Yale University selected Muna Abu Sulayman, general secretary of the charitable foundation of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, as a world fellow for 2009. The Yale World Fellow Program seeks to build a network of global decision makers who have a fundamental, mutual understanding born of common experience and information. The model naturally fosters collaboration and a commitment to shared success. Yale University President Richard C. Levin, said it is extremely useful to have an international team working on their leadership skills. Candidates for 2009 were selected from different sectors, like government, business, non-government organizations, the military, art and media. Participants from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, China and Russia, will be sharing their experiences and forging bridges among each other. Muna Abu Sulayman is a media icon in Saudi Arabia who was a co-host for seven years on a ladies show on MBC, rated as the No. 1 family program in the Arab world. In 2006 she started working as the general secretary of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Charitable Foundation. "I am honored to be selected for this program… I am eager to benefit and strengthen my effective leadership skills," Abu Sulayman said. Michael Cappello, director of the program, noted that all participants in the fellow program have great history of achievements. "All participants are famous for their accomplishments and their unlimited abilities to reach success," Cappello said. "Through this program, there is no doubt that they will improve their abilities and they will be part of a network of effective leaders who will be trained at Yale." The Yale World Fellow Program provides emerging leaders with an exceptional opportunity to enrich themselves by enhancing their critical thinking skills and develop strategic visions for their own professional trajectories and societal impacts.
Ms. Muna Abu Sulayman is the daughter of Dr. AbdulHamid Abu Sulayman, one of the most important figures in the history of the global Muslim Brotherhood. According to various biographies, Dr. Abu Sulayman was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and received his BA and MA at the University of Cairo and a PhD in International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. His global Muslim Brotherhood affiliations include:
- Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) (1973-79)
- Chairman, Department of Political Science at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, (1982-84)
- Initial Board of Directors SAAR Foundation (1983)
- Founding member of The Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) (1972) and its former President, (1985-87)
- Rector, International Islamic University Malaysia (1989-1999)
Dr. Abu Sulayman is currently Chairman of the Board and trustee of International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and its former president and founding member. IIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the "Islamization of Knowledge." IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003 in connection with the financing of terrorism.
In addition to her father's role in the global Muslim Brotherhood, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal himself is known to have many connections to the global Brotherhood. Previous posts have discussed:
- A $1.5 million donation made by Prince Bin Talal to a scholarship program hosted by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
- A $20 million donation made by Prince Bin Talal to the Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CCMU), run by long-time Muslim Brotherhood supporter Dr. John Esposito
- Large donations made to the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue (IIFD), a pan-Islamic interfaith dialog organization that is closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood.
Yale University itself has also established a relationship with the Maktoum Foundation, known also to fund the European Muslim Brotherhood. According to one report:
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation today announced it signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with six prominent universities in the US for its Fellows programme, expanding the number of the Foundation's partner universities under the programme to 28, said the official news agency WAM. The MoUs make the Fellows programme one of the most comprehensive scholarships in the region and includes all top business and public policy schools, geographically spread across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The new partner universities are: ColumbiaBusiness School, Columbia University, Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University and School of Management, Yale University.
A report by the NEFA Foundation has discussed the role of the Maktoum Foundation in funding the European Brotherhood.
It was recently widely reported that Yale University Press, citing security concerns, decided not to print the controversial Danish cartoons in a forthcoming book about the 2006 crisis. According to one report:
Yale University Press decided to ask two dozen experts on Islam, terrorism and diplomacy whether it should include the cartoons in a forthcoming book about the original 2006 crisis, "The Cartoons That Shook the World," by Jytte Klausen. The answer Yale received was unanimous and vehement: do not print the cartoons. In addition, the experts also warned against publishing any image of the prophet Muhammad in the context of the cartoons. Yale ended up pulling a few other images that were also supposed to be included.Many Muslims interpret the Koran as forbidding images of Muhammad, but there is a long tradition of artistic representation in both Islamic and Western art, and many depictions of the prophet have appeared without incident. John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press, said the press has a long history of defending free expression, but the risk of violence in this case, outweighed the benefit of including the images, which can easily be found on the Internet.
Previous posts have discussed the role of the global Muslim Brotherhood in the Danish cartoon crisis.