Why would the center of illiberalism, religious fanaticism, and misogyny ever sponsor the center of liberalism, secularism, and gender equality?
This is the question that crops up when one considers the largesse that human-rights-abusing Saudi Arabia bestows on the leading universities — those putative bastions of progressive, free thinking — in the United States.
According to a recent report in the Daily Caller:
“… elite U.S. universities took more than half a billion dollars from the country [Saudi Arabia] and its affiliates between 2011 and 2017. Saudi Arabian interests paid $614 million to U.S. universities over a six-year period, more than every country but Qatar and the United Kingdom.”
What would cause Saudi Arabia, which represents much that is regressive and barbarous — from having elite units dedicated to apprehending witches and warlocks, to legitimizing paedophilia — to become a leading financial supporter of America’s liberal arts? Certainly, it is not because the Saudis are randomly lavish with their money and award gifts to all and sundry. Reports often criticize citizens of the kingdom for being “stingy” and not spending on causes that others consider worthy.