Who would assess the Christian response to the letter from Muslim leaders, "A Common Word between Us and You," in the following words:
This is an initiative that I think has some traction. And I know, there's a desire on the part of a critical mass of Muslims who want to move forward, but to be quite frank, I'm concerned about the Christian leadership, and it's how the Christian leadership responds that will affect how this moves forward.
a. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose $20 million donation to Georgetown bought him an eponymous Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding;
b. Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz, who successfully threatened Cambridge University Press with a lawsuit over the book Alms for Jihad, which CUP pulped;
c. The Dutch Catholic bishop Martinus "Tiny" Muskens, who says that Christians should refer to God as Allah to promote better relations with Muslims;
d. John Esposito, director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center at Georgetown.
If you guessed "d," you're correct.
Speaking with the Voice of America, Esposito--one of the most prominent professors of Middle East studies in America--remained true to form by blaming the West, in this case Christian leaders, for not responding with, one assumes, sufficient humility to the overture from Islamic leaders.
It is no comment on the letter itself to note that, in the academic arena in which Esposito moves, blaming the West for troubled relations with the Islamic world is a given.
It is a comment on Georgetown, a Jesuit institution that long ago sold its soul for what it perceives is a better reputation in the sea of secular academic opinion, that one of its highest profile professors expresses more concern about the reaction of Christian leaders than about the way his benefactor's billions support the spread of the Wahhabi Islam around the globe--including in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.
[Ed: This article first appeared at the Campus Watch blog; click here to read the original post]