In the Catholic magazine Crisis today, I question the anomaly of Saudi-funded dhimmi pseudo-academic John Esposito having a respected position at a Catholic University, Georgetown:
[…] While cheering conversions to Islam, Esposito has downplayed persecution of Christians in Muslim countries. Journalist Cinnamon Stillwell reports that when speaking in Stanford in 2008, Esposito did not welcome questions about that persecution: “When asked about the well-documented violence against Christians in Iraq and the persecution of Christians throughout the Muslim world, Esposito resorted at first to obfuscation and then bullying. After trying to chalk up the violence merely to ‘primitive’ behavior, he cut off one young woman angrily, telling her that it was ‘an absurd question.'” Esposito, according to Stillwell, claimed that “all religions produce violence,” and offered up “a litany of talking points in which he compared random and universally condemned acts of violence among Christians and Jews to the routine and often sanctioned bloodshed emanating from the Muslim world.”
During his Stanford talk Esposito displayed a deep hostility toward Christianity: “He referenced the Crusades three times in the first ten minutes, each in the false context of acts of purely Christian aggression. In a relativistic attempt to paint all religions as equally problematic, Esposito compared Islamic terrorists to ‘Christian militants,’ and referred repeatedly to ‘Christians blowing up abortion clinics’ and the ‘Christian Right.'” He didn’t mention that the handful of abortion clinic bombers were universally condemned by all Christian authorities, while the thousands of Islamic jihadists who have perpetrated attacks worldwide in the name of Islam since 9/11 generally enjoy the blessing of Muslim clerics.
Esposito generally tends to blame Christians for friction between Muslims and Christians. In his 2002 book What Everybody Needs to Know about Islam (Oxford University Press), he acknowledges that “Muslim-Christian relations have deteriorated,” and lays the responsibility for that deterioration squarely at the feet of Evangelical Christian leaders in the U.S. — and Jews: “The creation of the state of Israel has contributed to the deterioration of relations and the Christian fundamentalists like Robertson, Graham and Falwell have been the source of intolerance, persecution, violence and terrorism.”
Meanwhile, Esposito has praised one of the most notable of those clerics who exhort their people to violence. He has called Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who advocates suicide bombings, a champion of a “reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights.” An indication of Qaradawi’s firm commitment to “democracy, pluralism and human rights” came in January 2009, when during a Friday sermon broadcast on Al-Jazeera, he prayed that Allah would kill all the Jews: “Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one.” He also declared: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler.”
To be sure, Esposito’s endorsement of Qaradawi may have been based on incomplete knowledge, although Qaradawi has made his positions abundantly clear in over a hundred books and an enormously popular television show on Al-Jazeera. The same cannot be said, however, of Esposito’s association with the unsavory Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which he has called a “phenomenal organization.” Esposito has spoken at CAIR fundraisers in order, he explained, to “show solidarity not only with the Holy Land Fund [that is, the Holy Land Foundation], but also with CAIR.” The Holy Land Foundation was shut down and prosecuted for funneling money to the jihad terror group Hamas, which once boasted on its website about its murders of civilians in pizza parlors and on buses; the Justice Department named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. (Esposito himself also refuses to condemn Hamas, as the Investigative Project notes: “In a 2000 interview in The United Association for Studies and Research’s (UASR) Middle East Affairs Journal, Esposito refused to condemn Hamas, which at the time was already designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department.”) Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR cofounder and longtime Board chairman Omar Ahmad was reported as saying in 1998 that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper has said: “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.” […]