In “Has the ANU got sand in its eye?” in The Herald Sun (thanks to Rosie), Andrew Bolt takes the Australian National University and other universities in Australia and the U.S. to task for accepting Saudi money:
I don’t say the ANU is unusual in accepting Middle Eastern cash to teach about Islam and its lands.
Melbourne University, for one, was so grateful to get $1.5 million from the Sultan of Oman that it agreed to name its chair in Arab and Islamic Studies after him.
It’s the same story at top universities in Britain and the United States, where tankers of Arab money have been shipped to fund the teaching of tomorrow’s Middle East analysts. And so Exeter University’s Chair of Arabic Studies is named after the Emir of Sharjah. The University of Southern California’s King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture is named after the late Saudi ruler.
FrontPage Magazine two years ago listed just some of the other American universities funded by the Saudis: the University of Arkansas, which received $27 million for its Middle East Study Centre; Cornell, which got $15 million; and Rutgers, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, UCLA and others.
What do the Saudis want for all this cash? Academics warning about Arab autocracies and Muslim hate-preachers? I don’t think so.
But I repeat: I’m sure the ANU’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies does not tailor its teaching in exchange for Arab dollars. Why would it, when it tends to teach already from an Arabist, Muslim and anti-American perspective without any encouragement?
That perspective may be best judged from the writings of the centre’s director, Prof Amin Saikal, brother of Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister.
Here is a sample of his brand of Muslim victimology from his recent lecture on the war on Islamic terror.
“Key figures in the Bush Administration — specifically neo-conservatives and reborn Christians who have assumed the dominant role in the Administration — have overlooked some of the more salient points about Islam as a religion advocating nothing less than virtuous living, peaceful coexistence and societal harmony,” he sighed. Sweet Islam. Bad Christians.
“Starting with the Crusades and European colonialism and finally the US’s rise to globalism following World War II, the Muslim domain has been constantly subjected to suppression and humiliation,” he added, skipping over the fact Muslims sacked Rome, invaded France, held Sicily, ruled Spain and as recently as 1683 besieged Vienna. Poor Islam. Bully Christians….
Read it all.