Posted by Judy K. Warner on September 25, 2008
Saudi money at American universities is part of the silent jihad. The Saudis have funded Middle Eastern and Muslim-oriented centers on campuses all over the country. One influential center is at Georgetown University, where it is doing its part to introduce Sharia law into the United States. Cinnamon Stillwell reports at FrontPage:
Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMSU) will be hosting a conference on October 23 that asks the loaded question: “Is There a Role for Shari’ah in Modern States?”
The Saudi-funded ACMSU and its founding director, John Esposito, one of the foremost apologists for radical Islam in the academic field of Middle East studies, have certainly been doing their bit to make the idea more palatable.
The Saudi prince for whom ACMSU was named has been pumping millions of dollars into Middle East studies at Georgetown, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and beyond, and as the case of Esposito demonstrates, it magnifies the voices of scholars with a decidedly uncritical bent. As a result, ACMSU analysis regarding Sharia (or Islamic) law tends to focus not on its injustices (amputation, stoning, hanging, honor killing, punishment for blasphemy, execution of apostates, persecution of non-Muslims, sanctioned wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and so on), but rather on repackaging it in ways that will appeal to Western sensibilities. The concept of a more “moderate” version of Sharia law that is compatible with democracy is at the forefront of this effort.
Apparently one way the Saudis advance the stealth jihad is to use non-Muslims as apologists for their goals. At least I assume Esposito isn’t Muslim. Stillwell provides a lot of information on Esposito, including this:
Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, a book co-authored by Esposito and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies Dalia Mogahed, has been widely criticized for its blatant inaccuracies and attempts to whitewash anti-Western and extremist sentiment in the Muslim world. Accordingly, Sharia law is framed in a non-threatening fashion.
The keynote speaker is a Harvard professor and apologist for Sharia, Noah Feldman. (Why are there so many Jews supporting radical Islam?)
In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world. Today, when we invoke the harsh punishments prescribed by Shariah for a handful of offenses, we rarely acknowledge the high standards of proof necessary for their implementation.
Stillwell quotes Melanie Phillips on how this same process is moving along in Britain (with far greater success):
Melanie Phillips, writing for National Review Online, notes the role of Saudi funding and Middle East studies in furthering this process:
Even thought itself is being Islamized, with academic objectivity in the teaching of Islam and Middle East studies set aside in favour of indoctrination and propaganda. An as-yet-unpublished report by Prof. Anthony Glees says that extremist ideas are being spread by Islamic study centers linked to British universities and backed by multi-million-pound donations from Saudi Arabia and Muslim organizations. Professor Glees says, ‘Britain’s universities will have to generate two national cultures: one non-Muslim and largely secular, the other Muslim. We will have two identities, two sets of allegiance and two legal and political systems.
These Middle East studies programs are highly influential because many of the Arabic translators who go to work in sensitive positions in the government have been trained at these centers. Our best weapon against creeping Sharia is the good sense of the American people, and their propensity to fight back, as we’ve seen in Grand Island, Nebraska and other places. But we need more. We should not allow Saudi money to fund these centers. The government has to face up to the fact that Saudi Arabia may be a much-needed trading partner because of their oil, but they are our sworn enemy. We should treat them as such when it comes to letting them influence what goes on here. Would we have let Hitler fund National Socialism Studies centers?