Let us imagine a hypothetical scenario, shall we?
You have a friend. In spite of a few personal shortcomings and a penchant for choosing some unsavory friends in his other social groups, from what you can tell, he shares similar ideals, political views and objectives.
One day, your friend approaches you with an idea. “Why don’t I build and pay for a ‘mother-in-law’ suite in my backyard which you can live in, and you’ll only have to pay for the utilities?”
Surprised, but unwilling to walk away from such an unbelievable deal, you ask “Are you sure?” Your friend answers gladly, smiling ear to ear, “Of course, my friend! The pleasure is all mine!”
Sounds like a fantastic arrangement, right? Only a fool would turn down such an offer.
So, you sublet your apartment and move over to your new quarters in your friend’s expansive backyard, where you discover that he has spared no expense to create a near paradise for you, his very grateful friend.
For ten years, you live in this wonderful home, where your friend rarely intrudes, except to pop in and say hello once in a while. All seems well – almost too good to be true.
Over time, you begin hearing nasty rumors about your friend. Sometimes the rumors are downright offensive. People all over town and throughout the county are saying that your friend is helping his other, unsavory friends commit crimes all over the state. In fact, they’re even saying that he provided his friends with guns and gas money for their getaway car, before they went on to murder a few families in the course of committing perpetual burglaries around the tri-state area.
Let’s assume further, in this hypothetical scenario, that you choose to defend your friend, in the midst of growing criticism, from your perfect island of comfort that he built for you. You don’t interview witnesses or investigate these shocking claims for yourself. In fact, you double-down, and argue that no one is perfect, and point out that your friend has provided you with the deliciously amenable, unobtrusive environment for pursuing your dreams as a writer and social activist. His critics are ignorant, rushing to judgment, and possibly even Friendophobes. Other homes on the street have cluttered front yards, loud dogs, and aren’t well manicured. By comparison, your friend’s home is picturesque.
It’s an absurd scenario, right? No one’s loyalty could be that misplaced. But let’s heighten the absurdity of our little scenario.
Let’s say that not only is your friend accused of aiding and abetting criminals, he is accused of funding and supporting global terror… and not just a little, but to the tune of many billions of dollars. Let’s add that these terrorists have, so far, been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.
There are rumors, it’s been heard, that the terrorists that your friend is in business with have stated, in no uncertain terms, that their goal is to kill off Christians and destroy Christianity. Let’s also add that YOU are a Christian, and profess to be in public.
Absurd, isn’t it? Would anyone in his right mind defend his associations with such a friend, in the face of direct evidence and, additionally, mountains of circumstantial evidence?
The truth is, this hypothetical scenario isn’t hypothetical at all!
Enter Georgetown University.
A little over two weeks ago, a freshman at Georgetown named Ari Goldstein published an honest article in Georgetown’s student newspaper, The Hoya, questioning Georgetown’s relationship with the State of Qatar. Georgetown has a satellite campus in Qatar’s “Education City”, a campus that is bought and paid for by the Qatar Foundation, which was established by the ruling Al-Thani family of Qatar.
Now, the spread of liberal American education throughout the generally oppressive, some would say very conservative, Middle East sounds like an opportunity to applaud. It may open eyes, work to change the culture of Qatar and the locals to one more respectful of religious and cultural minorities. But this sort of fanciful thinking is a dangerous illusion.
It has become increasingly apparent that the State of Qatar is deeply involved in the funding and arming of jihadist groups across the Middle East and North Africa, including: Boko Haram, Ansar al-Sharia, the Taliban, Hamas, al Qaeda and I.S.I.S. They’re also deeply involved in vast drug and human trafficking operations that span several continents. If various reinforcing news reports can be taken as credible sources, Qatar has a partner in these nefarious activities with a variety of equally unsavory partners, including: underworld boss Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company and a symbiotic relationship with Pakistan’s ISI and National Logistics Cell, and Mexican and Latin American cartels. And, so it seems, a motley crew of (likely unwitting) American-based apologists, including corporate interests, and universities such as Georgetown.
As I outlined in a previous article, Mr. Goldstein stirred up a hornet’s nest of ad hominem and anti-Semitism from defenders of Georgetown’s relationship with Qatar.
Two weeks have now passed since Mr. Goldstein published his piece. Georgetown University and The Hoya had a golden opportunity to stand behind their enterprising and courageous student journalist, Ari Goldstein. Instead, they have since published two puff-pieces, informing the world about Qatar’s generosity TOWARDS GEORGETOWN. (See here and here.)
Georgetown defends their relationship with Qatar in two ways.
First, they point out that Qatar has provided a campus for them in Doha’s Education City that is free of outside influence–an “island of academic endeavor” where Georgetown students and staff can learn, study, and pursue their social activism without pressure from the Qatari government. Nothing like putting on the blinders; or, in this case, having them put on for you.
If it is true that they are unpressured by the Qatari government, why don’t they immediately pursue a campaign in Doha to end Qatar’s practice of importing foreigners from countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, and India? These workers are routinely denied basic human rights, such as clean water, the right to leave Qatar, and just and timely compensation.
Georgetown, what say you to this barbaric reality of your host?
Second, Georgetown argues that they are in a unique position to push for social change in Qatar. While that may or may not be true, I have yet to see a single academic paper originating from SFS-Q (School of Foreign Service in Qatar) that pressures the government of Qatar to cease their funding of murderous jihadist groups. On the contrary, Georgetown, much like the Brookings Institute (who is also the recipient of hefty Qatari donations) has apparently gone out of its way to NOT criticize Qatar’s foreign policy, regardless of how they may impact U.S. foreign policy or national security.
Georgetown and the Qatari influence on the Obama Administration
I personally question Georgetown’s narrative of effectively pushing for progressive social change, since it appears that the trend has gone in the opposite direction. Georgetown’s alumni have filled important national security roles within the State Department and in the Obama administration itself, including Jack Lew, a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. Lew was replaced by Denis McDonough, a graduate of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Lew is a member of the Qatar-backed Brookings Institute, and McDonough is a member of the leftist Center for American Progress.
There are others, too: such as Alexander Aleinikoff, who was co-chair of the Obama transition team’s Immigration Policy Review Team. And Steven M. Kosiak, Associate Director for Defense and International Affairs at the OMB. And Daniel Pfeiffer, Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications. And John Podesta, as Counselor to the President, whose law firm, the Podesta Group has been retained by Lockheed Martin (who continues to sell billions of dollars in sophisticated military grade weaponry to Qatar).
Indeed, one thing that is increasingly apparent is that the Obama administration has a blind side with regard to Qatar and its various funded universities and think tanks. The Obama administration, and their allies in the House and the Senate, seemingly believe that Qatar, a country of a mere 278,000 citizens on the other side of the world, should have a powerful and influential voice in U.S. foreign policy matters.
Nancy Pelosi recently stated, with regard to this summer’s ugliness between Israel and the Palestinians, “…we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me, over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization.” This is nothing short of a declaration of faith in the Qatari state, despite the fact that Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997.
Is it any surprise that Doha, Qatar is the home to Hamas’ current leader, Khaled Mashal? In fact, just prior to the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Qatar’s U.N. Envoy was caught trying to funnel $20 million to Hamas. Conspicuously, many of Georgetown’s current staff and recent alum are apologists for Hamas. Here’s just one example.
The New York Times recently published an article entitled “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.” According to the Times, “’Some scholars say the donations have led to implicit agreements that the research groups would refrain from criticizing the donor governments. If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware–they are not getting the full story,’ said Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar and who said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. ‘They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.'”
In all fairness, Georgetown’s policy research institutions are arguably not much different than the Brookings Institute or the Center for American Progress. And I submit that these organizations, along with the many other organizations and corporations that are on the Qatari take, have created one of the most dangerous national security crises in U.S. History. It was from Qatar, after all, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the September 11 mastermind, began to formulate his plan of attack.
According to Breitbart:
“Among the titles of Georgetown’s theology courses are:
The Problem of God
Muslims and Politics
Political Theology: The Case of Islam
The First Christians and Christianity Today
Buddhism & Poetry
Islamic Religious Thought and Practice
Judaism: Ancient Tradition and Contemporary Practice
The Latino Church Doing Justice
Qur’an, Pluralism, Fem. Theology
Politics of Gender in World Religions”
As far as Georgetown’s impact on social change in Qatar is concerned, clearly there has been little more than promises from the Qatari government. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah recently met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Following the meeting, he remained unconvinced that the Emir was committed to ceasing Qatari support for radical and revolutionary Muslim Brotherhood extremists and regional Jihadist terrorist groups.
In truth, there are so many obvious links between Georgetown and Islamic extremism, I couldn’t begin to fit them all in this article: from Georgetown’s advocacy of Sharia finance, to their employment of the son of Sami Al-Arian (who has pled guilty to terrorism) who has equated Israel to the Islamic State, to their acceptance of funds funneled through designated terrorist front groups.
Perhaps Georgetown University has become confused about the guiding principle of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam,” “For the greater glory of God”. Perhaps it would now be more appropriate for Georgetown to officially follow the creed, “Ad maiorem Allah gloriam”.
In this writer’s opinion, it is not an issue of whether Georgetown believes Qatar is deeply involved in global terrorism or not…the issue is that they simply don’t care. They have proven this in two short weeks.
I encourage readers to consider the scale of Georgetown’s influence in Washington D.C, the nation’s capital, in this context.
For those interested in further investigating the scale of Qatar’s involvement in global terrorism, drug and human trafficking, I recommend the following articles:
Boko Haram Opens New Front in Lagos and Nigeria’s Middle Belt