Rupert Murdoch with Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. We wonder if the prince knows Murdoch has a Jewish mother? Jews are not allowed to set foot in Saudi Arabia.
This is an abbreviated version of the story, with the political correctness edited out: The opponents of the proposed Cordoba Initiative Islamic center planned for Lower Manhattan say its principal planner, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is connected to terrorism. "The imam has been tied to some shady characters," Fox Business Channel's Eric Bolling recently said, "so should we worry that terror dollars could be funding the project?" Blogger Pamela Geller, a leader of those who denounce the mosque, has noted Rauf's involvement with a Malaysian peace group that funded the group that organized the Gaza flotilla under the headline, "Ground Zero Imam Rauf's 'Charity' Funded Genocide Mission."
On the"Daily Show," Jon Stewart tied Fox News to al-Qaida by connecting Fox News parent News Corp's second-largest shareholder, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, to the Carlyle Group, which has done business with the bin Laden family, "one of whose sons — obviously I'm not going to say which one — may be anti-American." But Stewart didn't need to take all those steps to make the connection: Al-Waleed has directly funded Rauf's projects to the tune of more than $300,000. If Fox newscasters can suggest "terror dollars" are sluicing into the Islamic center's coffers via "shady characters," then are Al-Waleed, and News Corp. leader Rupert Murdoch, by the same logic, also terror stooges?
Indeed, as none other than Rupert Murdoch's New York Post reported last May, the Kingdom Foundation, al-Waleed's personal charity, has donated a total of $305,000 to Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a leadership and networking project sponsored jointly by two of Rauf's organizations, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative. Al-Waleed owns a 7 percent, $2.3 billion stake in News Corporation. Likewise, News Corporation owns a 9 percent, $70 million stake — purchased in February — in Rotana, Al-Waleed's Saudi media conglomerate. Put another way: Rupert Murdoch and Fox News are in business, to the tune of billions of dollars, with one of the "Terror Mosque Imam's" principal patrons.
As Geller notes on her blog, Al-Waleed donated $500,000 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations — which has been repeatedly denounced on Fox News's air by Geller and others as a terror group — in 2002. Indeed, Rauf's "numerous ties to CAIR" alone have been cited by the mosque's opponents as a justification for imputing terrorist sympathies to him, yet few people seem to be asking whether Murdoch's extensive multi-billion business collaboration with the man who funds both Rauf and CAIR merits investigation or concern.
Other beneficiaries of Al-Waleed's largess include the Islamic Development Bank, a project designed to "foster the economic development and social progress of [Muslims] in accordance with the principles of Shari'ah." The IDB funds the construction of mosques around the world, and has been implicated by frequent Fox News guest Stephen Schwartz in an attempt to spread radical Wahhabism (a fundamentalist branch of Islam) throughout the United States.
Fox News had no comment. An email to Al-Waleed's Kingdom Holdings was not returned.