Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a senior member of the Saudi royal family, announced that he will be giving away his entire $32 billion fortune to charity–but his past statements and commitment to promote Islam in the United States have raised red flags for some.
Alwaleed Philanthropies' statement regarding the prince's intentions indicates his donation would "help build bridges to foster cultural understanding."
"Philanthropy is a personal responsibility, which I embarked upon more than three decades ago and is an intrinsic part of my Islamic faith. With this pledge, I am honoring my life-long commitment to what matters most – helping to build a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world for generations to come," says Prince Alwaleed.
Alwaleed is CEO of the Saudi investment conglomerate Kingdom Holding Company and has large stakes in Citigroup, Apple, Twitter, General Motors, 21st Century Fox, Euro Disney, and other companies, according to the Huffington Post. He has been called Saudi Arabia's Warren Buffet.
Investor's Business Daily notes that Alwaleed has extensive ties to Muslim Brotherhood leaders. "For example, he tapped 'tele-Islamist' Tariq Al-Suwaidan, widely reported to be a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, as the channel director of his Islamic religious TV outlet Al Risala."
The network's "Supreme Advisory Committee" has included Abdullah Omar Naseef, whom ex-federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy says is "a major Muslim Brotherhood figure" who has helped raise funds for al-Qaida."
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Alwaleed gave a check for $10 million to the Twin Towers Fund to aid victims of the terrorist attacks. However, after making the donation, he also released a statement, CNN reports, which called on the United States to "re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause."
"While the U.N. passed clear resolutions...calling for the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip decades ago, our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek," the statement said.
Then New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani directed the check be returned. "To suggest that there's a justification for [the terrorist attacks] only invites this happening in the future," he said. "It is highly irresponsible and very, very dangerous...So I think not only are those statements wrong, they're part of the problem," the former mayor added.
According to Investor's Business Daily, in 2002, Alwaleed "gave $500,000 to the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which federal authorities have linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas."
In 2005, the prince contributed $40 million to expand Islamic studies in the United States. Twenty million dollars went to Harvard to create a campus-wide Shariah law studies program, while another $20 million was pumped into Georgetown University for a "Muslim-Christian understanding" program.
In his statement released earlier this week, Alwaleed indicates that he plans to model his philanthropic work after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The money will go towards "supporting needy communities, through health promotion, eradication of diseases, provision of electric power to remote villages and hamlets, building orphanages and schools, and much more, as well as providing disaster relief and empowering women, youth and poverty alleviation."
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, commented: "Prince Alwaleed's generous commitment promises to significantly extend the great work that his foundation is already doing. His gift is an inspiration to all of us working in philanthropy around the world."
Anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller sees Alwaleed's generosity as a Trojan Horse, believing the money will primarily go towards what she calls the "Islamization of America."
The Saudis have spent billions already: 80% of the mosques [built] in America are Saudi funded. Islamic groups working to impose the sharia are largely funded by the Saudis.
"We can look forward to 32 billion more of the kingdom's brand of Islam, while censoring criticism of Islam," writes Geller.