Middle East studies in the News
Georgetown University Organized, Paid for State Dept/Muslim Brotherhood Meetup [incl. John Esposito]
by Robert Spencer
UPDATE: In an extremely odd turn of events, theState Department now denies that Georgetown funded this trip.
It isn't clear whether or not the Saudi-funded Islamic apologist John Esposito was directly involved in this, but it is consistent with positions he has taken. He has called Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who advocates jihad suicide bombings and has prayed that Allah would destroy kill all the Jews, a champion of a "reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights."
Esposito has called the Hamas-linked terror organization the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) a "phenomenal organization." Esposito has spoken at Hamas-linked CAIR fundraisers in order, he explained, to "show solidarity not only with the Holy Land Fund [that is, the Holy Land Foundation], but also with CAIR." The Holy Land Foundation was shut down and prosecuted for funneling money to the jihad terror group Hamas, which once boasted on its website about its murders of civilians in pizza parlors and on buses; the Justice Department named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
Esposito also refuses to condemn Hamas, as the Investigative Project notes: "In a 2000 interview in The United Association for Studies and Research's (UASR) Middle East Affairs Journal, Esposito refused to condemn Hamas, which at the time was already designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department." He has co-edited a book, Islam and Secularism in the Middle East, with Azzam Tamimi. Palestinian political scientist Muhammad Muslih calls Tamimi "a Hamas member." Tamimi has said: "I admire the Taliban; they are courageous," and "I support Hamas." When University of South Florida computer science professor Sami al-Arian was accused of involvement with the leadership of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has claimed responsibility for the murders of several civilians, he became a cause célèbre, with his defenders ascribing his prosecution to "Islamophobia." Esposito rushed to his defense, avowing: "Sami Al-Arian's a very good friend of mine." In 2008, Esposito advocated for al-Arian's release, saying:
Al-Arian later pled guilty to "conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a specially designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law." He is under house arrest. Al-Arian also, according to Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), has "longstanding connections to associates of al Qaeda." Wolf quotes a federal affidavit noting that "'Sheik Rahman (the 'Blind Sheik') visited Al-Arian at his residence in Tampa and spoke at his mosque.' Rahman is currently serving a life sentence in U.S. prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center attack and additional terror plots."
Also associated with the Blind Sheik is the man Esposito calls "my old friend Siraj": the popular Muslim speaker Siraj Wahhaj. Wahhaj was designated a "potential unindicted co-conspirator" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing for taking the Blind Sheik to speak at mosques in New York and New Jersey in the early 1990s. Wahhaj has warned that the United States will fall unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda." He has also asserted that "if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate."
Yet not only does the unsavory Esposito remain on Georgetown's faculty; now Georgetown is paying for Muslim Brotherhood operatives to visit with State Department officials. Is this a sign of Esposito's pernicious influence?
"State Dept: Muslim Brotherhood US Trip 'Organized and Funded' by Georgetown University," by Jordan Schachtel, Breitbart, January 30, 2015:
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