Israeli media has reported that according to a student human rights organization, the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) received funding from the Saudi Arabian regime and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf Qaradawi. According to the report:
LONDON – A prestigious London university has been accused of having a banned “terror preacher” on the editorial board of one of its department’s journals and receiving funding from the Saudi royal family, according to a report published by a British counter-extremism organization. Student Rights, a London-based organization tackling extremism on campuses, said on Thursday that the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) received funding from the Saudi Arabian regime and Islamist preacher Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual inspiration for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, who is banned from the UK, Israel and the US. The information, obtained through Freedom of Information requests by Student Rights, shows close ties between the university and the Saudi Royal family, who have donated £755,000 to the school, which is renowned for its Middle East program, between 2006 and 2010. The findings in the report led to a formal response from the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the UK, Mohammed bin Nawaf Saud, who issued a statement on Friday confirming the funding to SOAS. “If Saudi money is questionable, then following a change in British law we will willingly abide by this and change our policy accordingly,” the ambassador said. Student Rights says the funding source runs counter to the university’s standpoint on freedom of expression and discrimination, as well as the UN Declaration on Human Rights. The money was donated to fund the SOAS Journal of Qu’ranic Studies, which has Qaradawi on its board, a preacher who supports suicide bombings against Israelis and has endorsed the killing of pregnant Israeli women and unborn children.
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Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.
An earlier post reported that Qaradawi had canceled a planned appearance in Ireland to the latest in a long series of health problems. This may be the most serious of such problems since it has appears to have been several months since he has spoken or appeared in public.