Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Saudi Donation to Harvard and Georgetown Universities

Is interesting in some ways:

Harvard University and Georgetown University each announced yesterday that they had received $20 million donations from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, a Saudi businessman and member of the Saudi royal family, to finance Islamic studies.
In making the two gifts, the prince focused on the importance of uniting disparate cultures.

Harvard's news release quoted him as saying that he hoped Harvard's Islamic studies program "will enable generations of students and scholars to gain a thorough understanding of Islam and its role both in the past and in today's world."

"Bridging the understanding between East and West is important for peace and tolerance," he said.

The Georgetown release quoted him as saying, "We are determined to build a bridge between Islam and Christianity for tolerance that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries."

With all due respect to Prince Alsaud, what is he doing about tolerance and peace at home? What programs is he financing in Saudi universities and schools on understanding the non-Islamic world? On tolerating it?