Oct. 14, 2011
Huron University College in London, Ontario has appointed Dr. Ingrid Mattson as the inaugural London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at its Faculty of Theology. Dr. Mattson will begin her appointment on July 1, 2012.
Dr. Mattson was born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo and earned her PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. She is the first convert to Islam and the first woman to lead the Islamic Society of North America. Before accepting the Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College, Dr. Mattson was Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford Connecticut. She has also been an Advisor to both the Bush and Obama Administrations.
The National Post: May 13, 2011
This article chronicles critics of a proposed Islamic Chair position at Huron University College, an affiliate of University of Western Ontario (UWO) Southern Ontario. 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).
On April 5, 26 self-identified “alumni, friends and faculty” of the university signed on to a letter written by UWO associate professor of economics John Palmer, protesting acceptance of the endowment. In it, Palmer contends that although MAC and IIIT claim they are moderate and democratic organizations, their approach is influenced by Imam Hassan Al-Banna, founder and even decades after his death still ideological guru of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), who, according to the MAC website, “best exemplifies [a] balanced, comprehensive understanding of Islam.”