Sunday, June 7, 2020
Home Opinions Money Talks and Walks - Even in the Virtual World of Twitter

Money Talks and Walks – Even in the Virtual World of Twitter

Also Read

His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is a member of the Saudi royal family. He is a “nephew of the late Saudi King Abdullah, a grandson of Ibn Saud, the first Saudi king, and a grandson of Riad Al Solh, Lebanon’s first Prime Minister”. In 2015, Forbes Middle East released the names of the 100 richest Arab personalities in the world, which was topped by Alwaleed Bin Talal. To say he is an influential person would be an understatement.

In 2006, Alwaleed Bin Talal gifted $20 million each to Harvard University and Georgetown University (the $20 million grant to Georgetown University was the second-largest ever in the Jesuit-run university’s existence). Harvard University used the money to start an Islamic Studies Program. Shakeel Khan, is one of the “Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal” Fellows and his area of specialization is “Islamization in North India” and “the role of Sufism in facilitating this process.” Among the “core faculty” at the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program is Nicholas Burns, at present at The Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, Kennedy School of Government. Burns was the 19th Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, during 2005-2008.

Of greater interest is another faculty members of the Islamic Studies Program – Diana Eck. She is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies; Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; but her greater claim to fame may well be as the linchpin of the lynch mob that got Dr Subramanian Swamy’s course cancelled at Harvard University in 2011. The proposal to exclude Dr. Swamy’s course was forwarded by Eck. She had this to say at the time – “Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line by demonizing an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places“. Diana Eck received support for her amendment from Sugata Bose, faculty at Harvard University and currently a member of Parliament in India. Diana Eck, in case you are wondering, also wrote the book, “India: A Sacred Geography“, that was a magnificent exercise in dissembling on Ayodhya and Dwarka. I wrote a lengthy review where I pointed out gaps, flaws, and omissions that pointed to glaring lapses in scholarship, or worse. (In passing, it may also be pertinent to mention that it was Dr. Swamy’s fast-unto-death in 1987 that had yielded the government into ordering an inquiry into the killing of about forty Muslims of Hashimpura, Meerut on 22 May 1987 by the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) – ponder the irony of Eck charging Dr. Swamy with being hateful of Muslims)

Returning to Alwaleed Bin Talal, HRH, in 2001 – a month after the Sep 11 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City that killed more than two thousand people –  donated $10 million to the Twin Towers Fund after the Sep 11 attacks in New York City. The donation was accompanied by a statement that called upon the United States to “re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause. … While the U.N. passed clear resolutions numbered 242 and 338 calling for the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip decades ago, our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek” [bold-emphasis mine]

The then-mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani returned the check, saying, “I entirely reject that statement.

In 2002, Alwaleed Bin Talal gave $500,000 to CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.), often linked to and described as a front organization for the Muslim Brotherhood, a Hamas-linked terror group. Egypt-born journalist and author Tawfik Hamid described CAIR as “perhaps the most conspicuous organization to persistently accuse opponents of Islamophobia”. He criticised the way the organisation uses the “charge of ‘Islamophobia’ as a tool to intimidate and blackmail those … who rightly criticize current Islamic practices and preachings”. As recently as December 2015, CAIR suggested that the US itself was to blame for the terrorist mass-shootings by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik in San Bernardino, California, that left fourteen people dead and more than twenty injured. This is what CAIR had to say – “Let’s not forget that some of our own foreign policy, as Americans, as the West, have fueled that extremism“. In 2014, the UAE had designated CAIR a terrorist group.

Even more disturbing is the trial in what has become known as the “Muslim Mafia” case.

In 2009, WND books published a book titled, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America“. The book was the result of a half-year long undercover investigation into CAIR that allegedly revealed the group’s ties to terror organizations. CAIR in turn, the same year, sued Dave Gaubatz, a former highly decorated counter-terrorism specialist. Gaubatz trained people, including his son, to go deep inside CAIR, and which resulted in the book. After a lengthy discovery process, the case was ready to go to trial. This is something CAIR wanted to avoid, since it would put into the public domain many of the thousands of pages of documents that formed part of the discovery. It therefore filed motion to reopen discovery. This motion was denied by Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in December 2015 .

The same year, Alwaleed Bin Talal gave $27 millionto a Saudi telethon raising money for the Committee for the Support of the al-Quds Intifada, a Saudi “charity”

Moving on, Alwaleed Bin Talal was also the largest stakeholder in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp outside the Murdoch family (by 2010 he owned about 7 percent of News Corp; he sold most of his stake in 2015). One of News Corp’s properties was the conservative (Christian right-wing) news channel Fox News. What did this investment in Fox News, of all channels, yield? 2005 saw Paris rocked by the worst street violence since 1968. The New York Times has this to say about the riots – “a majority of the youths committing the acts are Muslim, and of African or North African origin“. Even though it was argued that there were no religious overtones to the rioting, “France’s most influential Islamic group issued a religious edict, or fatwa, condemning the violence.

At the time of the riots, Fox News, like many other news channels, had also been covering these riots. Its screen had been carrying a ticker that read – “Muslim riots in Paris.

Alwaleed Bin Talal got into the act. He telephoned Rupert Murdoch. Read how Alwaleed described that phone call: “I picked up the phone and called Murdoch …I said that I was speaking not as a shareholder, but as a viewer of Fox. I said that these are not Muslim riots, they are riots

The result was the Fox News crawl changed from “Muslim Riots in Paris” across the bottom of the screen to “civil riots

Let’s return to 2002 one last time. Alwaleed Bin Talal’s diverse investments can perhaps best be explained by the man himself. He had said – “We have to be logical and understand that the U.S. administration is subject to U.S. public opinion. We are not so active in this sphere [public opinion]. And to bring the decision-maker on your side, you not only have to be active inside the U.S. Congress or the administration but also inside U.S. society.

Let me start the conclusion of this post by talking about a certain person named Raheel Khursheed. He is “Head – News, Politics, Govt @TwitterIndia”. Before his appointment at Twitter, Khursheed was a journalist-turned-activist. Even when he was appointed, there were objections raised over this 30 year old journalist suddenly landing such a post, given his leanings. Some of his views (which have now been deleted, credit: IndiaFactslink)

 

 

 

More recently, Raheel was in the news for condoning – if not outright indulging in- the mocking and online trolling of a teenager, Jahanvi Behal. There is a post describing the controversy by Rupa Subramanya, and I reproduce some of her post here:

he sent out a couple of tweets which appeared to poke fun at Jhanvi Behal, a 15-year-old young woman who’s in the news for challenging the views of a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student activist Kanhiya Kumar on the allegations of seditious behaviour by JNU students. Ms Behal was reported in the news to be challenging Mr Kumar to a public debate on the topic. … Unfortunately, rather than encouraging Ms Behal, Mr Khursheed appeared to mock her instead, sending out the following tweet which he subsequently deleted. … In fact, what we heard from Mr Khursheed in the immediate aftermath are snarky retweets which appear to make light of the incident. Subsequently, as previously noted he replied to a query today suggesting that his deleted tweet was misconstrued.

The post also has screenshots of tweets; some tweets were later deleted by Raheel.

It begged the obvious question – how was Twitter allowing such a person to continue in a prominent position as his, despite a record of behavior that would have invited strict measures in the United States, where there is much less tolerance for misogyny and religious bigotry as exhibited by Raheel.

The story begins to come full circle when you find out that Alwaleed Bin Talal was an investor in the Series G funding of Twitter, in 2011. He invested approximately $300 million. In 2015, Alwaleed Bin Talal upped his investment; he and his investment company (Kingdom Holding Company) now own more than 5% of Twitter. (linklinklink)

Jack Dorsey – co-founder and currently CEO of Twitter – on the other hand, owns a little over 2% of Twitter.

If you have been reading this post this far, I’m sure you would have started to connect the dots

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Trending now

A South African anti-racism campaign, the inexplicable presence of Congress leader Anand Sharma and how Indian interests may be compromised

7 out of 8 of those panelists belonged to South Africa, however, there was one name that did not add up - Anand Sharma, Congress leader.

This is not the first time Arvind Kejriwal has said he doesn’t watch Rahul Kanwal’s shows, here is an incident from 2014

Arvind Kejrowal rejects the claim of India Today journalist Rahul Kanwal that he watched his program on Delhi hospitals

A tale of 2 contradictory orders: How Arvind Kejriwal govt made the Coronavirus fight impossible for doctors at Ganga Ram Hospital

Reportedly, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital would test 150-170 Coronavirus samples and conduct 30-40 surgeries per day, prior to the government order.

Celebrities have commercialised dissent in India, they say ‘BlackLivesMatter’ while endorsing racist fairness creams: Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut slams celebrities for speaking on 'Black Lives Matter' while staying silent on incidents like Palghar lynching

No, Jyotiraditya Scindia has not ‘removed BJP’ from his Twitter bio: Here is the truth

Media claimed that Jyotiraditya Scindia, the former Congress leader who is now with the BJP, had removed his association with the BJP from his Twitter bio.

How AltNews ‘fact-checked’ the pregnant elephant story to shield Muslim suspects, quietly changed copy but continued to peddle agenda

AltNews tried to 'fact-check' the brutal incident that resulted in the death of an elephant in Kerala with the aim to shield the Muslim suspects

Recently Popular

Himachal Pradesh: After Kerala pregnant elephant death case, video of a pregnant cow injured due to cracker explosion in mouth surfaces online

In the video shared online, it can be seen that the mouth of the pregnant cow has been injured very badly with a lot of blood oozing out of her mouth

US filmmaker says former Pakistan minister Rehman Malik raped her, former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani manhandled her: Watch

Cynthia D. Ritchie said that sexual assault against her by Senator Rehman Malik had happened occurred at Interior Minister's residence in 2011

Woman ‘protestor’ poops on an overturned police car in middle of riots in America. Watch the video (or maybe not)

A woman was seen defecating on a damaged police car in USA, an act video recorded and photographed by onlookers

After trying to rope in 2nd, 3rd-year MBBS students to manage Coronavirus patients, Maharashtra govt to punish medical interns if they get coronavirus

Medical interns in Maharashtra will be liable to repeat the internship for the quarantine period if they are infected with Coronavirus

FIR registered in Delhi against journalist Vinod Dua for spreading fake news and creating public nuisance: Read the details

FIR registered by Delhi police against Vinod Dua on the complaint of Delhi BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar for reporting fake news

“Your mother was Hindu, how can we trust you?” Read shocking revelations by the niece of Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Nawazuddin Siddiqui and his family refused to believe the niece's allegations stating that they cannot trust the daughter of a Hindu.

Shekhar Gupta peddles anti-Brahmin narrative accusing Brahmins of enjoying imaginary privileges

If 'Brahmin Bashing' was ever a sport, perhaps the 'liberal-secular' Shekhar Gupta and his ilks in the media would have won a medal

FIR registered against Ekta Kapoor and others on charges of hurting religious sentiments and insulting army personnel in erotic web series XXX

The complainant Neeraj Yagnik said that he registered a complaint after he noted that there has been objectionable use of national emblem and army uniform in the web series.

Netizens flag inflammatory posts inciting violence by a man named Afsaar Bhai, demand intervention from UP CM Yogi Adityanath and UP Police

Citing chaotic protests in the US, the man incited violence by calling for a fresh wave of violent protests, more gory than the previous ones

NIA arrests key terror-funding plotter Abdul Jabbar Sheikh in 2019 Vishakhapatnam espionage case from Mumbai

Abdul Rehman Abdul Jabbar Sheikh is the 15th person to be arrested in the Vishakhapatnam Indian Navy espionage case

‘American filmmaker Cynthia Ritchie told me that Pakistan PM Imran Khan wanted to have sex with her’: Pakistani TV host

Cynthia alleged that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is spreading fake news against her and called Ali Saleem a nice guy but misguided

13-year-old Madurai girl convinces her hairdresser father to donate entire savings to help the needy during Coronavirus lockdown

Despite harrowing experience of losing everything 7 years ago, Mohan distributed grocery and essential items to the poor during lockdown

Delhi Government files FIR against Medical Superintendent of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for allegedly flouting ICMR directives on Coronavirus testing

Delhi govt files FIR against Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for allegedly not using RT PCR app while collecting Coronavirus samples as per ICMR norms

Bangladesh: Rohingya refugee camp area in Cox’s Bazar declared red zone after Coronavirus cases rise sharply

Rohingiya refugee camp area in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, placed under strict lockdown after rapid rise in Wuhan coronavirus infections

BJP leader Nandini Sharma shares video showing dead bodies lying unattended in Delhi hospital alongside patients undergoing treatment

A video shared on social media shows Coronavirus patients being treated next to unattended death bodies of Coronavirus victims

Twitter temporarily deactivates official Amul account after Amul posted a topical asking to boycott Chinese products

Amul said that their Twitter account was deactivated without informing them after they posted a topical on boycotting Chinese products

Connect with us

229,871FansLike
364,950FollowersFollow
246,000SubscribersSubscribe