Prince of Georgetown

, Cliff Kincaid, Leave a comment

         
A national uproar over an Arab company buying some U.S. port operations forced
cancellation of the deal. But when a controversial Saudi Prince spends $40
million to promote himself and his views through two major U.S. universities and takes out a
two-page ad in the Washington Post highlighting his efforts, hardly anyone in
the media bats an eyelid. Perhaps that¡¯s because the Saudi Prince, Alwaleed Bin
Talal, is an investor in U.S.
media companies like Time Warner and News Corporation.

It might look hypocritical for the media to highlight his
manipulation of academia while staying mum about his expanding press
operations. Perhaps many of our Big Media companies are anxious for giant
infusions of Arab oil dollars.

Alwaleed is expanding in the media field, having announced
the launch of an Islamic
satellite channel
¡°to project Islam as a religion of moderation and
tolerance.¡±

         
The two-page ad in the Post carried the headline, ¡°We share the same world¡± and
promoted the ¡°Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program¡± at Harvard University
and the ¡°Prince Alwaleed
Bin Talal
Center for Muslim-Christian
Understanding¡± at Georgetown
University
. He gave them
the money. They named the places after him.

      
But
was there a hidden message in part of the ad?

The ad caught the attention of Tony Perkins of the Family
Research Council, who noted that it ¡°shows one of Georgetown¡¯s beautiful Gothic buildings,
topped by a stone cross. In the night sky, above Georgetown, is a crescent moon and star¨Dthe
symbols of Islam. How better to show the kind of ¡®understanding¡¯ we will have?
Christianity is to be subordinated, Islam is raised high¨Dat a Christian
university.¡±

         
But there¡¯s another matter. Perkins asked, ¡°There is no reciprocity here. All
the talk on this side of the ocean is about ¡®understanding.¡¯ Where are the
study centers at Saudi universities? Does anyone there present courses on James
Madison¡¯s views of religious liberty? Does anyone there even suggest that
feudal monarchies that deny their people fundamental human rights need to
reform themselves? Saudi Arabia
is one of the worst violators of human rights on earth. No Christian can even
carry a Bible on any street in Saudi
Arabia
. Converts there are beheaded.¡±

Meanwhile, in France,
Alwaleed spent $20 million to create a special exhibition space for the new department
of Islamic arts at the Mus¨¦e du Louvre in Paris.
On March 1 he was bestowed the medal of ¡°Legion of Honor,¡± with the rank of
Commander, by French President Jacques Chirac in an official
ceremony

His biography, published by Harper Collins (a News Corp.
company) and simply titled Alwaleed,
is written by Riz Khan, who also wrote and produced a flattering documentary
DVD about the prince that is included with the book. A former CNN journalist,
Kahn is now with Al-Jazeera International, the new English-language arm of the
Qatar-based channel that has documented links to Al-Qaeda and previously served
as a mouthpiece for the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.

In the book, Alwaleed says he gave $500,000 to the Council
on American Islamic Relations, the group that specializes in getting
conservatives kicked off the radio if they criticize Islam. Michael Graham was
fired from WMAL in Washington,
D.C.
for offending CAIR.

Now how understanding is that?

Cliff Kincaid is the editor of The AIM Report, which is published by Accuracy in Academia’s parent group, Accuracy in Media.

 

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