Our latest Quote of the Month features Georgetown professor John Esposito. Speaking recently in Cairo, Esposito charges that unnamed "groups and lobbies" are really responsible for the West's troubled relations with Islamic countries:
The conflict taking place at present between the Islamic world and the West is not because of doctrinal or civilization differences but because of the adoption of double standards towards the Islamic world. Some groups and lobbies, which have an influence over decision making in the West, support the practice of this erroneous policy [emphasis added].
Aside from his brushing aside of "doctrinal or civilizational differences" as possible causes of conflict (differences mean nothing; we're all multiculturalists now), one is left to wonder just who these "groups and lobbies" might represent? And why didn't Esposito simply come out and say who he had in mind?
Perhaps we can play a little guessing game and discover the identity of these nefarious organizations. We'll have to keep in mind Esposito's own obligations to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who donated $20 million to Georgetown in 2005 to found the center Esposito heads. With such cash behind him, Esposito's reputation and voice have grown significantly—not that we're keeping track.
Could he mean the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee? It's the successor to the National Association of Arab Americans, which was founded at the urging of King Saud himself in 1951. But given Esposito's own ties to the Saudi royal family, that wouldn't be a particularly politic move, would it?
Then there's the American Petroleum Institute. Some might say that they are indeed in favor of double standards toward the Islamic world, particularly in the Middle East. But somehow I suspect that these double standards are the same as Esposito's. I suppose the same could be said for OPEC, given the Saudi's central role in that cartel, and of the Arab American Institute, and the National Network for Arab American Communities.
What about the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)? On second thought, maybe not: Esposito has spoken at CAIR fundraisers and events in the past and has been a steadfast defender of this Wahhabi platform for proselytizing Islam.