Douglas Farah takes note of a most significant letter from Rep. Frank Wolf (Virginia Republican) to the president of Georgetown University, John DeGioia. Rep. Wolf writes that he was perturbed by a December 2007 Washington Times story that reported on the millions Saudi "Prince" Alwaleed bin Talal--the same Saudi chieftain whose check Rudy turned down after 9/11--has bestowed on American universities. (Talal's oil-y largesse includes $20 million apiece to Harvard and Georgetown.) In the rest of the letter, Rep. Wolf is basically inquiring into whether Talal has gotten his (hush) money's worth from Georgetown.
This is an excellent question--particularly since, as Farah reminds us, the money went to Georgetown's Center For Muslim Christian Understanding
"led by Dr. John Esposito, a long-time supporter of the international Muslim Brotherhood." Farah continues: "Esposito has served on the boards of numerous Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations (USAR in the United States, IIPT in Great Britain, run by open Hamas supporter Azzam Tamimi, etc.) while defending Sami al Arian, Yousef al Qaradawi, and on and on."
Rep Wolf writes:
Specifically, I would like to know if the center has produced any analysis critical of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example, in the fields of human rights, religious freedom, freedom of expression, women's rights, minority rights, protections for foreign workers, due process and the rule of law.
It is also important to know if the center has examined Saudi links to extremism and terrorism, including the relationship between Saudi public education and the Kingdom-supported clerical establishment, on the one hand, and the rise of anti-American attitudes, extremism and violence in the Muslim world, on the other.
I also would lask whether the center has examined and produced any critical study of the controversial religious textbooks produced by the government of Saudi Arabia that have been cited by the State Department, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and non-governmental groups for propagating extreme intolerance? Has it published anything on the impact of the Kingdom's dissemination of such texts throughout much of the world?
Finally, I request information on whether any of the Saudi-source funds have been used in the training, briefing and education of those going into or currently employed by the U.S. government.
What in tarnation is going on up on Capitol Hill? First, Rep. Sue Myrick (North Carolina Republican) stands up for Stephen Coughlin; now, Rep. Wolf is following the Saudi money trail onto our campuses. Looks as if Congress--a couple of patriotic congressmen, anyhow--is beginning to take its post-9/11 oversight reponsibilities seriously.