John L. Esposito, professor of religion and international affairs and director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, is America's best-known apologist for Saudi Wahhabism, the Turkish fundamentalist Justice and Development Party (AKP), and Islamist ideologies in general. To many, he personifies all that's wrong with Middle East studies in America today.
On July 19, 2010, Esposito contributed a column to the CNN website titled "Islamophobia and the Muslim Center at Ground Zero." In it, he downplays complaints about the project for a fifteen-story Islamic cultural center near the site of the 9/11 atrocities by focusing on angry comments from Manhattanites who see the proposal as an expression of Islamist supremacy. Here's how he sums up criticism of the mosque project: "Islam-bashing charges leveled with no concrete evidence by pundits and politicians."
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