In December 2005, Georgetown University announced receipt of a $20 million gift to endow the school’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, after whom the Center was renamed. The Center’s director, John Esposito, has been known for his vigorous apologetics for Islamic extremism, authoring several books prior to the endowment’s announcement dismissing the global influence of extremist Islamic ideology. As a result of the Saudi funding and terror ties, Rep. Frank Wolf last week directed a letter to Georgetown president John DeGioia expressing his concerns as an alumnus of the university over the activities of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and the seeming absence of criticism or discussion by the Center of human rights abuses and denial of religious freedom by the Saudi regime. An article by Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project reporting the contents of Rep. Wolf’s letter also noted Esposito’s long history of defending radical Islam and his vocal support and praise of his self-described “good friend”, convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian.
Since Prince Alwaleed’s gift, the Center at Georgetown under Esposito’s direction has since become a haven for Muslim Brotherhood-connected scholars and longtime paid representatives of the Saudi Wahhabi regime. Two individuals that have recently been appointed to top positions within the Center, Susan Douglass and Hadia Mubarak, have been active in leadership positions with known front organizations for the international Muslim Brotherhood – identified as such in court documents by the Department of Justice. Douglas, who has additionally been a longtime paid employee of the Saudi regime (discussed below) is listed as the Center’s educational consultant and Mubarak is identified as the senior researcher for the Center. A third staff member is Abdullah Al-Arian, the oldest son and family spokesman for Sami Al-Arian, who is listed as a researcher for the organization.