Who would assess the Christian response to the letter from Muslim
leaders, "A Common Word between Us and You," in the following words:
This is an initiative that I think has some traction. And I know,
there's a desire on the part of a critical mass of Muslims who want to
move forward, but to be quite frank, I'm concerned about the Christian
leadership, and it's how the Christian leadership responds that will
affect how this moves forward.
a. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose $20 million donation to
Georgetown bought him an eponymous Center for Muslim-Christian
b. Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz, who successfully threatened Cambridge University Press with a lawsuit over the book Alms for Jihad, which CUP pulped;
c. The Dutch Catholic bishop Martinus "Tiny" Muskens, who says that
Christians should refer to God as Allah to promote better relations
d. John Esposito, director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center at Georgetown.
If you guessed "d," you're correct.
Speaking with the Voice of America, Esposito--one of the most prominent professor of Middle East studies in America--remained true to form
by blaming the West, in this case Christian leaders, for not responding
with, one assumes, sufficient humility to the overture from Islamic
It is no comment on the letter itself to note that, in the academic
arena in which Esposito moves, blaming the West for troubled relations
with the Islamic world is a given.
It is a comment on Georgetown, a Jesuit institution that long ago
sold its soul for what it perceives is a better reputation in the sea
of secular academic opinion, that one of its highest profile professors
expresses more concern about the reaction of Christian leaders than
about the way his benefactor's billions support the spread of the
Wahhabi Islam around the globe--including in the Georgetown section of