Saudis on Tertiary Mission or Money-Jihad & Infiltration?
Verity Edwards/The Australian. With thanks to Winds of Jihad reader Gabrielle
THE Saudi Arabian Government has turned to Australia to help educate its tertiary students following difficulties gaining visas for study in the US and Britain.
And the Saudis will target the nation’s universities with a $2.7billion scholarship fund.
Saudi Arabian Higher Education Minister Hussein al-Alawi will spend the next week assessing the suitability of Australian universities for Middle Eastern students, traveling to Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide accompanied by education representatives from Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
“Historically, we used to direct our attention to the West mainly, and now I think it’s a proper time to direct our attention to the east and southeast,” Professor Alawi said. “Our main interest now is to diversify our international and cultural links with different countries.”
* Why? Isn’t the Koran enough for their education?
Professor Alawi said new barriers – established in some countries following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – made it “very difficult in getting entry visas to some countries”.
“Meanwhile, we were witnessing more flexibility from the Australian Government,” he said.
* One would hope that the Australian Government is not too ‘flexible’
Education Adelaide – which represents Adelaide University, Flinders University, the University of South Australia, Carnegie Mellon and TAFE institutions – is leading the Adelaide leg of the fact-finding mission.
Chief executive Denise von Wald said the delegation was keen to send more students to Australia.
“They understand their relationship with the US and UK is challenging,” Ms von Wald said. “For example, it’s incredibly difficult for Saudi students to get into the US.”
* Yes, Mrs. von Wald. There is a reason for that.
Australia is the third-most popular education destination for Middle Eastern students, and Ms von Wald said the nation’s universities were perceived as “quite supportive” and providing a more tolerant environment.
“They want a secure environment for their students, they want their students who are Muslim to continue to live Muslim lives and they can do that in Adelaide,” Ms von Wald said.
“We have a reputation for being very tolerant and we have good levels of support” for students from overseas, she said.
* Indeed. We are tolerant. But THEY are not...