How the Saudis make sure that Islamic whitewashes of history gain influence in the West. From The Guardian, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
A British scholar who produced an "unashamedly one-sided" account of the Crusades from the Muslim perspective has been honoured with a prestigious award worth $200,000 (£107,000) by an academic foundation in Saudi Arabia.
Professor Carole Hillenbrand of Edinburgh University was chosen for the King Faisal prize for Islamic studies for her pioneering research. The judges said she had clarified several misconceptions shrouding the subject and made it possible for history to be viewed from a more balanced perspective.
She said that the award marked the biggest moment in her career. "I feel that this is a very big gesture and a great boost to people working in the west to produce a better understanding of the middle-east," she said.
Prof Hillenbrand added: "Ninety per cent of all accounts of the Crusades have been totally ignorant of the other side of their history. I tried to find some insight into the Muslims fighting at the time, looking at themes of social context, jihad, armaments and the like."
The Saudi king will present Prof Hillenbrand with the award in March at a special ceremony to be held in the capital, Riyadh. Winners receive the $200,000, a certificate outlining the work which they have been recognised for and a 22-carat gold medallion....
Professor Vicki Bruce, the Head of Edinburgh University's college of humanities and social science, said: "We are delighted that Professor Carole Hillenbrand has been awarded the prestigious King Faisal international prize for Islamic studies. It is an honour for Professor Hillenbrand, the university and for Islamic and middle eastern studies."
I am pleased to announce, however, that I will soon begin work on a corrective. Today I am going to sign a contract for a book that will tell the truth about Islam and the Crusades. It should be out this fall.