The Saudi Fifth Column On Our Nation’s Campuses
By Lee Kaplan
FrontPageMagazine.com | 4/5/2004
From Riyadh to Ramallah to the Ivy League, Saudi Arabias Wahhabi Lobby is funding the goals of radical Islam and undermining Americas War On Terror. The press has reported the Department of Justices closures of Saudi charitable fronts like the Muslim World League, the Al-Haramain Foundation, the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), and others that raised money for al-Qaeda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.1 But the government has so far ignored an even larger network of Saudi front groups working to establish the party line on our nations campuses. This network is embedded deep within our system of higher education, including many of our most prestigious universities. The Saudis have steadily infiltrated American educational institutions with vast infusions of cash.2 At the same time they look to steer college curricula and public opinion especially about the Middle East toward their Wahhabist goals.3
Saudi Wahhabism fuels a fiery hatred for the Wests religious tolerance. It views attempts by the West to promote democratic reforms within its medieval Arab monarchy as an affront to Islam. In other words, it shares the religious and political views of its wayward Saudi son Osama bin Laden. Accordingly, the Saudi royal family has been waging its own quiet jihad of disinformation to advance its goals. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony from fellow senators and terrorism experts that the Bush administration has not recognized the dangers posed by Saudi influence. In fact, the kingdom controls most of the Muslim organizations in the United States. For instance, 80 percent of the mortgages on mosques in the U.S. are paid for by the Wahhabi Saudis.
Over the last 30 years, the Saudi royal family has contributed upwards of $70 billion to spread its anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda. This sum, it has been observed, makes the one billion dollars per annum spent by the Soviet Union during the Cold War pale by comparison.4 To quote the Saudi English language daily, Ain Al Yaqueen: The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, has positively shouldered responsibility and played a promising role in order to raise the banner of Islam all over the globe and raise the Islamic call either inside or outside the kingdom.
Clinton Taps Newly Active Indian Donors
New York Sun, The (NY)
June 12, 2007
Author: JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
Senator Clinton plans to take time out of her tightly packed presidential campaign schedule next month to deliver a speech to a large and influential alumni group. The well-connected crowd, expected to number about 4,000, hails not from the Ivy League or one of America’s renowned state universities, but from a school half a world away, the Indian Institute of Technology.
The unusual speaking engagement is just one sign of the growing clout of the Indian-American community and how Mrs. Clinton is harnessing it to a degree previously unknown in presidential politics.
In April, a prominent New York hotelier and restaurant owner, Sant Chatwal, announced that Indian-Americans plan to raise at least $5 million for the former first lady’s presidential campaign, an impressive sum even at the overheated pace of this year’s fund raising. Later this month, almost 1,000 people are expected to attend an Indian-themed $1,000-a-plate dinner for Mrs. Clinton in Manhattan. There are also plans to bring in stars from India’s film industry, known as Bollywood, for another Clinton campaign event later this year.
“Indians have never raised so much money, to the best of my knowledge, and I’ve been living here 24 years,” Mr. Chatwal told The New York Sun.
“We’re all maxing out,” a Manhattan philanthropist and socialite, Meera Gandhi, said.
The intense activity reflects a long-standing affinity for Mrs. Clinton on the part of many Indian-Americans, dating back to the state visit she and her husband, President Clinton, made to India in 2000.
However, the new fund-raising prowess also demonstrates how, after a generation or two of toil, another immigrant community has achieved the financial security and social confidence to venture into the American political arena.
“This Indian community has come of age, where they now understand they have to be involved in the political process,” Ms. Gandhi said. “We are the new wealthy kids on the block, so to speak. We feel we should have a stake in our country’s politics.”
“The stars are aligned, in a way,” an Indian-American political organizer in New York City, Udai Tambar, said. “The importance of money in politics is increasing over time, and at the same time you have a community, the Indian and South Asian community, that has amassed a fair amount of financial wealth.”
Indian-Americans have the highest income, on average, of any racial or national origin group tracked by the Census Bureau. In 2005, median household income for “Asian Indians” in America was $73, 575, which is 59% above the national average. More than a third of Indian-American adults have an advanced degree compared with 10% of the general populace.
Overall, Indian-Americans account for less than 1% of the population, but they aspire to political influence beyond their numbers. In that respect, one often hears politically active Indians suggest that they could be the new Jews on the American political scene. Ms. Gandhi describes her well-heeled cohort as “sort of like the Jewish community was 20 or 25 years ago.”
Some Indians are taking things a step further, actually seeking political advice and common cause with Jewish groups. They have sought organizing advice from the American Jewish Committee and traveled to Israel with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
“The Jewish community and the Indian community have been working very closely together,” a former Agriculture Department official named last month as a national co-chairman of South Asians for Hillary, Rajen Anand, said. “A lot of Jewish congressmen and senators are friends of India. Steven Solarz was the first congressman to raise $1 million by mail from Indian-Americans.”
Both groups share a concern about Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. While Jews fear attacks on Israel, Indian-Americans, most of whom are Hindu, worry about attacks on India perpetrated by Islamists and about the threat of fundamentalism in Pakistan.
When Indian-Americans in Silicon Valley hosted a $200,000 fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton last month, she was pressed about why America counts Saudi Arabia as an ally, despite its record of fomenting extreme, “Wahhabi” Islam through religious schools in its country and elsewhere.
Among Indian-Americans, Mrs. Clinton has a clear edge in the early maneuvering for the White House in 2008, but she is not competing unchallenged. Senator Obama of Illinois has also made significant inroads, particularly with the younger set, which finds appeal in his multiracial background. “His consciousness resonates more with the second and third generation,” a Washington attorney backing Mr. Obama, Dave Kumar, 35, said. “When he talks about the skinny kid with the funny name, he’s sort of describing every Indian-American kid who grew up in this country.”
Playing off a term Indians and others use for the number 100,000, South Asians for Obama has launched “One Lakh for Barack.” It aims to line up a large number of small donations for Mr. Obama and gather the e-mail addresses of supporters. “It’s more of a grassroots effort,” Mr. Tambar said.
So far, Republican presidential candidates have not made an aggressive effort to tap into Indian-American money or support, community members said.
“A lot of people are just waiting on the sidelines,” an Indian-American cardiologist who was a major fund-raiser for President Bush, Zachariah Zachariah of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said.
The head of the Indian American Republican Council, Dr. Raghavendra Vijayanagar, said the Republican Party has had “difficulty associating” with the high-achieving doctors, scientists, and business owners of the Indian community. “They’re signing up with the Democratic Party, when actually they belong to the Republican Party,” he said.
Modest efforts are under way among Republican-leaning Indian-Americans to raise funds for Senator McCain of Arizona and Governor Thompson of Wisconsin.
A Washington lobbyist and international trade lawyer, Sue Ghosh Stricklett, said she is trying to drum up support for Mr. McCain in part because of his leadership on immigration. “I feel legal immigrants contribute in a big way to economic expansion. As an Indian-American, I don’t want to see racist outpourings on the airwaves. Without immigrants, the American economy would be crippled,” she said.
Ms. Stricklett said Republicans would be foolish to dismiss the claims by Indian-Americans that they will raise $5 million for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. “I don’t think it’s hyperbole,” the Indian-American activist said. “It could happen on the Republican side because you have more people who could write big checks. I just think they need to take the Indian community very seriously.”
Another factor giving Mrs. Clinton a leg up is the presence of two Indian-American staffers at the top echelon of her campaign. Mrs. Clinton’s policy director, Neera Tanden, worked as a policy adviser in the Clinton White House and later as an aide to the then chancellor of the New York City schools, Harold Levy. The traveling aide who shadows Mrs. Clinton at nearly all of her public appearances, Huma Abedin, is of Indian and Pakistani descent.
The clintons made a gonzo trip to India during clintbilly’s presidency. I forget the exact numbers, but I think they brought a couple of thousand people along with them, and made a special effort to open business relations and establish connections. No American president had done anything like that before, so it must have made a big impression.
India must also worry about China and Pakistan, so they’ll want to get on the right side of hillary as a potential threat as well as a potential ally.