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02-Nov-2017 09:59 by 7 Comments

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There is a seeming logic in this – aren't extremely rich Muslim states entitled to further the study of their own societies, history, and religion?Shouldn't they have an interest in creating a corps of knowledgeable men and women with the requisite language skills and close familiarity with the subjects they first study then teach, or with which they engage as government advisors, civil servants with governments, the UN or international NGOs, think tank members, public experts, media analysts and perhaps politicians?

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20 million dollars were donated to the Middle East Studies Center at the University of Arkansas; million to the Center for Middle East Studies at Berkeley, in California; million to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a half million dollars to Texas University (the seventh university, in order of size, in the United States);

20 million dollars were donated to the Middle East Studies Center at the University of Arkansas; $5 million to the Center for Middle East Studies at Berkeley, in California; $11 million to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a half million dollars to Texas University (the seventh university, in order of size, in the United States); $1 million to Princeton; $5 million dollars to Rutgers University....Those are genuine issues; Western leaders have so far failed adequately to respond to the threats they represent.The clear and present danger here eclipses all the others: it is to the values of the Enlightenment.As a matter of fact, the scale of the donations is far beyond a handful, the universities involved are among the top academies in the world, the money involved is hundreds of billions of dollars, and the targets of Islamic finance are, for the most part, specific and form part of a distinct agenda.Some money may be given to business schools or science departments, but the overwhelming majority goes to support or create large departments and academic centers for Middle East, Islamic, or Arabic Studies.A large share of this money went toward establishing Islamic study centers.

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20 million dollars were donated to the Middle East Studies Center at the University of Arkansas; $5 million to the Center for Middle East Studies at Berkeley, in California; $11 million to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a half million dollars to Texas University (the seventh university, in order of size, in the United States); $1 million to Princeton; $5 million dollars to Rutgers University....

Those are genuine issues; Western leaders have so far failed adequately to respond to the threats they represent.

The clear and present danger here eclipses all the others: it is to the values of the Enlightenment.

As a matter of fact, the scale of the donations is far beyond a handful, the universities involved are among the top academies in the world, the money involved is hundreds of billions of dollars, and the targets of Islamic finance are, for the most part, specific and form part of a distinct agenda.

Some money may be given to business schools or science departments, but the overwhelming majority goes to support or create large departments and academic centers for Middle East, Islamic, or Arabic Studies.

A large share of this money went toward establishing Islamic study centers.

million to Princeton; million dollars to Rutgers University....

Those are genuine issues; Western leaders have so far failed adequately to respond to the threats they represent.

The clear and present danger here eclipses all the others: it is to the values of the Enlightenment.

As a matter of fact, the scale of the donations is far beyond a handful, the universities involved are among the top academies in the world, the money involved is hundreds of billions of dollars, and the targets of Islamic finance are, for the most part, specific and form part of a distinct agenda.

Some money may be given to business schools or science departments, but the overwhelming majority goes to support or create large departments and academic centers for Middle East, Islamic, or Arabic Studies.

A large share of this money went toward establishing Islamic study centers.

In 2008, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated £8 million (SR 48.5 million) each to Cambridge and Edinburgh for this purpose, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily reported yesterday.

The threat is not about growing Muslim demographics (although this is taking its toll in Europe, too).

The threat is not even from the rise in influence of Islam across the globe.

Well, if they observed complete neutrality and left academics to their own counsel, their input would pass as simple generosity or as a contribution to good relations within the international community. Isn't the Islamic world badly misunderstood in the West, and wouldn't more teaching and research on it and its beliefs be a real boon?

And how can someone like myself, who has spent a lifetime studying, teaching and writing about Islamic and Middle Eastern subject think badly of such an endeavour?

Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, has supported Exeter's Islamic studies center with more than £5 million (SR 30 million) since 2001.