Cash from international Muslim entities is funding Islamic studies programs in universities throughout the UK. A recent study has revealed the vast extent of these donations, which dwarf grants provided to schools by the British government:
Prof. Anthony Glees, director of Brunel University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, claims that eight universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have accepted more than £233.5 million from Saudi and Muslim sources since 1995, with much of the money going to Islamic study centers.
Glees' report, which is to be published by the Centre for Social Cohesion, part of rightwing think tank Civitas, says this is 200 times the amount the government is putting into Islamic studies and will allow one-sided views of Islam and the Middle East, and anti-democratic propaganda to prosper.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is investigating whether foreign funds influence the curricula and research in Islamic studies programs. Some have suggested that this is already the case:
Dr. Denis MacEoin, Islam expert at Newcastle University, said academics were nervous about handling topics that might upset their sponsors.
"It's part of an overall belief that only Muslims can teach Islam, which in an academic context is entirely wrong. It would soon remove the possibility for genuine academic debate."
Such concerns are not limited to the UK. In 2005 Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal gave Harvard and Georgetown $20 million apiece "to teach about the Islamic world to the United States." This is the same prince whose $10 million gift to the Twin Towers Fund was rejected by Rudy Giuliani following bin Talal's suggestion that U.S. foreign policy had sparked 9/11.
An overview by the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity shows that Saudi-funded centers and endowed chairs are only slightly less common on American campuses than frat houses and wacky mascots. As to their goals, "While Saudi sources claim that the funding is given to help remove Western misunderstandings of Islam, evidence suggests that much of the motivation is founded in Islamic doctrines of mission (da'wa) and holy war (jihad) and aims at the spread of Islam (especially in its Wahhabi form) and its political dominance around the world."
You don't need an advanced degree from Cambridge or Harvard to spot the danger in that.