23 November 09
More than two years ago, my colleague Dexter Van Zile blogged here:
If Ahmadinejad is an intellectually dishonest and cruel tyrant who oppresses his people, denies the Holocaust, intimidates scholars and intellectuals and is intent on destroying Israel, as [Columbia University President] Lee Bollinger says he is, then why give the man a podium at Columbia University?
The $100,000 question. Literally. Today the answer presents itself via the New York Post , which reports:
Anti-Israel, pro-Iran university professors are being funded by a shadowy multimillion-dollar Islamic charity based in Manhattan that the feds charge is an illegal front for the repressive Iranian regime. . . .
Federal law-enforcement authorities are in the midst of seizing up to $650 million in assets from the Alavi Foundation, which they charge funnels money to Iran-supported Islamic schools in the United States and to a syndicate of Iranian spies based in Europe.
In one of the biggest handouts, the controversial charity donated $100,000 to Columbia University after the Ivy League school agreed to host Iranian leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to the foundation's 2007 tax filings obtained by The Post.
Rutgers professor Hooshang Amirahmadi, former head of the school's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and president of the American-Iranian Council, a nonprofit advocacy group, unabashedly has touted Hezbollah and Hamas as legitimate organizations and not terrorists.
Between 2005 and 2007, the Alavi Foundation donated $351,600 to the Rutgers Persian language program, a spokesman for the school acknowledged. The university would not comment further.
Besides funding Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia, the Justic Department accuses the Alavi Foundation of funneling money to Iran's nuclear program, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
Related: Bought and Paid