The other day I linked a surprising piece in The Australian quoting a respected analyst who believes that America’s dedication to winning in Iraq has strengthened our world position. It’s the sort of position that’s too heretical for the mainstream media even to note, but the Australian did a good job summing it up and putting it out there.
Looks like they’ve done it again. Different authors, great piece, summing up a worldwide problem into what looks like around a thousand words. Some of it you probably already knew and suspected, but it’s a story that doesn’t get told enough–sometimes for very understandable, if infuriating, reasons. Anyway, Saudi funding:
The Saudi Government – largely through its embassy – is believed to have funnelled at least $120 million into Australia since the 1970s to propagate hardline Islam, bankroll radical clerics and build mosques, schools and charitable orgnisations.
But the Saudi cash that has flowed into Australia, that also allegedly has paid the allowance of hardline Canberra cleric Mohammed Swaiti, who has publicly praised jihadists, is dwarfed by the $90 billion Riyadh is believed to have pumped into promoting Islamic fundamentalism internationally.
There’s an important distinction to be made here between funding for actual terrorists and funding for Wahhabist mosques and studies generally. Even if you, dear reader, may not see much of a difference there, the world does, and it’s useful to bear that fact in mind as you see where the money comes from and where it goes.*
Of course, there’s also the other PR/goodwill money that goes to often awaits career diplomats whom the Saudis take a shine to**, and which universities are always glad to receive:
In Australia, Griffith academic Mohamad Abdalla has defended his decision to seek the grant, saying the money came with no strings attached. But critics, including the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s national security project director Carl Ungerer, say this is naive and the money is part of a Wahhabist “hearts and minds” campaign being waged by the Saudis in the Muslim world.
US-based Middle East expert and author Daniel Pipes says it is wrong to presume that all academics would follow their donor’s line merely to keep the stream of funds rolling.
“Academics have a distinct point of view and are not about to be bought and change their point of view for any sum of money,” he tells Inquirer. “But they are willing to shape their work and their views. So you can’t buy them but you can rent them. So someone who might have been inclined to ask tough questions will do something else. It’s subtle. It’s not like the Saudis come to town to buy up academics who grovel before them, as was the case with Griffith University.”
Last month, Britain’s MI5 director-general Jonathan Evans reportedly told his Government that the Saudi Government’s multimillion-dollar donations to universities, along with other funds from Muslim organisations in countries such as Pakistan, had led to a “dangerous increase in the spread of extremism in leading university campuses”.
There’s still more crammed in the article, including a deviously clever (though politically intractable and legally impractical) proposal by Steven Emerson to stigmatize academies who suckle too deeply at the Saudi petrodollar teat.
* Remember that one of Al-Qaeda’s goals is to destroy the debauched and un-Islamic royal family. I’m no expert in the intricacies of Saudi politics, but I can see this from the Royals’ perspective: the rulers could sincerely want to walk the line, (which I don’t think exists, but I may be wrong, or the Saudis may be deluding themselves) and try to be anti-al-Qaeda and yet pro-Wahhabism. The latter position perhaps because of conviction but also because they want to cultivate street cred among their populace that they’re authentic Muslims, no matter what Al Qaeda and their other radical detractors say. Kind of the Saudi equivalent of Hillary Clinton’s new prayer-warrior pose.
**To be clear, this aspect isn’t mentioned in the article, but I once heard Daniel Pipes discuss it in a lecture and I thought it was worth a mention.
AT contributor Patrick Poole has been looking at the taxpayer-funded charter schools run by CAIR officials in Columbus, Ohio and published his report today at Front Page Magazine. There are many serious problems uncovered, including use of the schools for CAIR events, the political extremism, and possibly self-dealing:
The Franklin County Auditor’s property tax records shows that the building currently occupied by Westside Academy is owned by Unified Investment Corp., which lists its place of business as Mouhamed Tarazi’s [the school’s principal] home address and Tarazi is the listed as the business agent. The 2004 Ohio State Auditor’s report notes in addition (p. 22) that a corporation that Tarazi was a partner of, Sali International, was also paid $140,386 by International Academy.
But on educational quality grounds alone, there is plenty to worry about:
Apart from the operation of the schools by extremists, the poor academic performance of the schools ought to be cause for concern for parents, taxpayers and education officials alike. The recently released Ohio Department of Education 2006-2007 report card for International Academy shows that it meets only 2 out of 19 state indicators for proficiency – 7th grade writing and attendance (report cards are also available for 2005-2006 and 2004-2005). Westside Academy has not had a published report card yet because it has only had one year of operations
By Andrew L. Jaffee, netwmd.com
CAIR is on the defensive. The organization is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Trial; is facing a plummet in membership; it withdrew a lawsuit against Anti-CAIR’s Andrew Whitehead; and the news about its ties with terrorism are well-documented (but censored by the do-good MSM). Some high-profile coverage from Scott Johnson at today’s NRO:
…CAIR is, in fact, among the more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators of the Holy Land Foundation named by the government in the Holy Land Foundation prosecution. The trial has already produced evidentiary bombshells detonating along a path leading to CAIR. It has introduced evidence placing CAIR executive director Nihad Awad at the 1993 Philadelphia meeting of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. FBI agent Lara Burns has testified that CAIR was listed as a member of the Palestine Committee. The evidence introduced at trial is conspicuously missing from the New York Times; the Times isn’t covering the trial. I found reports of the evidence introduced at trial posted on the invaluable Counterterrorism Blog by Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism. …
Adding it all together:
…The charges are dramatic. According to the indictment, U.S. based members of the Muslim Brotherhood established a Palestine Committee that was ultimately charged with the task of raising funds supporting Hamas’s efforts to eliminate the state of Israel. After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestine Committee swung into high gear. At a secret three-day meeting in Philadelphia in October, 1993 (monitored by the FBI), those in attendance discussed how best to continue to support Hamas without being viewed as terrorists.
The Holy Land Foundation appears to have been the answer. Between 1995 and 2001, the foundation delivered millions of dollars to support Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza. The government charges that the foundation was a vital member of an international network of organizations that finances Hamas activities. Furthermore, the government charges that the Foundation and the individual defendants provided financial support to the families of Hamas terrorists, detainees, and activists knowing that the assistance would support Hamas ultimately contending that the story of the Holy Land Foundation is part of “the story of Hamas in the United States.”…
Cross-posted at netwmd.com and IsraPundit
Note the personal smears, the attempt to bully and intimidate, and the non-specificity of the charges against me (they can’t be specific, because I don’t say anything inaccurate about them — or about Islam or jihad).
Note also the irony: this letter comes a day after CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper slandered me on national television by ascribing to me hateful words written by someone else — which appeared on this site for about an hour, during which, lo and behold, someone at CAIR was watching.
I was speaking to Jason Mattera, a YAF official, who told me that I was scheduled to speak as planned: “CAIR can go to Hell and they can take their 72 virgins with them.”
My own reply to CAIR: remember McAuliffe at Bastogne.