The Islamic Information Center of America (IICA) was founded in 1983 by Dr. Musa Qutub, a professor of geography at Northeastern University. The organization’s primary objective is to “deliver the message of Islam in its totality and purity to the American people, to inform non-Muslims about Islam, and to aid Americans who embrace Islam in delivering the Message to others.” IICA pursues these goals by hosting seminars; delivering lectures; distributing newsletters; writing newspaper articles and op-ed pieces; giving media interviews; participating in radio and television forums; taking part in interfaith dialogs; reviewing books about Islam for publishers; and conducting visits to mosques for middle-school, high-school, and college students.
Through the use of da’wah (preaching or proselytizing), IICA’s ultimate objective is to “invite” Muslims and non-Muslims alike to join “the cause of Allah” and convert to the Islamic faith. Indeed, the IICA website features a section titled “How to Become a Muslim,” which encourages “those who wish to fill the void in your life or have any questions or comments about Islam” to contact IICA, “and we will be happy to inform you about Islam.” According to Garbi Schmidt’s 2004 book Islam in Urban America:
“Dr. Qutub took pride in the number of people who had converted to Islam as a result of [IICA’s] outreach. That ‘many now accept Islam over the phone,’ he [Qutub] said, proved to him that Islam was ‘a religion of proof’ appealing to the human intellect.”
In a piece titled “The First and Final Message,” Qutub has written that Islam is the only “true religion,” and that “it will prevail over all religions that were fabricated by mankind.”
In addition to its proselytizing efforts, IICA also helps American Muslims navigate their way through the process of obtaining a marriage certificate, getting marriage counseling if they need it, and initiating divorce proceedings when necessary. Moreover, IICA’s Islamic Reconciliation Council seeks to resolve disputes between Muslims generally, and between Muslim business partners particularly.
IICA also seeks to counter what it views as the Western media’s overwhelmingly negative portrayal of Islam. Says IICA: “… Islam is being tarnished by the press … because they fear what it has to offer humanity. Islam is a way of life. Islam gave the woman more rights than any other religion even though the west keeps attacking the misconceptions about women’s rights in Islam….”
IICA was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document — titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” — as one of the Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded “organizations of our friends” that shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These “friends” were identified by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
Also named in the Muslim Brotherhood document were: