Islam – follow the money trail…

The official Saudi newspaper in English, Ain al-Yaqeen, published an article on March 1, 2002 describing the Kingdom’s efforts at supporting Islam worldwide. It claimed that the Kingdom had spent “astronomical” sums of many billions establishing thousands of mosques, madrassas and Islamic centres in non-Muslim countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia. Among the biggest projects was the King Fahd Islamic Center in Malaga, Spain. In addition, the Kingdom has established a number of academic chairs in some of the most respected universities in the developed world in order to “encourage understanding of the true nature of Islam by explaining clearly Muslim beliefs and by correcting misconceptions and misrepresentations”. Especially mentioned are the King Abdul Aziz Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the King Fahd Chair in Islamic Sharia Studies at the College of Law at Harvard University; the King Fahd Chair in Islamic Studies at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) at the university of London and the provision of a resident professor for the Prince Naif Department for Islamic Studies at the University of Moscow. 

Recent news reports claim that the Saudi prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Al-Saud, a nephew of the late King Fahd, has donated $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown universities in the US. These funds will be used to expand the Islamic studies programmes of both universities, promote the study of Islam and the Muslim world, and support interfaith understanding. The prince also gave a total of $15 million to the American universities in Cairo and Beirut for establishing centres for American studies. [1]

The prince is an international businessman, listed by Forbes magazine as the fifth richest person in the world. His wealth is estimated at $14 billion and he controls a worldwide empire in investment, banking, construction and leisure. His $10 million contribution to a September 9, 2001 victims fund was rejected by then New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the terror attacks.

Prince Al-Waleed has recently bought 5.46% of the voting shares of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch’s diversified international media and entertainment empire that includes Fox News Channel (FNC). Fox had been reporting on the Saudi role in the promotion of Islamist terror, and it is thought that the prince may hope to dampen any potential criticism by his investment. [2] [3] It is claimed that Fox News Channel recently changed its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he called the network to complain.