No Reciprocation by Tony Perkins
A two-page color ad in a recent Washington Post celebrates the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, a $20-million “think tank” at Georgetown University in the District of Columbia. The ad shows one of Georgetown’s beautiful Gothic buildings, topped by a stone cross. In the night sky, above Georgetown, is a crescent moon and star — the symbols of Islam. How better to show the kind of “understanding” we will have? Christianity is to be subordinated, Islam is raised high — at a Christian university. Harvard also has a $20 million center provided by the Saudi billionaire prince.
What about the compromise of American liberties? There is no reciprocity here. All the talk on this side of the ocean is about “understanding.” Where are the study centers at Saudi universities? Does anyone there present courses on James Madison’s views of religious liberty? Does anyone there even suggest that feudal monarchies that deny their people fundamental human rights need to reform themselves?
Saudi Arabia is one of the worst violators of human rights on earth. No Christian can even carry a Bible on any street in Saudi Arabia. Converts there are beheaded. According to the U.S. State Department’s latest report on global human rights, recently issued, “The [Saudi] government has not provided legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection did not exist.” Ditto for the freedom to establish political parties. Yet, here we have major American universities bending the knee for Saudi petrodollars. There have been persistent reports of Saudi-funded schools (madrassas) and mosques in America that teach hatred toward Christians and Jews.
And one more thought: has anyone told campus liberals, some of whom went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to keep military recruiters off campus because of the military’s “Don’t Ask — Don’t Tell” policy, about Saudi Arabia’s policy toward gays in the military?
(Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.)
Jack: To some extent this is about reciprocation, but at this point, I would settle for basic religious freedom rights. It is not propaganda when it is reported that Christians are beaten to death for possessing Bibles – this is reality! Sure, let’s have centers for understanding. Instead of convincing someone that Islam is the truth put your sword and bombs away, and let us reason and discuss and search the truth. If anyone’s faith is threatened by intellectual debate, then you can put up the all the centers you want, it’s not going to help.