Georgetown’s Middle East Bridge to Nowhere

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Amid years of reports that Georgetown’s Middle East Studies program was being compromised by apologists for violent extremists, if not outright terrorists, the school has, if anything, doubled down on its approach. “Breaking news on the discipline of Middle East studies is seldom kind to Georgetown University,” a report from Campus Watch notes. “In July 2017 came word that the Bridge Initiative of the Saudi-funded Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) had hired former Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) national legal director Arsalan Iftikhar as a senior research fellow.”

“With the appointment, Bridge/ACMCU has effectively become a branch of the Hamas-derived, Islamist CAIR. This followed news in June 2017 that the new dean of Georgetown University in Qatar is none other than Ahmad Dallal, a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of the State Department-designated terrorist group Hezbollah. Dallal, who chaired Georgetown’s Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies from 2003 to 2009, is also pro-Hamas, pro-Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, co-author of an Arabic textbook whose maps omit Israel, and signatory of a letter warning that Israel would engage in ‘ethnic cleansing’ at the start of the Iraq war.”

Nor, the report from Campus Watch indicates, are these two a pair of outliers. In 2015, Jonathan Brown (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2006) became the successor to John Esposito, who we have covered extensively, as director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding (ACMCU) at Georgetown.

If anything, Brown makes Esposito, look like a moderate. “Brown has had several run-ins with Campus Watch’s reporters and even evicted one, Andrew Harrod, from a 2017 lecture,” the report states. “In early 2017, he became embroiled in a controversy surrounding his alleged defense of slavery and rape.”
“After all, he claims, ‘I don’t think it’s morally evil to own someone.’”