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Feb
16

U.S. Congressman Queries Georgetown University About Scrutiny of Saudi Grant

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The Investigative Project is reporting that a U.S. Congressman wrote a letter to the President of Georgetown University about its academic scrutiny of Saudi Arabia and its use of $20 million donated by a Saudi prince in 2005. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated the money to the Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CCMU), run by long-time Muslim Brotherhood supporter Dr. John Esposito. According to the report:

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) wrote to Georgetown President John DeGioia Thursday, saying he was concerned about how the money was being spent at the university’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Of particular concern, Wolf said, was the university’s role in training current and prospective U.S. foreign service personnel.”The Saudi government continues to permit textbooks to contain inflammatory language about other religions,” Wolf wrote. “Restrictions on civil society and political activists continue to be pervasive. No changes have been made to the underlying legal authority relating to non-Muslim worship that the Saudis have relied on to enforce these rules. The Saudis have cleansed their own country of religious liberties by severely restricting public religious expression to their interpretation and enforcement of wahhabism.” Wolf’s letter seeks assurances the Georgetown center “maintains the impartiality and integrity of scholarship that befits so distinguished a university as Georgetown.”

He then goes on to ask about whether or not the Center has scrutinized Saudi human rights practices, links to terrorism and extremism, religious education, or relationship to U.S. government personnel.

A previous post has detailed Prince bin Talal’s financial support of other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations. John Esposito and the CCMU, in turn, have had a long history of ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. These ties include praise of Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, support for Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami-Al-Arian, and serving on advisory boards or working with organizations such as a journal published by United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) part of the U.S. Brotherhood, and the Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIPT), run by U.K. Brotherhood figure and Hamas supporter Azzam Tamimi.

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