Georgetown Battles “Islamophobia” While Christians are Killed

If Islamization ever comes to America—and it may come quickly depending on the outcome of the November election—certain Catholic individuals and institutions will bear a heavy burden of responsibility.

I’m thinking in particular of Georgetown University and its Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). ACMCU’s Bridge Initiative released a report in September on “American Catholic views of Islam, and the way Islam is discussed in Catholic publications.” The report, “Danger & Dialogue,” is particularly concerned that the way Islam is presented in Catholic media is unduly influenced by Catholic “Islamophobes” who are connected to the “Islamophobia industry.”

Now let’s get this straight. During the same month that the report was released, one Islamic terrorist planted two bombs in Manhattan and several in New Jersey, another stabbed ten people in a mall in Minnesota, and a third shot five people in a mall in Washington State. Meanwhile, thousands of Christians and other minorities are being slaughtered or sold into slavery by Islamists in the Middle East and Africa. And yet the folks at Georgetown are worried about “Islamophobia?”

It’s as though, during the rise of Nazism, a center at a major university published a report on the dangers of anti-Nazi sentiment. If you lived in those times, you would wonder what their priorities were. If you found out that the university center received most of its funding from Nazi Party headquarters in Berlin, you would have your answer.

What’s the name of the Georgetown center again? Ah, yes. It’s the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center. But wait! Am I suggesting that the type of “research” that comes out of ACMCU is heavily influenced by its Saudi benefactor? And if I am, wouldn’t that be “Islamophobic”? Well, yes, it would, because in the safe-space cocoon occupied by the “experts” at Georgetown, any criticism of Islam—whether rational or irrational—is “Islamophobic.” For the Islamophiliacs, the only way you can prove you’re not an “Islamophobe” is to praise Islam to the skies—as the people at ACMCU continually do.

If you’ve ever wondered why Islamic fundamentalism underwent a resurgence in the last third of the twentieth century, a large part of the answer is Saudi money. The Saudi princes used their oil revenues to build fundamentalist mosques and madrassas all over the world and to staff them with Arab clerics. Thus, the revival of the seventh-century, made-in-Mecca brand of Islam was the result of a well-planned and long-term Saudi indoctrination campaign.

If you think of the Georgetown center as just another Saudi-funded madrassa—albeit a bit higher-class than most—then its obsessive focus on “Islamophobia” begins to make sense. The Center’s primary mission is not to produce objective scholarship, but to serve as an apologist for Islam.

At a time when Catholics and other Christians are being viciously persecuted in the Muslim world, one would think that a Catholic institution might focus its energy on researching the Islamic animus toward Christians instead of pretending it’s the other way around. That animus is not confined to ISIS or Boko Haram. It’s significantly more widespread. Currently, a Christian boy in Pakistan is in jail and faces the death penalty for “insulting Islam.” Meanwhile, 150 Pakistani clerics are demanding the execution of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman also accused of blasphemy. And in Saudi Arabia, 27 Lebanese Christians were arrested and deported for conducting Christian prayers in a private residence.

The widespread “Christianophobia” in the Muslim world seems like a subject worthy of investigation. But Georgetown takes its cues from the Saudis, and the Saudis are interested in “Islamophobes”—or, as they are known in the Muslim world, “blasphemers.”

Georgetown, however, is an enlightened place. The Bridge Initiative is not calling for the elimination of “Islamophobes”; it only suggests that they be censored. Here’s how the “Dangers & Dialogue” report puts it:

We also shed light [on] the way the Islamophobia industry sometimes influences the production of Catholic content on Islam. Several individuals with connections to anti-Muslim groups write or appear regularly in Catholic media to discuss Islam as “experts.” Ordinary lay people—as well as Catholic publishers, media outlets, and bookstores—should be aware of writers’ connection to Islamophobia, as it would likely impact their decision to publish or consume that material.

So be careful, all you Catholic media outlets, that you don’t publicize material by individuals connected to the shady “Islamophobia industry.” On the other hand, you can completely trust whatever the Alwaleed bin Talal Center churns out because our stalwart Saudi allies can vouch for its integrity.

ACMCU seems to have a rather low opinion of the intelligence of Catholic media and Catholic lay people. Not only are they assuming that no one will notice their own questionable connection to the Saudis; they also seem to assume that their Catholic audience will ignore the almost complete lack of evidence for the existence of an “Islamophobia industry.” For proof that the “Islamophobia industry” exists, the “Danger & Dialogue” report repeatedly cites two left-wing, George Soros-funded organizations, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Center for American Progress (CAP). Both organizations have indeed drawn up lists of “Islamophobes” and “Islamophobic” organizations. But, once again, their definition of “Islamophobic” is simply anyone or any group that is critical of Islam, or Islamic fundamentalism, or—for that matter—anything to do with Islam. A phobia is an irrational fear, but no proof is ever offered that it’s irrational to worry about Muslim immigration, or about the supremacist nature of Islamic theology, or about the draconian aspects of sharia law.

In addition, the SPLC and CAP have absolutely no claim to objectivity. Both are agenda-driven, highly political, and highly biased, left-leaning organizations. In fact, if the Bridge Initiative were itself an unbiased organization, SPLC and CAP would be the last groups they would want to cite. Take the Center for American Progress. The former president and current Chair and Counselor of CAP is John Podesta. Podesta, a visiting professor of law at Georgetown, also happens to be the Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign. Currently, he is enmeshed in the Wikileaks scandal over Clinton’s leaked e-mails.

And the Clintons? Like Georgetown (Bill Clinton’s alma mater), they also have been the recipients of Saudi largesse. According to the Clinton Foundation website (which only reports in ranges), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed between ten million and twenty-five million dollars, while wealthy individuals with close ties to the Saudi royal family have donated millions more.

To what purpose? The Clinton Foundation’s modus operandi has been described as pay for play. In the case of Saudi Arabia, however, it might better be described as pay for playing dumb. The Clintons have been remarkably silent about the everyday atrocities in Saudi Arabia—the beheadings, the amputations, the jailing of blasphemers, the harsh treatment of Christians, and the oppression of women. Moreover, according to Wikileaks, in August 2014, Hillary Clinton sent an e-mail to John Podesta stating that the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar were providing financial and logistical support to ISIS. Yet Clinton kept it quiet and she continued to accept their donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Just as the Saudis have effectively purchased the Clintons’ silence, they seem to have done the same with Georgetown’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. “Understanding?” The understanding seems to be that the Christians will only speak well of Islam, while simultaneously attacking Islam’s “Islamophobic” critics.

The evidence is accumulating that the Saudis have been playing a double game. For a long time, they have pretended to be friends of the West while simultaneously establishing mosques, madrassas, and Islamic centers that are designed to subvert Western laws and traditions. The word “subversion,” however, does not quite do justice to the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks. The recent release of redacted portions of the Congressional 9/11 report indicates that agents within the Saudi government provided support and financing to the 9/11 terrorists. The Saudi influence on the Bush administration was strong enough to keep that bit of information covered up. Meanwhile, the Saudi influence on the Obama administration appears to be just as strong. And if Hillary Clinton, who is much beholden to the Gulf-State Arabs, should be elected president, Saudi leverage over our society will likely be strengthened even further.

Judging by the kind of one-sided research conducted at Georgetown’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, it too has been the target of a Saudi influence operation.

Ironically, the title of its most recent report, “Danger & Dialogue,” can be read two ways. From the point of view of the apologists at the Center, the danger emanates from Catholic “Islamophobes” who, supposedly, paint a false picture of Islam. The greater danger, however, is posed by the Center itself. Whether deliberately or naively, it has seriously misled Catholics about the nature and aims of Islam.

William Kilpatrick

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William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

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