Saudi Princes Donates $1,500,000 to ISNA Scholarship Program


Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has donated almost $1.5 million to a scholarship program hosted by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to an article posted by an Australian newspaper covering the MIddle East:

The HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal ISNA Fellowship Program was established to improve institutional management of non-profit work. This program will be hosted by ISNA at its headquarters in Plainfield IN, in conjunction with higher academic institutions such as the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, leading preferably to an MA in Philanthropic Studies. Upon graduating from the program, the students will be equipped to successfully serve any non-profit organization in the U.S, and contribute to the growth of a dynamic service based society at large. ISNA was established in 1963.

The ISNA website adds that the goal is to train “Muslim leaders” while another ISNA newsletter states that students in the program are are required to serve as interns in the summer or on a part-time basis during the year with ISNA or with any other non-profit organization approved by ISNA. Given these conditions, it is likely that the program is intended to serve as both a subsidy for U.S. Brotherhood organizations as well insuring that the students go on to work in “approved” Islamic organizations. This is not the first time that the Prince has funded U.S. Brotherhood organizations who often say that they are free from foreign funding. In 2002, Arab media reported that Prince Talal donated $500,000 to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR has also indicated that it was not the first such money received from Prince Talal. The Australian news report states that the Kingdom Foundation, chaired by the Prince, has supported projects by both the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID) as well as the much publicized donation of $20 million to Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU), chaired by Muslim Brotherhood supporter John Esposito.

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