LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC NEWS Collated with editorial comments by B. Michael Bigg (MB)
Islamic Influence At Universities
Universities are places of learning, supposedly encouraging independent thought and analysis techniques ... at least it is supposed to be in 21st century western society.
Where once universities had Christian heritage as their backbone this has now morphed into secular atheism—much akin to wolves looking after the sheep in churches. This transformation from godly thought to secular atheism brought with it the cold, emotionless, (supposed) facts-based research and education. And where today’s universities’ “religious” departments work on the premise that all religions are created equally, there remains the question of Christian bashing. After all, what else would you call the approval by the University of Queensland for a doctrinal candidate’s submission of a thesis purporting that Jesus was homosexual1 and that based on astrology let alone that the candidate was “paid $51,000 in public funds to research Jesus’ sexuality”. But when another doctoral candidate submitted a doctrinal outline, in which the thesis might include negative or critical facts both historical and doctrinal about Islam, the submission was rejected. The religious tolerance and equality of universities is shown to be what is: prochoice, proecumenical, dhimmitudes, notwithstanding faithfully anti biblical Christianity.
Or, is this perception biased? As a Christian, am I seeing or reading into it, something that is not there? Where are the universities at today?
On September 14, 2006, The Australian newspaper reported, “YOUNG Western-born Muslims recruited in universities, mosques and on the internet are increasingly being turned to jihad by terrorist networks, which train them in Islamic countries to support and conduct attacks on their homelands”. A year later The Australian reported,
Up to $1 million will be pumped by Saudi Arabia into an Australian university, spark- ing fears the money will skew its research and create sympathy for an extremist Mus- lim ideology espoused by al-Qai’da.
Muslim leaders and academics have attacked Queensland’s Griffith University for accepting an initial $100,000 grant from the Saudi embassy, which they accused of having given cash in the past to educational institutions to improve the perception of Wahabism—a hardline interpretation of Islam.
The same article quotes ‘James Cook University’s Mervyn Bendle, a senior lecturer in the history of communication and terrorism, as saying that Saudi Arabia would not provide funds to any Islamic initiative without wanting to propagate its own agenda and version of Islam. “Historically, Saudi funding around the world has been used to promote Wahabism,” he said. “It would be naive to just accept on the surface that this is not the case as far as this money is concerned.”’
In April this year, The Australian, reported that Brisbane based Griffith University, “practically begged the Saudi Arabian embassy to bankroll its Islamic campus for $1.3m, even telling the ambassador it could keep secret elements of the controversial deal.” And following up this revelation,
A JUDGE has likened Griffith University to hardline Islamic “madrassas” in Paki- stan—notorious for breeding radicals— and accused the Queensland institution of promoting a Muslim ideology espoused by Osama bin Laden.
Queensland District Court judge Clive Wall also accused Griffith of becoming an “agent” through which the Saudi Arabian embassy was propagating extreme Islam.
Judge Wall, a deputy judge advocate- general in the Australian Defence Force holding the rank of air commodore, told The Australian it was clear what brand of Islam the university would be teaching through its Saudi-funded Islamic Research Unit.
“It would have to be Wahabism, similar to many of the madrassas in Pakistan who re- ceive funding from Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The question of whether strings are attached to the monies being sought and offered is in some ways subjective to your perspective.
But consider this, on 25 February 2008, The Australian, in its Higher Education section, reported:
Muslim university students want lectures to be rescheduled to fit in with prayer timetables and separate male and female eating and recreational areas established on Australian campuses. International Muslim students, predominantly from Saudi Arabia, have asked universities in Melbourne to change class times so they can attend congregational prayers. They also want a female-only area for Muslim students to eat and relax.”
Is this Australia, or is this the Arabian Peninsula? Are Australian—and for that matter Western—universities secular, liberal, free- thinking institutions as they claim to be, or are they fast becoming dhimmitudes to Islam? MI5 had also reportedly warned [British] Prime Minister Gordon Brown that funding from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim coun- tries had caused a “dangerous increase in the spread of extremism in leading university campuses” ... Islamic Council of Queensland president Suliman Sabdia, on behalf of 13 other signatories, wrote a letter to The Australian warning a repercussion of the reporting of the issue “could be increas- ing Islamophobia and a consequent decline in thousands of Muslim students coming to Australia, not only to study but also to experience our way of life”.
“...experience our way of life” they cry, whilst seeking the rescheduling of timetables and segregated areas for males and females. No strings attached? Really!
What next? After timetables have been rescheduled to fit in with prayer times and women segregated to certain areas on campus, will the next “request”—should universities succumb to the current set—be that women cover-up head to toe under the pretence of modesty, or that on-campus female students be restricted to their dorm rooms, except to go to class, unless otherwise chaperoned? The Wahabism of Saudi Arabia, which is the same as that of Osama bin Laden, is not radicalism, extremism or fanaticism as the media report it, it is fundamentalism. They believe in the fundamentals of what the Qur’an teaches, and the Hadiths show them how to put that belief into practice—citing examples from Muhammad’s own life. Are these the people the West wants to receive free, no strings attached funding from for the establishment of Islamic learning centres in the West? They’ve been given the inch, do we surrender the mile?Muslim Marauders