On Oct. 12, 2001, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani rejected a $10 million donation to the Twin Towers Fund by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Giuliani did so because of the strings that were attached to the gift.
Bin Talal stated that the United States “must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack.” Bin Talal was positing the “blowback” theory of the Sept. 11 attacks by claiming American policies, like support of Israel, lead to Islamic terrorism.
Bin Talal is an adherent of the extremist Wahhabi branch of Islam, which is the state religion of Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, the religious police, the Metaween, use extreme repression to maintain Wahhabi orthodoxy.
In the Sept. 26 Collegian, there was a story of Georgetown University’s John Esposito giving the first address for the International Activities Council Lecture Series.
Esposito is director of the Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. That’s right; bin Talal has found many willing recipients for his cash in academia. And he is getting his money’s worth.
On Oct. 23, Esposito will be host to a conference at Georgetown that asks the question, “Is there a role for Sharia Law in modern states?” Of course, this begs the question of whether the medieval theocracy of Saudi Arabia can claim the status of “modern.”
Bin Talal and Esposito agree it’s American “perceptions” that cause terrorism as opposed to Saudi Arabia’s and other Islamic nations’ religious tyranny. Their idea of “understanding” is to silence all criticism of Islam and discussion on the countless, heinous crimes committed in its name.
doctoral student in American history