&y=2005

Saudi Wahhabists Promoting Islamic Extremism Through Villanova Jihad Camps

By Beila Rabinowitz and William Meyer


July 12, 2006 - Villanova, PA - PipeLineNews.org - The heavy hand of the Saudi Kingdom is being felt in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

When Villanova's Foundation for Islamic Education [FIE] requested an expansion permit from Lower Merion Council they were met with protests from concerned residents who were fed up with the group's flaunting of its zoning agreement.

As we noted in a July 10 piece - Residents Protest Expansion Of Islamic Center In Villanova, PA - Venue For Young Muslim "Jihad Camps" - "Residents of Lower Merion County protesting the expansion of the Foundation for Islamic Education because of zoning violations, recently became aware that the center is planning to hold a Muslim Youth camp with many of the controversial speakers who appeared at a self-described "Jihad Camp" in 2001.

The FIE is funded and owned by the ex-Saudi Minister of Energy and Electricity - Abdullah Taiba and is a satellite campus of the American Open University the American division of al-Azhar University in Cairo, a hotbed of Muslim Brotherhood activity.

A hearing on the expansion permit is scheduled to take place on August 10. Even prior to the news about the camp, Lower Merion councilman Philip Rosenzweig conceded that "it would take time for the FIE to reestablish trust with the neighbors," according to a July 5th article Philadelphia Inquirer..."

The FIE acknowledged they had violated the rules, but what they didn't tell residents is that their Foundation is a satellite campus of the radical Islamist Al-Azhar University [Cairo, Egypt].

FIE's Pennsylvania's incorporation filing for FIE lists the following corporate officers:

  • Mahmoud A. Taiba - President
  • Abdulaziz A. Hanafi - Secretary
  • Abdullah I. al-Hobayb - Treasurer
  • Mahmoud Abdullah Taiba, President of FIE epitomizes the Saudi mixture of finance and fundamentalism. Taiba, an engineer by profession is the chairman of the Saudi Consolidated Electric Company and the former Secretary General of the Saudi Energy and Electricity Ministry.

    In 2005 he was appointed by King Fahd to be the new vice chairman of the Shoura Council. The Majlis Ash Shoura [Council of Consultation] evaluates most matters in the kingdom for their compatibility with Islamic law. Decisions made by the Shoura council are implemented upon the review of King Fahd.

    Taiba is therefore a key player in the inner workings of Saudi Arabia's official religion, which is the Wahhabist Sunni sect of Islam, Islam's most fundamentalist, intolerant strain.

    It also makes Villanova's FIE is a direct extension of the Saudi government, controlled by the Saudi royal family whose goal is to promote Wahhabism worldwide.

    The image to the above left shows, left to right - Badr Al-Olayan, Abdul Rahman Al-Jomaih and FIE Treasurer Abdul Aziz Hanafi as they distribute certificates and prizes to outstanding students during a graduation ceremony held for recent Islamic converts.

    Abdulaziz A. Hanafi is among the most influential businessmen in Saudi Arabia; the above image appeared in an Arab News article, "IEF Director Refutes Reports of Forced Conversions" which details the Philippine government's investigation into reports that its workers in Saudi Arabia had been forcibly converted to Islam and recruited by terrorist organizations [an April 2005 Dept. of State report lists the Abu Sayyaf Group - ASF - as a "violent Muslim terrorist group operating in the southern Philippines...The ASG engages in kidnappings for ransom, bombings, beheadings, assassinations, and extortion"].

    Forced conversion is a recurring charge made against radical Islam, it occurs in nearly every Islamic state, please see our June 1, 2005 article Multiculturalism And The Phenomenon Of Forced Conversion To Islam. We take the charges lodged against the FIE's Saudi headquarters very seriously.

    To the already established transgressions of FIE, developed in our above linked July 10th article we now must add the influence that the Saudi based Islamic Education Foundation is exercising through FIE, to the mix.

    While in no way alleging that those at FIE are actively engaged in terrorism, the philosophy that they espouse is Wahhabism, they are an adjunct of a Saudi hate factory Al-Azhar University that is a focal point of the Muslim Brotherhood and they are a puppet of the Saudi government.

    The Brotherhood is the group responsible for the assassination of Anwar Sadat [the "Blind Sheik" Abdul Rahman the Imam who was convicted in the first World Trade Center bombing and Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin-Laden's top lieutenant both were implicated in the plot to kill Sadat] and it is the immediate predecessor to al-Qaeda.

    What we are talking about here is an ideology that has declared war on the West.

    FIE's camp programs prior to 2001 were actually called "jihad camps," the speakers list on the current camp contains troubling people including Siraj Wahhaj who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 plot to blow up New York landmarks. He also testified as a character witness for the above referenced Blind Sheik in his terrorism trial.

    FIE has been an exceedingly poor neighbor and the information that we set forth in this piece only deepens our concern leading us to demand that FIE's requested permit be denied by the Lower Merion Council, that a thorough investigation be made and proceedings to shut the place down be initiated.


    IEF Director Refutes Reports of Forcible Filipino Conversions
    P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News

    JEDDAH, 10 April 2005 Badr A-Olayan, director of the Islamic Education Foundation, has refuted allegations that Filipino workers have been converted to Islam in the Kingdom against their will. "There is no truth whatsoever in these reports," he told Arab News.

    Olayan was reacting to a news item distributed by the German news agency DPA which said the Philippine government was investigating reports that the Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia had been forcibly converted to Islam and recruited by terrorist organizations.

    It said Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had instructed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Labor to check the veracity of the reports, received by the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives Jose de Venecia.

    The IEF chief said he believed that certain interest groups could have circulated the reports to discourage Filipinos from embracing Islam. A large number of Filipinos working in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have reverted to Islam in recent years after studying the religion.

    "After seeing this report I had contacted many people working in the field to find out whether any Filipino had been converted to Islam by force. They told me that they had not come across any such incident in the Kingdom," Olayan said.

    Filipinos who embraced Islam recently expressed their indignation saying the allegations were aimed at tarnishing the image of Islam and Filipino Muslims.

    "It's a ridiculous report, which has no basis at all. At least I can tell you that I embraced this great religion out of my own conviction and without any outside pressure," one Filipino Muslim told Arab News.

    Earlier addressing a ceremony held to honor 340 expatriates who successfully completed IEF's Islamic courses, Olayan called upon non-Muslim expatriates to make use of their stay in the Kingdom to learn about Islam. As many as 540 expatriates embraced Islam last year.

    "It's a golden opportunity," he told the gathering at the auditorium of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The ceremony was attended by a large number of businessmen who support IEF's projects and activities. Certificates and prizes were distributed to outstanding students, who included many new converts.

    Olayan urged Muslims to make use of every opportunity to convey the message of Islam to their non-Muslim friends in a wise and convincing manner. He spoke about the foundation's efforts to take care of the new Muslims, enhance their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the religion by conducting special courses. Olayan urged the new Muslims to brush up their knowledge of Islam.

    Hamdan, from Bataan in the Luson region of the Philippines, said he embraced Islam in 2001 after studying the religion for six years. "I was not forced by anyone to convert. Nobody can dictate what religion I should follow," he said while reacting to the DPA report.

    He said anybody with an open mind could easily understand the truthfulness of Islam.

    Describing his journey to Islam, Abdul Kareem, who studied at a seminary in the Philippines to become a priest, said Sheikh Ahmed Deedat's book "The Choice" helped him to fathom the beauty of the religion. He said the book by the South African scholar cleared many of his doubts.



    Appeal No. 3975
    Applicant: Foundation for Islamic Education
    Property: 1860 W Montgomery Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085
    R 1 Residence District
    Election District #6
    The Foundation for Islamic Education seeks a special exception under 155-11 S(4), 155-11 S(1)(e) and/or 155-11 X to expand its existing religious and educational institution use for the following:
    A licensed Elementary School for grades pre-K through 8 with 93 students and 13 faculty/staff personnel, with a future enrollment up to 130 students.
    A 6-week summer camp program for up to 25 children, ages 4-12.
    Increase the number of retreats permitted to 10 per year with no more than 2 per month.
    Increase the Friday Juma Prayer session to allow up to 150 attendees.
    Increase Sunday School classes to allow up to 160 students.
    Increase various Holiday attendance to allow up to 400 attendees.
    Increase staff residence to allow the 6 current individuals/families to remain and allow accommodations for a security guard, gardener, maintenance supervisor, VAHS principal, Islamic Arabic teacher, and provide two guest rooms for lecturers.
    The Foundation also requests that if it is determined that any additional parking spaces are required that the Zoning Hearing Board waive up to 50% of the required spaces as permitted under 155-95 AA(4) and/or grant a special exception under 155-95.1 to hold the additional parking spaces in reserve.

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