When Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia tried to give $10 million to New York City after 9/11, then-mayor Rudy Giuliani sent the money back because a note that accompanied the gift equated the terrorist attacks on America to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. “I entirely reject that statement,” said Giuliani. “There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it.”
Georgetown was happy to take the prince’s money, however–a $20-million donation to set up the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. (My Philanthropy article touching on this subject is here.)
Now a member of Congress is asking questions:
A Virginia congressman has asked Georgetown University to explain how it used a $20 million donation from a Saudi prince for its academic center on Muslim and Christian relations.
Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R) sent a letter yesterday to university President John J. DeGioia expressing concern about the donation and asking whether the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding has ever produced any reports critical of Saudi Arabia.