Australia’s Griffith University is reported to have “practically begged the Saudi Arabian embassy to bankroll its Islamic campus for $1.3 million, even telling the ambassador it could keep secret elements of the controversial deal,” namely, the chance to refashion Griffith’s Islamic Research Unit at the price of a few “extra noughts” on Saudi checks.
Of course the university says that the fulsome “noughts” would come with “no strings” attached. But how many “noughts” does it take to compromise the university’s research and create support for the militant Islamic ideology propagated by the Saudis?
The response by James Cook University’s Mervyn Bendle, a senior lecturer in the history of terrorism, applies to all universities bending over backwards for Saudi funding:
Australian universities using such funds threaten not only the traditional values of academic freedom and scholarship but also threaten our moderate Muslim communities.