“Saudi Arabia, a country that forbids Christianity, buys influence with millionaire donations to US Universities that enable the Israeli Apartheid Week”
The link between Saudi donations to US Universities and the Israeli Apartheid Week
by Ezequiel Doiny
Christians do not have freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia. In an article published in Fox News by Benjamin Weinthal “Saudi anti-Christian sweep prompts calls for US involvement” on September 12, 2014 he wrote “Some 28 people were rounded up… by hard-line Islamists from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the home of an Indian national in the eastern Saudi city of Khafji, and their current situation is unknown, according to human rights advocates…
“Saudi Arabia is continuing the religious cleansing that has always been its official policy,” Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com. “It is the only nation state in the world with the official policy of banning all churches. This is enforced even though there are over 2 million Christian foreign workers in that country. Those victimized are typically poor, from Asian and African countries with weak governments.”
In Friday’s crackdown, several Bibles were confiscated, according to reports from the Kingdom.
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va, told FoxNews.com he will press the U.S. ambassador in Riyadh and the State Department to assist the arrested Christians.“I hope our government will speak up,” said Wolf, adding that the anti-Christian raid was not surprising given that the Saudi regime “did not want our soldiers to wear crosses during the Desert Storm” operation in 1991…
“Such actions are especially dangerous in the current situation, where the world is seeing the rise of extreme Islamist groups in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia and elsewhere,” Shea said. “The West should demand that its strategic ally, Saudi Arabia, release the Christians at once and allow them to pray according to their own faith traditions. Otherwise, Riyadh will appear to be validating the practices of the Islamic State in northern Iraq and Syria.”
Saudi Arabia forbids Christianity yet Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, is falsely accused of being an apartheid State. The Israeli Apartheid Week will be held this month in 150 universities and cities with the complicity of administrators and faculty. On March 23, 2016 the Wall Street Journal published “This month, American campuses are being invaded by the latest form of college hazing: Israeli Apartheid Week. Jewish students are made to walk past displays that distort their history, defame their national homeland and shame their religious heritage. The annual campaign now claims participation by 150 universities and cities….University administrations and faculties have been complicit in allowing anti-Jewish politics to flourish. Entire disciplines use their academic conferences to attack the Jewish state. Campus anti-Israel coalitions exploit freedom of speech and assembly to assail the only Middle Eastern country that guarantees those freedoms.”
Saudi Arabia donated millions of dollars to buy influence in US Universities. On September 2015, the College Fix reported that “The Yale Law School, thanks to a $10 million gift from Saudi banking and real estate magnate Abdallah Kamel, will create a center “for the study of Islamic Law and Civilization.”
Kamel has a net worth of almost $20 billion.
The center, to be named after Kamel, “will bring scholars of Islam to campus for lectures, seminar discussions, visiting professorships and fellowships.”
The Yale Daily News reports:
[Dean of Yale Law School Anthony] Kronman, who will serve as one of the co-directors of the center, …noted that the center will have reach far beyond just the law school, extending throughout the University to cater to any interested students. Harvard Law School has had an Islamic Legal Studies Program since 1991 …”
Yale Law School to open Islamic law center via $10 million Saudi donation
On June 2011 Julio Meotti wrote in Arutz7 “…Georgetown, the oldest Catholic university in the United States, must explain why it accepted $325.000 from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which the FBI identifies as the US channel of Hamas.
The donation, revealed by Pajamas Media, was transferred to Georgetown by the Organization for the Islamic Conference for the purpose of organizing a symposium on “Islamophobia”.
The famous Catholic university already received 40 million dollars from the Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal and the Qatar Foundation in 2005.
The story of the Saudi donations in the United States dates back to 1976, when Riyadh transferred one million dollars to the University of Southern California.
In 1979, Saudi Aramco World magazine published a list of Middle Eastern gifts, including $200,000 from the Saudis to Duke University for a program in Islamic and Arabian development studies; $750,000 from the Libyan government for a chair of Arab culture at Georgetown University; and $250,000 from the United Arab Emirates for a visiting professorship of Arab history, also at Georgetown.
Until that time, Ryadh spent one hundred billion dollars to spread Wahhabism, the most anti-Semitic and extremist version of Islam.
Leading the list of “beneficiaries” is Harvard, with about 30 million dollars. The jewel of the Ivy League received 20 million in 2005 alone.
20 million dollars were donated to the Middle East Studies Center at the University of Arkansas; 5 million dollars to the Center for Middle East Studies at Berkeley, in California; 11 million to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a half million dollars to Texas University (the seventh university, in order of size, in the United States); 1 million to Princeton; 5 million dollars to Rutgers University.
The Arab donations are spreading in Europe as well. In April, a scandal involved St. Andrews University, the third most important in the British academy and a cradle of royal nobility. Hundred of thousands of pounds were discovered to have been sent from Damascus to fund a center for “Syrian studies” there.
In March there was the scandal involving the London School of Economics, one of the best known universities in the world that conferred a doctorate to Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan dictator. Shortly after receiving his doctorate, Saif al Islam “dropped” a donation to the university of a half million pounds, donated by the Gaddafi Foundation named after his father.
Oxford has a research center funded by the Iranian regime, while at Cambridge the funds come from Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran.
Scholarships and degree programs are the favorite and easiest weapons of the Islamist regimes to influence the Western academies and their freedoms. Eight universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have accepted more than 233.5 million pounds sterling from Saudi and Muslim sources since 1995. The total sum, revealed by Anthony Glees, the director of Brunel University’s Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, amounts to the largest source of external funding to UK universities.
Universities that have accepted donations from Saudi royals and other Arab sources include Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, University College London, the London School of Economics, Exeter, Dundee and City.
The consequences of the funding have been very clear:
70 per cent of political science lectures at the Middle Eastern Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford, were “implacably hostile” to the West and Israel.
At Georgetown, the money was funneled toward its Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, which was quickly renamed the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The center, part of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, trains many of America’s diplomats and it spreads anti-Semitic and anti-western ideas.
There are 17 federally funded centers on American college campuses devoted solely to Middle Eastern studies centers and most of them support pro-Islamist ideas. The Soviet Union during the Cold War invested much less for its propaganda operations in the West.
But there is another big difference. The Western intelligentia fought the Communist efforts to subvert the West. Their post-modern heirs are offering appeasement to the Islamist agenda. The glorious Western academy is becoming a madrassa.”
On December 2007, Julia Duin reported in the Wahington Times “Two years ago this month, a Saudi prince caused a media splash — and raised eyebrows — when he donated $20 million each to Georgetown and Harvard universities to fund Islamic studies.
Although few details have been released about how the money has been spent, at Georgetown, the money helped pay for a recent symposium on Islamic-Western relations held in the university’s Copley Formal Lounge. The event attracted about 120 persons: students, Catholic priests, men in business suits and several women in colorful head scarves who all came to hear religion experts from several American universities, as well as from Bosnia, Ireland and Malaysia.
A member of the Norwegian royal family said he flew in just for the event.
“I just came here to learn the language scholars are using about these things,” Prince Haakon of Norway said.
Some call the Saudi gift Arab generosity and gratitude for the years American universities have educated the elite of the Arab world. Others say the sheer size of the donations amounts to buying influence and creating bastions of noncritical pro-Islamic scholarship within academia.
“There’s a possibility these campuses aren’t getting gifts, they’re getting investments,” said Clifford May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “Departments on Middle Eastern studies tend to be dominated by professors tuned to the concerns of Arab and Muslim rulers. It’s very difficult for scholars who don’t follow this line to get jobs and tenure on college campuses.
“The relationship between these departments and the money that pours in is hard to establish, but like campaign finance reform, sometimes money is a bribe. Sometimes it’s a tip.”
The $40 million gift from the Saudi donor, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, was the latest in a tradition that started in the 1970s — Muslim donors pumping millions of dollars into American universities to fund Islamic studies, hire faculty specialists in Islam and fund books and seminars on the world’s second-largest religion.
Friends in the right places
This summer, Harvard appointed its Islamic history professor, Roy Mottahedeh, to head its Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program. Harvard is hiring the first of four endowed chairs in the program and is using some of the $20 million to preserve a collection of Islamic documents.
On Nov. 3, the university hosted its first Islamic studies conference — named after Prince Alwaleed — on “Interpreting the Islamic Tradition in the Contemporary World.”
Harvard would not provide additional details about the disbursement of the funds, nor would Mr. Mottahedeh respond to numerous requests for an interview.
At Georgetown, the money was funneled toward its Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, which was quickly renamed the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The center, part of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, trains many of America”s diplomats.
The Alwaleed Center is tucked away in a small suite of offices in the Bunn Intercultural Center. Its reception area is decorated with blue and white Pakistani tile, a framed page from the Koran and mother-of-pearl depictions of a menorah, the Nativity and the Dome of the Rock. The center’s aim, according to its mission statement, is to “improve relations between the Muslim world and the West and enhance understanding of Muslims in the West.”
The center’s director, John Esposito, a prolific writer and praised by many as being a national authority on the religion, was severely criticized by several scholars for downplaying the threat of Islamic terrorism in the 1990s when he was a foreign affairs analyst for the State Department.
Mr. Esposito, “more than any other academic, contributed to American complacency prior to 9/11,” Martin Kramer, a fellow at the Olin Institute at Harvard, wrote in a Jan. 2, 2006, commentary on his blog, sandbox.blog-city.com.
“[He has] proved that he’s still a magnet for Arab and Muslim money,” Mr. Kramer wrote. “Prince Alwaleed apparently decided that while Esposito’s reputation may be dented, the professor still has some value in him.”
Mr. Esposito declined to be interviewed for this article but did defend himself in several e-mails.
“Two of my books, including ‘Unholy War,’ were among the eight books recommended by [U.S. Army] Lt. Gen. John Vines to his senior staff when he took over command in Iraq,” he wrote. “[My article] ‘What Makes a Muslim Radical’ in Foreign Policy received the most hits of any of its publications, more that 100,000 in the year it was published.”
Mr. Esposito said the number of programs sponsored by his center went from 27 last year to 22 this semester alone. The first of three new faculty, Ibrahim Kalin, a scholar on Sufiism and Islamic philosophy, is slated to come on board next fall.
A month before the gift was publicly announced, Mr. Esposito was one of four persons flanking Prince Alwaleed before a photographer at the George V hotel in Paris. It was then that the prince told Georgetown officials of their $20 million windfall — and that Mr. Esposito would oversee how the money was spent.
Spreading the wealth
Winfield Myers, director of Campus Watch, a watchdog group under the aegis of the Middle East Forum think tank, said it’s too early to tell whether the prince is getting his money’s worth. One sign of success is if a university can place its recent doctoral graduates in positions of influence.
“The prince knew very well Georgetown’s in a milieu filled with lobbyists and opinion makers; thus any program of his will exert more influence there than at a university not in a power center like Washington,” Mr. Myers said. “The grant also gave Esposito a much bigger microphone. When you’ve got a $20 million institute, that amplifies your voice considerably.”
The Saudi Embassy’s press office did not respond to requests for comment on this article, and a spokeswoman for Prince Alwaleed said he was “too busy” to respond.
According to one Saudi press organization, the grants are meant to promote understanding and change America’s perceptions of Islam in the most fertile place, the university campus.
“The tendency, in some quarters, to identify Islam with fanaticism or even terrorism persists and has not been completely erased from the popular mind in the West,” observed a commentator in a March 1, 2002, article in Ain al-Yaqeen, a weekly controlled by the Saudi royal family.
To that end, it continued, the late Saudi King Fahd paid for a “number of academic chairs in some of the most respected universities in the developed world.”
The practice started around 1976, when the Saudi government established a King Faisal Chair in Islamic Studies for $1 million at the University of Southern California.
In 1979, Saudi Aramco World magazine published a list of recent Middle Eastern gifts, including $200,000 from the Saudis to Duke University for a program in Islamic and Arabian development studies; $750,000 from the Libyan government for a chair of Arab culture at Georgetown University; and $250,000 from the United Arab Emirates for a visiting professorship of Arab history, also at Georgetown.
In 1986, Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi donated $5 million toward a sports center to be named after him at American University. Since then, grants for endowed chairs in Islamic studies and Middle Eastern studies centers have popped up at the University of California/Santa Barbara; Columbia University; Rice University; University of Arkansas; University of California in Los Angeles; and the University of California/Berkeley, among many others.
“Arab studies at Berkeley were totally revitalized by this money,” said Emily Gottreich, vice chairman for UC/Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. “We redefined what Arab studies is.”
In 1998, the Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud Foundation announced a $5 million gift to fund visiting professors and scholars, research and outreach funds and new quarters for Berkeley’s Arab and Islamic Studies Center.
“Our post-docs have gone on to important tenure-track academic jobs,” Ms. Gottreich said, listing 11 institutions, including Oxford, DePaul, Fordham and Harvard universities. “There’s a market out there for PhDs with expertise in the Middle East.”
Occasionally, universities have been embarrassed by offers and declined such gifts. In July 2000, the Harvard Divinity School accepted $2.5 million from the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, to endow an academic chair in Islamic Religious Studies. However, Rachel Fish, a divinity student, began a protest, accusing the sheik of funding an anti-Semitic think tank in his capital, Abu Dhabi.
Harvard officials said they would reconsider accepting the gift. In 2004, the sheik withdrew the funds…
There are 17 federally funded centers on American college campuses devoted solely to Middle Eastern studies centers and another 30 to 40 that do not receive federal aid, according to Amy Newhall, executive director of the Middle East Studies Association at the University of Arizona. Not counting several positions at Georgetown University, she estimated at least 10 chaired professorships currently funded by Saudis at major universities.
“With all the talk of the Israel lobby, no one talks about the Saudi lobby,” Mr. Myers said. “There is no counterweight to Saudi influence in American higher education.”
Indeed, Ain-al-Yaqeen reported that King Fahd has spent “billions of Saudi riyals,” around the world.
“In terms of Islamic institutions, the result is some 210 Islamic centers wholly or partly financed by Saudi Arabia, more than 1,500 mosques and 202 colleges and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia,” the paper reported…
Mr. Kramer, also the author of “Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America,” says American universities have allowed themselves to be purveyors of Saudi influence and opinion.
“Universities generate ideas, and [Prince Alwaleed] regards one idea — the ‘clash of civilizations” — as positively dangerous to Arabs and Muslims,” he wrote on his Web site, martinkramer.org. “So he has embarked on a grand giving spree, to create academic ‘bridges” between Islam and the West, and specifically between the Arab world and the United States …
“The mind boggles at the possibilities, when you think of the purchasing power of the world’s fifth-richest man,” Mr. Kramer continued. “Of course, this is why we can’t ever expect to get the straight story on Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism and oil from people who operate within Middle Eastern studies. If you want a fabulously wealthy Saudi royal to drop out of the sky in his private jet and leave a few million, you had better watch what you say — which means you had better say nothing.”
Prince Alwaleed, 52, — who slipped from the fifth richest person in 2005 to the 13th this year, according to Forbes magazine — is best known to some Americans as the man who offered $10 million to the victims of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. That money was rejected by Rudolph W. Giuliani, then the mayor, after the prince scolded the U.S. for favoring Israelis over Palestinians.
Prince Alwaleed found more welcoming recipients in academia.
In 2002, he donated $500,000 to the George Herbert Walker Bush Scholarship Fund, established by the Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. In 2006, he donated $10 million to the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
He defends such gifts in interviews, saying that he has financed study programs about American culture overseas, including a $10 million gift to found a Center for American Studies at American University in Cairo and $5.2 million for a similar center at American University in Beirut.
Prince Alwaleed’s Cairo and Beirut projects explain American culture, but according to their Web sites, offer no courses in Christianity — America’s majority religion. Meanwhile, typical courses at the Georgetown center are “Islamic Theological Development” and “Islamic Religious Thought and Practice.”
Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix physician and a Muslim who is chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, says Islamic governments are looking for a free pass.
“Islamists such as the radical fundamentalists seen with the Saudi Wahhabis exploit American universal tolerance to provide a vehicle for the dissemination of their propaganda free of critique,” he said in an e-mail. “It is important to emphasize — ‘free of critique’ … it is the tolerance which permits that.
“But I would hope that we correct our response not by changing our tolerance but by intensely critiquing political Islam and its incompatibility with our pluralistic democracy. America”s laboratory of freedom and liberty should not change.”
Daniel Pipes commented “Those of us following the development of Islam in America have for years worried about the unhealthy influence of Saudi money and ideas on American Muslims.
We watched apprehensively as the Saudi government boasted of funding mosques and research centers; as it announced its support for Islamist organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations; as it trained the imams who became radicalized chaplains in American prisons, and as it introduced Wahhabism to university campuses via the Muslim Student Association.
But through the years, we lacked information on the content of Saudi materials. Do they water down or otherwise change the raw, inflammatory message that dominates religious and political life in Saudi Arabia? Or do they replicate the same outlook?
Now, thanks to excellent research by Freedom House (a New York-headquartered organization founded in 1941 that calls itself “a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world”), we finally have specifics on the Saudi project. A just-published study, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques,” provides a wealth of detail on the subject.
(Two points about it bear noting: This important study was written anonymously, for security reasons, and it was issued by a think tank, and not by university-based researchers. Once again, an off-campus organization does the most creative and timely work, and Middle East specialists find themselves sidelined.)
The picture of Saudi activities in the United States is not a pretty one.
Freedom House’s Muslim volunteers went to 15 prominent mosques from New York to San Diego and collected more than 200 books and other publications disseminated by Saudi Arabia (some 90% in Arabic) in mosque libraries, publication racks, and bookstores.
What they found can only be described as horrifying. These writings – each and every one of them sponsored by the kingdom – espouse an anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, misogynist, jihadist, and supremacist outlook. For example, they:
•Reject Christianity as a valid faith: Any Muslim who believes “that churches are houses of God and that God is worshiped therein is an infidel.”
•Insist that Islamic law be applied: On a range of issues, from women (who must be veiled) to apostates from Islam (“should be killed”), the Saudi publications insist on full enforcement of Shariah in America.
•See non-Muslims as the enemy: “Be dissociated from the infidels, hate them for their religion, leave them, never rely on them for support, do not admire them, and always oppose them in every way according to Islamic law.”
•See America as hostile territory: “It is forbidden for a Muslim to become a citizen of a country governed by infidels because this is a means of acquiescing to their infidelity and accepting all their erroneous ways.”
•Prepare for war against America: “To be true Muslims, we must prepare and be ready for jihad in Allah’s way. It is the duty of the citizen and the government.”
The report’s authors correctly find that the publications under review “pose a grave threat to non-Muslims and to the Muslim community itself.” The materials instill a doctrine of religious hatred inimical to American culture and serve to produce new recruits to the enemy forces in the war on terrorism.
To provide just one example of the latter: Adam Yahiye Gadahn, thought to be the masked person in a 2004 videotape threatening that American streets would “run with blood,” became a jihadi in the course of spending time at the Islamic Society of Orange County, a Saudi-funded institution.
Freedom House urges that the American government “not delay” a protest at the highest levels to the Saudi government about its venomous publications lining the shelves of some of America’s most important mosques. That’s unobjectionable, but it strikes this observer of Saudi-American relations as inadequate. The protest will be accepted, then filed away.
Instead, the insidious Saudi assault on America must be made central to the (misnamed) war on terror. The Bush administration needs to confront the domestic menace that the Wahhabi kingdom presents to America. That means junking the fantasy of Saudi friendship and seeing the country, like China, as a formidable rival whose ambitions for a very different world order must be repulsed and contained.”
According to Stephen Schwartz (Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism) “As to how much money Saudi officials have spent since the early 1970s to promote Wahhabism worldwide, David D. Aufhauser, a former Treasury Department general counsel, told a Senate committee in June 2004 that estimates went “north of $75 billion.” The money financed the construction of thousands of mosques, schools and Islamic centers, the employment of at least 9,000 proselytizers and the printing of millions of books of religious instruction.
According to a major investigation by Washington Post reporter David B. Ottaway published on August 19, 2004, the Saudi government’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance pays the salaries of 3,884 Wahhabi missionaries and preachers, who are six times as numerous as the 650 diplomats in Saudi Arabia’s 77 embassies. Saleh Sheik, a direct descendant of Ibn Abdul Wahab, leads the ministry – the most important Saudi institution for exporting Wahhabism. Ministry officials in Africa and Asia often have had more money to dispense than Saudi ambassadors, according to several Saudi sources. The Islamic affairs officials also act as religious commissars, keeping tabs on the moral behavior of the kingdom’s diplomats, Ottaway reported. In the United States, a 40-person Islamic Affairs Department established in the Saudi Embassy in Washington acted autonomously from the ambassador.
Edward L. Morse, an oil analyst at Hess Energy Trading Co. in New York, told Ottaway that King Fahd tapped a special oil account that set aside revenue from as much as 200,000 barrels a day – $1.8 billion a year at 1980s oil prices. The Saudis also pursued this outreach through the creation of multiple organizations such as the al-Haramain Foundation, the International Islamic Relief Foundation (IIRO) and the World Assembly for Muslim Youth (WAMY). All of these groups have been investigated for links to terrorism; the U.S. government subsequently declared al-Haramain and IIRO supporters of terror in March 2002 and August 2006, respectively.
Sheik estimated the Islamic affairs ministry’s budget at $530 million annually and said it goes almost entirely to pay the salaries of the more than 50,000 people on the ministry payroll, Ottaway reported. That figure does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars in personal contributions made by King Fahd and other senior Saudi princes to the cause of propagating Islam at home and abroad, according to a Saudi analyst who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. The real total spent annually spreading Islam is between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, he said.
80 Percent of U.S. Mosques Wahhabi Influenced
Eighty percent of major mosques in America are under Saudi-Wahhabi influence, according to Stephen Schwartz, Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, an organization that “challenges the dominance of American Muslim life by militant Islamist groups” including control of property, buildings, training and appointment of imams, content of preaching, literature distributed in mosques and charitable solicitation.
Most of the Wahhabi mosques work closely with Saudi state funded organizations such as the Muslim World League (MWL) and the World Association for Muslim Youth (WAMY), institutions identified as participants in the funding of al Qaeda. The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a main Wahhabi ideological institution in America with a well-documented network of support for radical Islam, has received at least $750,000 from the Saudi government and its officials, including a donation by the Islamic Development Bank, a Saudi government-controlled financial institution, to purchase their headquarters in Washington D.C.
According to Schwartz’s testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security on Thursday, June 26, 2003, the official Saudi government website stated in 2000, “In the United States, the Kingdom has contributed to the establishment of the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C.; the Omer Bin Al-Khattab Mosque in western Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Islamic Center, and the Fresno Mosque in California; the Islamic Center in Denver, Colorado; the Islamic center in Harrison, New York; and the Islamic Center in Northern Virginia.”
The Kingdom is also affiliated with the Bilal Islamic Primary and Secondary School and the King Fahd mosque, both in California, according to Nina Shea in her 2005 Freedom House Report “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques”. Shea, an international human-rights lawyer, is the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute. Additionally, the previously-mentioned official website of the Saudi Arabian government reported a donation of $4 million for the construction of a mosque complex in Los Angeles named for Ibn Taymiyyah, a historic Islamic figure whose works influenced Mohammed ibn Abd Wahhab. In his testimony, Schwartz estimated that the Saudis have spent a minimum of $324 million on Islamic institutions in America by 2003.
The Saudi influence in America is far from benign. “From Islamic centers to student associations, from relief organizations to bookstores, an ideology committed to the destruction of Western civilization is being offered as the only solution to the plight of the ummah [Islamic nation],” Epstein testified. The materials that the Kingdom has distributed to American schools and mosques in particular, have been proven to be pro-jihad, anti-Semitic, and anti-American. “In thousands of public school districts across the United States, without ever knowing it, taxpayers pay to disseminate pro-Islamic materials that are anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish… teaching programs funded by Saudi Arabia make their way into elementary and secondary school classrooms,” a 2005 Jewish Telegraphic Agency staff report “What Your Kids are Learning about Israel, America and Islam,” noted.
Saudi-Provided Texts Full of Hate
In the Freedom House report, materials found in mosques across America have been shown to be virulent and hate-filled. A book found in the King Fahd mosque, distributed by the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C., and published by the Saudi government, read: “Be dissociated from the infidels, hate them for their religion, leave them, never rely on them for support, do not admire them, and always oppose them in every way according to Islamic law.” A recurring theme is the idea that a peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims is impossible. A Saudi-government text for tenth-grade students entitled “Science of Tawheed”, copies of which were obtained at the Al-Farouq Mosque in Houston, teaches that if a Muslim “thinks it is permissible to be under their [infidels] control, and he is pleased with the way they are, then there is no doubt that he is no longer a Muslim.”
Democracy in particular is demonized in Wahhabi ideology. In one book published in Riyadh by the Al-Nahawi Printing House, collected by Freedom House from the Abu Bakr Mosque in San Diego, it is written, “Satan and his soldiers have found a home for themselves there… Democracy is in need of someone to save it from itself.” In order to rectify the evils of democracy, the Wahhabi American mosques advocate for jihad and terror, teaching that, “[we] will pursue this evil force [modernist civilization] to its own lands, invade its Western heartland, and struggle to overcome it until all the world shouts by the name of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam spread throughout the world. Only then will Muslims achieve their fundamental goal, and there will be no more ‘persecution’ and all religion will be exclusively for Allah…” That quote comes from “To Be a Muslim”, published by Saudi Arabia’s International Islamic Publishing House and collected from the Al-Farouq Mosque in Houston.
The hate-filled materials distributed by “American mosques and…spread, sponsored or otherwise generated by Saudi Arabia…demonstrates the ongoing indoctrination of Muslims in the United States in the hostility and belligerence of Saudi Arabia’s hard-line Wahhabi sect of Islam” Shea noted.
Tablighi Jamaat Penetrates the U.S.
Saudi-affiliated proselytizers also spread the Wahhabi message. The Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) is an Islamic missionary organization based in Pakistan that preaches an almost identical ideology to the Wahhabi jihadist ideology. TJ has a headquarters located at the Al-Falah mosque in Queens, New York. “We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States, and we have found that al Qaeda used them for recruiting, now and in the past,” Michael J. Heimbach, then a deputy chief of the FBI’s international terrorism section, said according to The New York Times, July 14, 2003.
The Saudis have made TJ’s penetration into non-Muslim societies such as America’s possible. The late Sheikh ‘Abd al ‘Aziz ibn Baz, who was appointed Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia in 1993, recognized the Tablighis “good work” and encouraged his Wahhabi followers to participate in proselytizing missions with them; TJ has received large scale Saudi financing, benefiting from the huge budget of organizations like the World Muslim League, wrote Alex Alexiev in “Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad’s Stealthy Legions” that appeared in the Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2005. The WML is known to have financed TJ’s Western Europe headquarters and, according to Alexiev, the Wahhabis pay the TJ missionaries better than the European Union pays some of their teachers. Tablighi missionaries are also known to operate out of Wahhabi mosques and Islamic centers.
“The vision of Islam defeating and subjugating the west is a major element in the appeal of the jihadists, supported by the Wahhabi clerics in Saudi Arabia, to their mostly-young followers around the world,” Schwartz said in an interview.
The cases of American Islamist terrorists are “incidents that reflect the general tone in the Muslim community, and they have been here, and dominant, through the 1980s and 1990s,” stated Schwartz. John Walker Lindh (a California native convicted of aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan), the Lackawanna Six (a group of six American citizens convicted of materially supporting al Qaeda), Iyman Faris (an American citizen born in Kashmir, discovered to be plotting an attack on the Brooklyn Bridge), Jose Padilla (a Brooklyn native known as the “dirty bomber” designated an “enemy combatant” by the Justice Department), Hassan Akbar (a Los Angeles native convicted of killing two fellow U.S. soldiers in Iraq in 2003), and Adam Yahiye Gadahn (the American-born English-language spokesman for al-Qaeda), have revealed an unpleasant truth. As Schwartz said, “Jihadist ideology in American Islam was financed by Saudi Arabia…Wahhabi and related Pakistani and Muslim Brotherhood propaganda is the basis of it… The money comes from Saudi, the preachers from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and various Arab states, and the donations go to Hamas. That is life in institutional American Islam today,” declared Schwartz.