Phi Beta Cons

Saudi Largesse at Georgetown and Harvard

Stephen Schwartz, head of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, examines the uses to which Harvard and Georgetown Universities have put their donations of $20 million dollars each from Saudi prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. 

Georgetown has been most in the limelight for instituting the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) under the direction of John Louis Esposito. Schartz describes Esposito as ”America’s foremost apologist for ultra-fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam” and the ACMCU as an academic center “that promotes vigorously the ‘Palestinian narrative’ and hostility to Israel.”

In addition to having its own Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Harvard also operates a Center for Middle East Studies (CMES), which includes an Outreach Center run by Paul Beran.

Schwartz elaborates on Beran’s dedication to breaking down (in the latter’s words) “pro-Israel perceptions in the U.S.” as well as on the extensive influence the Outreach Center has had on the treatment of Middle East issues in K–12 schools.

Schwartz demonstrates persuasively that the CMES is propagating ”a one-sided, anti-Israel, and pro-Arab introduction to Middle East issues for American schoolchildren.”

Though less publicized, Schwartz concludes, ”the Harvard approach is as bad as or worse than that pursued by John Esposito at Georgetown.”

Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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