Thursday, May 08, 2008

The (Saudi) Prince and Farid Esack

While doing some research on Harvard University and its support of the proggies, I came across this:

"Farid Esack was William Henry Bloomberg Visiting Professor at Harvard Divinity School for the 2006-07 academic year, and is now (2007-08) the (Saudi) Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies."

This so-called "Prince" is worth 20.3 Billion Dollars, and is the 13th richest man in the world according to Forbes. Readers can do more research on this guy, there is plenty of information available on the net (I will probably do a more extensive write up on this "Prince" later on..

For now, suffice to say that he is also a major funder ($20 million) of an "Islamic Studies Program" at Harvard, where Farid Esack was a "(Saudi) Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies." during the '07-'08 term.


In 2002, Al-Walid donated $500,000 to the George Herbert Walker Bush Scholarship Fund, established by the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, to honor former President George H. W. Bush.

He has also taken a notable pro-American stance, backed up by his $10 million financing of American study programmes at the American University in Cairo.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal holds a 5.7% voting stake in News Corp (This is the Murdoch umbrella group that owns, amongst other things, the notorious anti-Muslim FOX News) and is the second largest individual shareholder in News Corp (through his Kingdom Holdings business). He has long been a fan of Rupert Murdoch’s methodology.

Prince Al Waleed commented: "We- as Rotana Group- feel that we could not have chosen a better partner than this global media group towards our first step to bring western entertainment through our channels...this partnership is based not only on my long and personal relationship with Mr. Rupert Murdoch, but it is also based on the similarities and synergies between our two media companies."

Esack is known amongst left-liberal circles as someone who supposedly opposes imperialism, and is supposedly a critic of consumerism, and likes to talk about what he calls being "Prophetic." Infact, he is quoted to have said:

"“The progressive Islamist project, if it is to be truly progressive, has to be Prophetic by nature. What I mean by that is that we need to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (s), and all the other Prophets such as Jesus who located themselves at the margins of society. They spoke for the poor and the downtrodden of society. "

Wow - does'nt all that sound great? Imagine that - Islamic scholars would locate themselves on the margins of society, with the poor and downtrodden.

And what does Farid Esack do? The guy located himself not just at any 'ol university, he located himself in the most exclusive, elitist, and empire supporting university inside of the US. And if that is not enough, he qualified his name and profession with that of a super duper double multi billionaire - a so-called (Saudi) "Prince" no less:

"Farid Esack is a (Saudi) Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies."

For sometime now, Esack has been only a bare shadow of what he once was - a tireless outspoken Muslim who actually did live somewhat on the margins - but those days are now long gone.

I am not surprised at the trajectory of Esack, after all just about all the proggies (there are some exceptions) have gone the same way. I just wish some of the more aware activist Muslims would, instead of inviting him to speak at conferences, would challenge not only him - but seriously question and examine at a public level, how people like Farid Esack, and others of his type are contributing to the perpetuation of US imperialism. Because, it is just not possible that such individuals would get these types of "visiting professorships" unless they were serving a purpose.

Unfortunately, they will either remain quiet, or come up with some sort of acrobatic rationalizations...