Harvard and the Holocaust

June 02, 2003

CONTENTS

1. A scandal at Harvard
2. "Repugnant and indefensible"
3. "Puzzling and troubling"
4. "Harvard Divinity School may return gift to President of United Arab Emirates" (Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2003)
5. "Harvard donation questioned" (Transcript CBS Evening new (USA), May 19, 2003)
6. "Harvard is pressured to return $2.5m gift" (Boston Globe, May 11, 2003)
7. "HDS considers donation return" (Harvard Crimson, May 12, 2003)
8. "Endowing denial" (Front Page Magazine, May 13, 2003)
9. "Harvard to Sheik: Thanks but no thanks" (New York Sun, May 14, 2003)
10. Fact Sheet: UAE Ruler Sheikh Zayed and Harvard Divinity School
11. More information on www.moralitynotmoney.com


A SCANDAL AT HARVARD

[Note by Tom Gross]

Harvard University's Divinity School is embroiled in a scandal over a $2.5 million gift it has accepted from the Sheik Zayed Center, to endow a chair in Islamic Studies. The Zayed Center is an Arab League "think tank," used as a platform for Holocaust denial and the promotion of anti-Semitic hate.

The Zayed Center also has a reputation for anti-Americanism. Last year, Thierry Meyssan, a French author whose book "The Appalling Fraud" claims that the U.S. military was behind the September 11 attacks, spoke at the center. The center published his book in Arabic. It has also published a book titled "Those Who Challenged Israel," containing the thoughts and theories of Holocaust deniers David Irving and Roger Garoudy.

On September 11, 2001, the Zayed Center hosted Mohammed Ahmad Hussain of Cairo University, who said Jews invented the Holocaust as part of a "long term orchestrated campaign aiming at the perpetuation of the 'persecution of the Jews' or what they call the Holocaust."

In June 2002, the Zayed Center hosted Lyndon LaRouche, a prominent anti-Semite. In August 2002, the director of the Zayed Center, at its panel on Holocaust denial, said "the truth is that the Jews are the enemies of all nations." The Zayed Center report stated "the Zionists are the people who killed the Jews in Europe."

In April 2003, the Zayed Center hosted Saudi Professor Umayma Jalahma, who declared that "the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare for holiday pastries." (In January, 1998, Sheikh Zayed's wife donated $50,000 to prominent Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.)

The Zayed Center has drawn several high-profile speakers over the years, including former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Secretary of State James Baker.

One courageous divinity graduate this year, Rachel Fish, is refusing to accept her Harvard degree, despite all her hard work, as a protest over the links with Zayed Center. Fish met with William A. Graham, the Dean of the Harvard University Divinity School, in March to complain. Fish said the dean told her that the center's activities were "deplorable". Wendy McDowell, a spokeswoman for the divinity school, said that administrators have been aware of the possible ties to Holocaust denial since December.

“REPUGNANT AND INDEFENSIBLE”

Dean Graham called the Zayed Center's activities "repugnant and indefensible." But he has yet to return the money. (In September 2000, when Harvard University Gazette announced the gift, Professor William Graham was quoted as saying, "This endowment is a most welcome gift ... we are delighted with this encouraging development." Last year, Graham signed a petition calling for divestment from Israel. In a morning prayers address last fall, Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers described the petition and other calls for the University to divest from Israel as anti-Semitic "in their effect if not in their intent." Graham later removed his name from the petition.)

Fish, whose Harvard studies have jointly focused on Judaism and Islam, said "It wouldn't be a question if it was linked to the Ku Klux Klan or another racist group. I want to know why it's OK to accept this individual's money. Harvard is an institution whose motto is truth."

The agreement with Harvard University Divinity School for the Zayed professorship is signed "for His Highness, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan." The Zayed Center describes itself on its website as "a fulfilment of the vision of the President of the United Arab Emirates."

Sheikh Zayed, the dictator of the United Arab Emirates since 1971, is best known among international human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Anti-Slavery International, not for his Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, but for his trafficking in Bangladeshi child slaves, including employing Asian child slaves as jockeys for camel races.

According to one of my sources at Harvard, Dean Graham "seems determined to keep the cash, or make Summers be the one to send it back".

To those new to this list, who want to read my article from last October on Harvard's invitation to Tom Paulin, the Oxford University poet who said that some Jews should be shot, see "Welcome Voice?"

-- Tom Gross

 

“PUZZLING AND TROUBLING”

I attach 8 items with summaries first:

1. "Harvard Divinity School may return gift to President of United Arab Emirates" (Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2003). The Harvard Divinity School is considering whether to return a $2.5-million donation to the president of the United Arab Emirates after questions were raised about his connection to a controversial Middle Eastern think tank. The Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up which was established "in fulfillment of the vision" of the president, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, according to its Web site in recent years has been host to speakers and has published books with anti-Semitic and anti-American views. Rachel Fish, a divinity student, said: "It was just puzzling and troubling to me how the institution could have accepted the money to begin with, when this connection was apparent," she said. "This wasn't secret information that I had access to." Last year, the Zayed Center was host to a conference on "Semitism," in which the center's executive director called Jews "the enemies of all nations," according to news reports. The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism worldwide, has a page on its Web site about the Zayed Center.

2. "Harvard donation questioned" (Transcript CBS Evening new (USA), May 19, 2003). There are few places where religious tolerance is taken more seriously than Harvard's Divinity School... The Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up, which is also named for the sheik has hosted speakers from Jimmy Carter to Neil Bush, the president's own brother... [Yet] An independent review of the Zayed Center found it offered programs such as "Zionist Collusion With the Nazis," and "Jewish Control of the American Government and Media." And its executive director began a symposium at the center, by calling Jews "the enemies of all nations."

3. "Harvard is pressured to return $2.5m gift" (Boston Globe, May 11, 2003). "Harvard Divinity School is poised to return a $2.5 million gift from the president of the United Arab Emirates ... A spokeswoman for the Divinity School's dean, William A. Graham, said he assigned a researcher to investigate ties between the Zayed Center and the UAE president after students brought the issue to his attention. Wendy McDowell, the spokeswoman, said the extreme views aired on the center's Internet site 'upset (Graham) and the faculty greatly.' The site's roster of speakers included a Holocaust denier and an author alleging the US government masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks... Jimmy Carter has been criticized for his association with the Zayed Center, which published his autobiography in Arabic."

4. "HDS considers donation return" (Harvard Crimson, May 12, 2003). "The Harvard Divinity School (HDS) may give back a $2.5 million gift from the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to alleged anti-American and anti-Semitic writings on the website of a center he founded... The website praises the works of French author Thierry Meyssan, whose works include Those who Challenged Israel, The Role of Jews in Distorting Arab Images in the Western Culture and The Appalling Fraud, a book that alleges that the U.S. staged the September 11, 2001 attacks. The website also contains the writings of Holocaust deniers and others who have been accused of anti-Semitism."

5. "Endowing denial" (By Andrew G. Bostom, Front Page Magazine, May 13, 2003). "The Harvard Divinity School may return a $2.5 million donation from the United Arab Emirates ruler, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, earmarked to fund a Professorship in Islamic Studies. Why? ... his Zayed Center funds lectureships for noble, learned figures like perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, who opines on international Jewish conspiracies, Roger Garaudy, an "expert" Holocaust denier, Umayma Jalahma, a Saudi blood libel "scholar", esteemed for her authoritative claim that Purim pastries contain Gentile blood, and Thierry Massan, author of a runaway bestseller in France maintaining that the U.S. government orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center... The Boston Globe report, however, completely missed a less sensational, but equally insidious thread related to this story: the attempt by the Zayed Center to negate and re-write the millennial history of brutal oppression of Mizrachi (Oriental) Jews under Arab Muslim rule. A June 2002 report in the Gulf News, highlighted the "findings" from a symposium sponsored by the Zayed Center, entitled ' The Jews in The Arab World'. The Goebbel's- like summary communique included such frank howlers and obscene historical negationism as [listed in full detail in full article, below]"

6. "Harvard to Sheik: Thanks but no thanks" (The New York Sun, May 14, 2003). "The UAE president, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, wrote Harvard a check about three years ago to endow a chair in his name for "Islamic Religious Studies." But in March, a 23-year-old theology student from Tennessee, Rachel Fish, presented 70 pages of evidence to the divinity school's dean, William Graham..."

7.Fact Sheet: UAE Ruler Sheikh Zayed and Harvard Divinity School

8. More information on www.moralitynotmoney.com



FULL ARTICLES

HARVARD DIVINITY SCHOOL MAY RETURN GIFT TO PRESIDENT OF UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Harvard Divinity School may return gift to President of United Arab Emirates
By Beth Mcmurtrie
Chronicle of Higher Education
May 13, 2003

The Harvard Divinity School is considering whether to return a $2.5-million donation to the president of the United Arab Emirates after questions were raised about his connection to a controversial Middle Eastern think tank.

The Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up which was established "in fulfillment of the vision" of the president, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, according to its Web site in recent years has been host to speakers and has published books with anti-Semitic and anti-American views.

Wendy McDowell, a spokeswoman for the divinity school, said that administrators have been aware of the possible ties since December, but that they have not yet been able to determine whether the center has received the president's blessing.

"From what we've been told, it's one of those things in that country where people say that everywhere," she said of the statement about fulfilling the president's vision. "There are people who start things in the name of the president all the time. It's like when we call things 'George Washington something.' It does not necessarily mean he's behind it or sponsors it or has given any money to it."

But Rachel Fish, a divinity student who met with Dean William A. Graham in March to share information she found on the center's Web site, said the connection was obvious and that she was distraught that the administration has taken so long to make a decision. Ms. Fish said the dean told her that the center's activities were "deplorable" and that he would form a research team to look into the possible connection.

"It was just puzzling and troubling to me how the institution could have accepted the money to begin with, when this connection was apparent," she said. "This wasn't secret information that I had access to."

President Zayed donated the money to Harvard in 2000 to create a professorship in Islamic religious studies, but the position has not yet been filled. The divinity school has put the search on hold "until all questions are resolved," Mr. Graham said in a statement.

The president is not listed on the Zayed Center's Web site as having a particular role there, but his deputy prime minister is chairman of the center. The organization states as its goal the promotion of "solidarity and cooperation among the Arab nations in the light of the principles and objectives of the League of Arab States."

The Zayed Center has drawn several high-profile speakers over the years, including former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Secretary of State James Baker.

It has also gained a reputation for serving as host to controversial lecturers and publishing their works. Last year, Thierry Meyssan, a French author whose book The Appalling Fraud claims that the U.S. military was behind the September 11 attacks, spoke at the center. The center published his book in Arabic. It has also published a book titled Those Who Challenged Israel, in which the ideas of Holocaust deniers David Irving and Roger Garoudy are highlighted.

On April 9, Umayma Jalahma, a professor of Islamic Studies at King Faysal University in Saudi Arabia, who has claimed that Jews use human blood in making pastries for the Purim holiday, was a guest lecturer, according to the Middle Eastern Research Institute. (The center's Web site does not list any speakers for that date.)

Last year, the Zayed Center was host to a conference on "Semitism," in which the center's executive director called Jews "the enemies of all nations," according to news reports.

The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism worldwide, has a page on its Web site about the Zayed Center. Topics of the center's lectures and publications include Jewish conspiracy theories, the league states.

In his statement, Mr. Graham called the Zayed Center's activities "repugnant and indefensible." The school has made inquiries to both the U.A.E. government and to U.S. government diplomatic officials in Abu Dhabi, he said. The independent researcher's report was delivered to Mr. Graham last week, and he said he plans to share it with faculty members before coming to a decision.

Ms. Fish eagerly awaits some action. "The divinity school is a moral voice of this institution," she said. "By accepting this money, or at least being complicit and complacent and not returning the money, you are bankrupting the divinity school of its moral voice."

 

HARVARD DONATION QUESTIONED

Harvard donation questioned
Transcript CBS Evening new (USA)
May 19, 2003

There are few places where religious tolerance is taken more seriously than Harvard's Divinity School.

But graduate student Rachel Fish says the school has so offended her both as a Jew and as an American, she's now taking on Harvard's top brass and a world leader: the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who gave Harvard $2.5 million to fund a chair of Islamic studies.

The problem: it's not the only thing founded in his name.

The Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up, which is also named for the sheik has hosted speakers from Jimmy Carter to Neil Bush, the president's own brother.

CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan reports that when Fish dug deeper she discovered the center has also hosted some of the most hate-filled speakers imaginable.

An independent review of the Zayed Center found it offered programs such as "Zionist Collusion With the Nazis," and "Jewish Control of the American Government and Media." And its executive director began a symposium at the center, by calling Jews "the enemies of all nations."

When asked how she links what is being said at the center and on its Web site with the sheik himself, Fish says, "Because it's all being said in his vision."

Nobody disputes the fact the center has willingly granted a platform to those espousing anti-Semitism, even anti-Americanism. But what Harvard must now confront is just how much, if at all, the sheik's contribution is tainted by the actions of a center that bears his name.

"That's wrong, that smacks of a witch hunt," says James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute.

Zogby says the center does bear the sheik's name, but so do a lot of things in his country. Zogby believes the sheik did not know about it.

"There is no relationship between Sheik Zayed and the center," says Zogby.

"He knows who's there," says Fish. "There's no way he does not know."

Harvard refused our request for an on-camera interview, but in a statement, called some of the center's activities "repugnant and indefensible." It said it is "carefully investigating" any links with Sheik Zayed.

But that's not enough for Fish.

"I'm hoping that the institution will resolve the issue, the money will be given back, and I will be able to graduate and celebrate like all of my peers and colleagues."

And if not?

"We will see," said Fish.

After two years of hard work she may refuse her diploma. After all, she says, Harvard is an institution whose motto is truth.

 

HARVARD IS PRESSURED TO RETURN $2.5M GIFT

Harvard is pressured to return $2.5m gift
By Jenna Russell, Globe Staff
Boston Globe
May 11, 2003

Harvard Divinity School is poised to return a $2.5 million gift from the president of the United Arab Emirates after questions recently surfaced about his ties to a controversial Arab think tank with alleged anti-Semitic and anti-American leanings.

UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan gave the money three years ago to fund a new professorship in Islamic studies, but in recent months several Divinity School students and faculty members have questioned his connection to the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up, which champions unity between Arab nations.

A spokeswoman for the Divinity School's dean, William A. Graham, said he assigned a researcher to investigate ties between the Zayed Center and the UAE president after students brought the issue to his attention. Wendy McDowell, the spokeswoman, said the extreme views aired on the center's Internet site "upset (Graham) and the faculty greatly." The site's roster of speakers included a Holocaust denier and an author alleging the US government masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks.

'We're prepared to return the money if we don't get the right answers,' she said.

The researcher's report was delivered to Graham last week; he intends to present it to faculty members within days. The professorship, which has never been filled, will remain on hold until questions are resolved, said McDowell.

In his opening remarks at a conference last year, the executive director of the Zayed Center described on its website as "a fulfillment of the vision of the President of the U.A.E." denounced Jews as "the enemies of all nations," according to press accounts of the event, triggering objections from the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish activist group.

Harvard theology student Rachel Fish was the first to raise the issue with Harvard administrators. "The university has the right and the responsibility to discriminate in where its funding comes from," said Fish, 23, whose Harvard studies have jointly focused on Judaism and Islam. "It wouldn't be a question if it was linked to the Ku Klux Klan or another racist group. I want to know why it's OK to accept this individual's money."

The episode is the latest in a string of donation controversies at Harvard, which, along with most other US universities, is facing greater scrutiny of its funding sources. Harvard most recently has faced questions about Greek billionaire Socrates Kokkalis, who gave $5 million to the Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and has since been charged with fraud and embezzlement in his native country. A $15 million donation to Harvard from A. Alfred Taubman, the former chairman of Sotheby's who was jailed for price-fixing, raised eyebrows, as did revelations of a $2 million gift from a half-brother of Osama bin Laden. The money had no known ties to bin Laden or terrorism. Harvard kept the money in all the cases, standard procedure for universities whose donors have become tarnished figures.

In March, Fish and two other students took their concerns about Sheik Zayed and copies of pages from the Zayed center website to Graham, and forwarded copies to Harvard president Lawrence Summers.

The $2.5 million informal contract creating the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Professorship in Islamic Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe, was signed in the summer of 2000 by the Harvard College provost, the chairman of the Divinity School's executive committee, and a representative from the office of Sheikh Zayed. The new chair was announced that fall, touted as a cornerstone of an expanded program in the study of Islam.

Sheikh Zayed offered the money "in recognition of the desire by the United Arab Emirates to promote a better understanding of Islam among the non-Muslim peoples of the world," according to a Divinity School statement in September 2000.

After first learning of the connection to the Zayed Center late last year, Fish said she conducted weeks of Internet research to learn more about the center. Established in 1997, its website describes its mission as the promotion of "solidarity and cooperation among the Arab nations in the light of the principles and objectives of the League of Arab States."

Speakers at its conferences have included Lyndon LaRouche, a perennial presidential candidate often accused of anti-Semitism, and Thierry Meyssan, author of a French best-seller that alleges the American government was behind the Sept. 11 attacks. Publications sold from its website this winter included the Arabic translation of Meysann's book, "Those Who Challenged Israel," which, the site boasts, "sheds light on all the figures from around the world who have challenged Israel," and "Role of the Jews in Distorting Arab Images in the Western Culture."

Jimmy Carter has been criticized for his association with the Zayed Center, which published his autobiography in Arabic.

Last month, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Zayed Center hosted Umayma Jalahma, a Saudi professor who made headlines last year when she claimed in an editorial in a Saudi newspaper that Jews use human blood to make pastries for the Purim holiday. On the center's website, however, the date she reportedly appeared, April 9, is missing from a day-by-day posting of events.

Robert Leikind, director of the Anti-Defamation League's New England office, said the center sponsors anti-Semitic speakers and those "profoundly hostile" to the West.

"On one hand, it's fair to say that not everybody who's donated to a university has been a saint," he said. "On the other hand, this is a divinity school ... It's a reasonable thing to ask, what were you thinking here, particularly given the nature of what the school teaches."

A Divinity School professor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said some faculty members share the students' concerns, and believe they are on the right track. "My guess is that since the donor was a head of state, they probably gave him a light once-over," the professor said.

To Fish and other Harvard students who have joined her cause, such an oversight is easily corrected: Give the money back.

"I want to leave being proud of this institution, and this makes it really hard for me to do that," she said.

Jenna Russell can be reached at jrussell@globe.com.

 

HDS CONSIDERS DONATION RETURN

HDS considers donation return
By Wendy D. Widman
Crimson Staff Writer
Harvard Crimson
May 12, 2003

The Harvard Divinity School (HDS) may give back a $2.5 million gift from the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to alleged anti-American and anti-Semitic writings on the website of a center he founded. The Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up, named for UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan, says on its website that it promotes the unification of Arab nations through historical and cultural education.

But students at HDS complained to HDS Dean William A. Graham in March about the alleged anti-American and anti-Semitic writings on the center's website. Graham said that the school has "no intention of keeping the gift if we find problems with the center."

Sheikh Zayed donated the money three years ago to create a professorship in Islamic studies, but the chair has not yet been filled.According to Graham, the divinity school is currently investigating the Zayed Center's association with anti-American and anti-Semitic writings. "We don't have all the facts yet, but we've been in touch with many people close to the UAE," said Graham.

Graham said that he first heard about the problems with the center indirectly in January.

Rachel L. Fish, a student at the divinity school, organized a panel on anti-Semitism in December of 2002. One of the speakers mentioned that HDS had received funding from the Zayed Center. After weeks of researching old articles and other information published on the center's website, she said that she found the website promoted anti-Semitic and anti-American speakers and publications. The website praises the works of French author Thierry Meyssan, whose works include Those who Challenged Israel, The Role of Jews in Distorting Arab Images in the Western Culture and The Appalling Fraud, a book that alleges that the U.S. staged the September 11, 2001 attacks. The website also contains the writings of Holocaust deniers and others who have been accused of anti-Semitism.

Fish said she was upset by what she found and discussed the issue with other Jewish students at the Divinity School. "Three of us met with the dean on March 19 and talked to him about our concerns," she said, "He said he'd have a research team look into it."

Graham said HDS has sent researchers to investigate the issue. "We're still trying to get all the facts," said Graham. "We do not have answers yet."

"I'm sure our dean will scrutinize this very carefully. He is an expert in this part of the world," said Lamont Professor of Divinity Paul D. Hanson. "Let's face it, no money that's generated by our modern world is not tainted, but we need to make sure that the money is constructive without entanglements. We need to do the moral thing."

Graham said that once he had all the facts he would reach a decision with the faculty and return the gift if they found the Zayed Center to be promoting anti-American and anti-Semitic positions. "We obviously do not want any association with a gift that is tainted by the kind of things on the website," he said. Both Graham and Hanson signed a petition last year calling for divestment from Israel in protest of Israel's counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Graham later removed his name from the petition.

In a morning prayers address at Memorial Church last fall, University President Lawrence H. Summers described the petition and other calls for the University to divest from Israel as anti-Semitic "in their effect if not in their intent."

Staff writer Wendy D. Widman can be reached at widman@fas.harvard.edu.

 

ENDOWING DENIAL

Endowing denial
By Andrew G. Bostom
FrontPageMagazine.com
May 13, 2003

The Harvard Divinity School may return a $2.5 million donation from the United Arab Emirates ruler, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, earmarked to fund a Professorship in Islamic Studies. Why? As reported by Boston Globe reporter Jenna Russell, the benevolent Sheikh openly espouses a virulent Judenhass. Moreover, his Zayed Center funds lectureships for noble, learned figures like perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, who opines on international Jewish conspiracies, Roger Garaudy, an "expert" Holocaust denier, Umayma Jalahma, a Saudi blood libel "scholar", esteemed for her authoritative claim that Purim pastries contain Gentile blood, and Thierry Massan, author of a runaway bestseller in France maintaining that the U.S. government orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Globe report, however, completely missed a less sensational, but equally insidious thread related to this story: the attempt by the Zayed Center to negate and re-write the millennial history of brutal oppression of Mizrachi (Oriental) Jews under Arab Muslim rule. A June 2002 report in the Gulf News, highlighted the "findings" from a symposium sponsored by the Zayed Center, entitled ' The Jews in The Arab World '. The Goebbel's- like summary communique included such frank howlers as:

"... [the Oriental Jews'] situation in the Arab countries throughout the history of the Arab Islamic civilization...rendered an exemplary model of tolerance, understanding, peaceful living, religious and sectarian freedom, in addition to preservation of the rights to privacy..."

"... [the present] peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Jews in Arab Muslim countries, where Jews are treated equally and enjoy their fundamental rights and freedom, which they cannot under Israeli regimes... Arab Jews have always been denied their fundamental rights and freedom under Israeli regimes..."

Even more disturbing was the openly proclaimed agenda, based upon this obscene historical negationism:

"The participants also called upon Arab research centers to conduct studies and research focusing on the fact that the Jews have never enjoyed freedom and good treatment such as that provided under the Arab Islamic rule."

Primary source documents compiled by a serious, objective Middle East Studies scholar, Dr. Tudor Parfitt (a Gentile), characterize the plight (which had persisted for over a millennium) of 300,000 Moroccan Jews, until Morocco became a French Protectorate in 1912. Only then, in the early 20th century, was the discriminatory treatment of Jews under the Shari'a (Islamic Holy Law) abrogated by direct French control. Jews throughout North Africa, as well as in Yemen and Palestine, shared a similarly bleak fate under the Shari'a.

Professor Parfitt's essay, "Dhimma Versus Protection in Nineteenth Century Morocco", [Pp. 142-166, In: "Israel and Ishmael: Studies in Muslim Jewish Relations", edited by Tudor Parfitt, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000] contains a written appeal from the President and Vice President of the Anglo-Jewish Association in February, 1888 to Lord Salisbury, elucidating the horrific persecution of the Jews of Morocco. Their basic desire was abolition of the dhimma imposed on their Moroccan co-religionists. This pact (dhimma) by which Jews (and other non-Muslims) conquered by jihad wars were afforded their lives and some limited autonomy, in exchange for payment of the blood ransom poll tax (jizya), also entailed a host of discriminatory and humiliating regulations. These regulations created longstanding, serious disabilities for Moroccan Jews, twenty-seven examples of which were enumerated in this 1888 appeal:

Jews are compelled to live in the ghetto.

Jews are not allowed to ride outside the ghetto.

On leaving the ghetto, they are compelled to remove their footwear and remove their head covering. They are not allowed to use a walking stick although the old and sick are permitted to use a reed.

Moors frequently amuse themselves by throwing live coals, broken glass, old tinware and such things in thoroughfares traversed by Jews and enjoy the fun of seeing the latter smart under the burn or wound inflicted on their bare feet.

Jews are not permitted to build their houses above a certain height.

Jews are debarred from having stores or shops in the Muslim quarter.

The Jew is bound to pass the Moor on the left side and if he fails so to do he must retrace his steps.

Jews are forced to buy damaged Government property such as grain, or over-stocked provisions or poor items, at the normal price of undamaged goods.

Jews with their wives and daughters are compelled to undertake work for any Government official at all times (even on the Sabbath and on sacred festivals) and to receive payment far below the market rate of wages.

They are compelled to undertake work such as a Moor would consider degrading, e.g., the cleaning of sewers, carrying away carcasses of dead animals from Government stables etc. When the head of rebels or of criminals are sent to a town to be exposed at the town gate the Jews are made to salt them before they are exhibited.

Jews pay capitation tax to be exempt from military service but in paying this 'they submit to the humiliation of receiving a slap on the head.'

Jewish purveyors (butchers, grocers, bakers etc.) are bound to supply gratis all the requirements of various functionaries, otherwise their trade is cut off.

A Jew cannot appoint a Jewish attorney to plead before the Kadi against a Moor. Thus he must either conduct his case in person, or must appoint a Moorish Attorney, or suffer his case to pass undefended.

Jews are barred from the liberal professions.

Jews are disqualified from public office.

Jews are required to wear a special costume consisting of a black skull cap and black shoes.

Jews are not allowed to use public baths and 'are even denied the use of baths in the ghetto.'

Jews 'are not allowed to drink from the public fountains in the Moorish quarter nor to take water therefrom' as the Jews are considered unclean.

Jews are obligated to give gifts to public functionaries on special occasions births, marriages and deaths as well as on Jewish festivals.

Jews are not allowed to carry arms.

Jewish life is compensated for by the payment of 40: there is no other punishment of the murderer. Of this sum the authorities deduct a substantial proportion.

Jewish evidence is not heard.

A Muslim can always denounce a Jew, 'a thousand Jews' will fail to indict a Muslim.

'A Jew condemned to imprisonment or flogging has to pay the fees of all officials engaged in his punishment.' If he is without funds he stays in prison until such time as they are paid.

Jews are denied access to common quarters in the prisons.

If a Jew is suspected of immoral intercourse with a Moorish woman (though she be a prostitute) he is liable to imprisonment for an indefinite period. 'If he confesses, death is his punishment.'

If a Moor chose to assert that a Jew has abjured his faith he is compelled to become a Muslim 'and should he afterwards attempt to conform to the Jewish ritual, he would be liable to be stoned or burned to death.'

Well-healed, oil-money supported, pseudo-academic "think tanks", such as the Zayed Foundation, should not be allowed to promote their warped historiography, which negates the suffering of Oriental Jews, in Islamic Studies and/or Middle East Studies programs. Under the Shari'a in Morocco, into the early 20th century, the murder of a Jew by a Muslim could be "compensated" for by the payment of 40 . At the beginning of the 21st century, in a free and decent society like the United States, we must make clear to our academic institutions that no donation, whatever its sum, will permit the suppression of this sad, brutal historical legacy.

 

THANKS BUT NO THANKS

Harvard to Sheik: Thanks but no thanks
Weighs returning $2.5m gift from UAE President
By Julia Levy
The New York Sun
May 14, 2003

Harvard Divinity School is considering the return of a $2.5 million gift from the president of the United Arab Emirates, after students raised concerns about the leader's link to a virulently anti-American, anti-Semitic think tank.

The UAE president, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, wrote Harvard a check about three years ago to endow a chair in his name for "Islamic Religious Studies."

But in March, a 23-year-old theology student from Tennessee, Rachel Fish, presented 70 pages of evidence to the divinity school's dean, William Graham, showing that Mr. Zayed might also support the controversial Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up in Abu-Dhabi.

Harvard claims it was already looking into the matter before Ms. Fish complained, but since then, it has postponed its professor search and hired an independent researcher to investigate.

Mr. Graham said the school takes the issue "extremely seriously." But he said Harvard isn't sure whether Mr. Zayed has links to the Zayed Center, which the dean called "repugnant and indefensible."

The center's Web site claims it was "established in fulfillment of the vision of His Highness Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."

A spokesman for the UAE embassy in Washington refused to comment.

Despite uncertainties surrounding the nature of the connection between Mr. Zayed and the Zayed Center, experts said it seems like there is a pretty clear link.

"Nothing gets done in the United Arab Emirates that doesn't have the okay of the government," the director of the Middle East studies program at the University of Vermont, Gregory Gause, said. "You can't infer that everything they do represents his point of view, but it was established under his patronage."

Mr. Gause said he has visited many think tanks in the UAE, and he said the Zayed Center "is more willing to give a platform to very anti-American beliefs."

In the past few years, the center has hosted a wide range of anti-Western, anti-Semitic speakers.

One speaker was Umayma Jalahma, who wrote a two-part series in a Riyadh newspaper claiming that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish babies to prepare Passover Hamantaschen.

Another was Therry Meyssan, the French writer who wrote "The Appalling Fraud" about how the American military was responsible for orchestrating the September 11 attacks.

On September 11, 2001, it hosted Mohammed Ahmad Hussain of Cairo University, who said Jews invented the Holocaust as part of a "long term orchestrated campaign aiming at the perpetuation of the 'persecution' of the Jews or what they call the Holocaust."

The director of the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League, Robert Leikind, called the center a "clearing house for some of the worst forms of incitement and anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism."

He said Harvard should return the money unless Mr. Zayed has renounced all connections between himself and the center.

Ms.Fish called the Web site's content "shocking," and had a similar reaction to Mr. Leikind's.

"The divinity school prides itself on being a pluralistic and tolerant community," she said. "You shouldn't accept funds from an organization that is exactly the opposite."

A divinity school spokeswoman, Wendy McDowell, said Mr. Graham would decide
whether it would return the money before fall, when the school is scheduled to start using the funds.

 

FACT SHEET

Fact Sheet: UAE Ruler Sheikh Zayed and Harvard Divinity School

1971 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan becomes the president of the U.A.E. and rules uninterrupted until the present (no elections for president have ever been held).

1980 present Amnesty International criticizes the U.A.E. for lack of elections, corporal punishment of political prisoners, and trafficking in Bangladeshi child slaves for camel races.

January, 1998 Sheikh Zayed's wife donates $50,000 to prominent Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

September, 1999 The Arab League approves the establishment of the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up, described on its website "as the fulfillment of the vision of Sheikh Zayed."Fact Sheet: UAE Ruler Sheikh Zayed and Harvard Divinity School

1971 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan becomes the president of the U.A.E. and rules uninterrupted until the present (no elections for president have ever been held).

1980-present Amnesty International criticizes the U.A.E. for lack of elections, corporal punishment of political prisoners, and trafficking in Bangladeshi child slaves for camel races.

January, 1998 Sheikh Zayed's wife donates $50,000 to prominent Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

September, 1999 The Arab League approves the establishment of the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up, described on its website "as the fulfillment of the vision of Sheikh Zayed."

July, 2000 Harvard Divinity School accepts $2.5 million endowment from Sheikh Zayed for the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahayan Professorship in Islamic Religious Studies. The agreement with Harvard University Divinity School for the Zayed professorship is signed "for His Highness, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."

September, 2000 Harvard University Gazette announces the gift, quotes Professor William Graham saying, "This endowment is a most welcome gift... we are delighted with this encouraging development."

April, 2002 Zayed Center hosts Theirry Meyssan, French author of The Appalling Fraud, which claims that the U.S. military staged the September 11 attacks. The Zayed Center translates Meyssan's book into Arabic, hails its publication, and widely advertises the book.

May, 2002 Professor William Graham, then interim dean of the Harvard Divinity School, signs petition calling on Harvard to divest from Israel.

June, 2002 Zayed Center hosts Lyndon LaRouche, prominent anti-Semite.

August, 2002 Anti-Defamation League expresses outrage over Zayed Center's panel on Holocaust denial. Los Angeles Times quotes Zayed Center Director saying "the truth is that the Jews are the enemies of all nations." Zayed Center report states "the Zionists are the people who killed the Jews in Europe."

September, 2002 William Graham becomes Dean of Harvard Divinity School.

March 19, 2003 Harvard students meet with Graham to express concern over Sheikh Zayed's gift. Graham promises to research the issue and get back to the students within four to six weeks.

April, 2003 Zayed Center hosts Saudi Professor Umayma Jalahma, who declares "the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare for holiday pastries."

July, 2000 Harvard Divinity School accepts $2.5 million endowment from Sheikh Zayed for the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahayan Professorship in Islamic Religious Studies. The agreement with Harvard University Divinity School for the Zayed professorship is signed "for His Highness, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."

September, 2000 Harvard University Gazette announces the gift, quotes Professor William Graham saying, "This endowment is a most welcome gift ... we are delighted with this encouraging development."

April, 2002 Zayed Center hosts Theirry Meyssan, French author of The Appalling Fraud, which claims that the U.S. military staged the September 11 attacks. The Zayed Center translates Meyssan's book into Arabic, hails its publication, and widely advertises the book.

May, 2002 Professor William Graham, then interim dean of the Harvard Divinity School, signs petition calling on Harvard to divest from Israel.

June, 2002 Zayed Center hosts Lyndon LaRouche, prominent anti-Semite.

August, 2002 Anti-Defamation League expresses outrage over Zayed Center's panel on Holocaust denial. Los Angeles Times quotes Zayed Center Director saying "the truth is that the Jews are the enemies of all nations." Zayed Center report states "the Zionists are the people who killed the Jews in Europe."

September, 2002 William Graham becomes Dean of Harvard Divinity School.

March 19, 2003 Harvard students meet with Graham to express concern over Sheikh Zayed's gift. Graham promises to research the issue and get back to the students within four to six weeks.

April, 2003 Zayed Center hosts Saudi Professor Umayma Jalahma, who declares "the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare for holiday pastries."


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.