Islamic Republic of America: Part 10
Before we delve into some of his published statements, it bears pointing out that we’re not talking about a mere scribe here. Esposito has served as president of the Middle East Studies Assocation and the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies. As such, he has been in a position to influence the direction of scholarship on Islam in America, for better or worse.
Furthermore, Esposito is the founding director of Georgetown University’s Prince Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Hmm, where have we heard that name before?
Oh, yeah. Prince Wally, as he probably wouldn’t like to be known, is, as you might guess, a member of the Saudi royal family. He’s also the fifth or eighth wealthiest dude in the world, depending on the year and the yardstick. Probably the most newsworthy thing he did was offer New York City $10 million right after 9/11 for relief. It was famously thrown back in his face—and most deservedly so—by Hizzoner Rudy Guiliani, who didn’t like the polemical strings attached to it. Prince Wally had basically said in so many words that we had brought the attack upon ourselves by our misguided foreign policies. (Read “Israel.”)
Which brings us back to Professor Esposito. That’s pretty much his position on that issue, too. Just coincidentally, of course. The Georgetown Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is the recipient of a $20 million endowment from Prince Wally, who gave the same amount to Harvard for a similar purpose. They had no such compunctions about accepting the Prince's money--or, apparently, foisting his worldview upon Americans.
So, what does Rudy Guiliani know that Georgetown and Harvard don’t? Try intellectual honesty for starters.