Then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (left) of New York City just said no to Prince Walid's strings-attached post-9/11 offer of $10 million after the Saudi billionaire suggested the US was partially to blame for the attacks on New York and Washington. Photo retouched for fog-of-war effect.
"If Prince Al-Waleed is on the cutting-edge of progressivism in fundamental Islamic society, then the march toward modernity is lurching along at an excruciatingly slow pace," writes Christopher B. Lacaria (Harvard '09) in the The Harvard Salient re the billionaire Saudi Prince's controversial $20-million donation earmarked for an Islamic Studies program at Harvard:
The fact remains, however, that the intentions of Harvard -- without any prodding from wealthy donors -- may in fact sync rather smoothly with an Islamic Studies program that does not focus a critical lens on extremist Wahhabism. As Prince Al-Waleed stated so convincingly, borrowing a favorite catchphrase from the politically-correct lexicon, the overarching objective of his endowed program is "understanding".
We were reminded of our own recent post citing the slick, politically correct words that accompanied the Prince's announcement -- in the wake of the London subway bombings last summer -- of his $20.5 million donation towards building the Louvre's new gallery for Islamic Art:
And our own I'm-from-Missouri-show-me reply:
Now if only his inhumane and intolerant coreligionists would gain a little understanding of their own faith.
"If Harvard shares the Prince's vision, then the House of Saud, the Iranian ayatollahs, and Moslem extremists of all stripes can breathe easily, knowing that academia's strict definition of understanding precludes any sort of critical evaluation or the issuing of any value judgments," writes Christopher B. Lacaria of The Harvard Salient.
A conservative student newspaper at Harvard University has become one of the few media outlets in the country to show inflammatory Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, angering students on campus and prompting a forum to discuss the controversy.
''Publishing materials that criticize the ways Islam has been usurped worldwide for purposes of violence and oppression is a risky, but honest and necessary, business," the editors wrote in an accompanying editorial . . .
Travis R. Kavulla, a junior and the editor of the paper, said the student journalists meant no disrespect to Muslims, and had hoped instead to provoke a debate on campus.
The Harvard College Interfaith Council will host tomorrow's forum, but we don't think we'd like to be a fly on the wall at that one. The president of the Harvard Islamic Society willfully gets it wrong right up front: ''They're people their age that are really attacking things that are very integral to their lives." No, sir. They are not attacking. They are presenting ideas for debate.
Then there's Rupert Murdoch and Fox:
A Saudi prince [Walid] who owns shares of the Fox News Channel claims he persuaded network chief Rupert Murdoch to change a screen banner during a broadcast that identified the recent unrest in France as "Muslim riots."
Note: Walleed, Walid? As with Mohammed, spell at your own risk. The latest fave for the historic and religious figure we used to call Mohammed is now "the prophet Muhammad," but we never got the memo.