Â *Â This whole ridiculous Da’wa Centre at Griffith should be closed down instantly. How can anyone justify a proselytizingÂ nest of Wahabites in a respectable institution of higher learning? The whole idea is a sick joke!
GRIFFITH University vice-chancellor Ian O’Connor has admitted lifting information straight from online encyclopedia Wikipedia and confusing strands of Islam as he struggled to defend his institution’s decision to ask the repressive Saudi Arabian Government for funding.
Professor O’Connor also appears to have breached his own university’s standards on plagiarism as they apply to students’ academic work – a claim he denies. And he appears to have ignored his own past misgivings about Wikipedia and internet-based research.
In September, The Australian revealed that the Queensland university had accepted a grant of $100,000 from the Saudi Government. Last week, it was revealed that Griffith had asked the Saudi embassy in Australia for a $1.37million grant for its Islamic Research Unit, telling the ambassador that certain elements of the controversial deal could be kept a secret.
Griffith – described by Professor O’Connor as the “university of choice” for Saudis – also offered the embassy a chance to “discuss” ways in which the money could be used.
Professor O’Connor’s response to The Australian’s revelations, which was published as an opinion article in the newspaper on Thursday, contained whole passages of text “cut and pasted” from Wikipedia.
“The primary doctrine of Unitarianism is Tawhid, or the uniqueness and unity of God,” Professor O’Connor wrote. “Wahhab also preached against a perceived moral decline and political weakness in the Arabian peninsula and condemned idolatry, the popular cult of saints, and shrine and tomb visitation.”
The Wikipedia entry for Wahhabism reads: “The primary doctrine of Wahhabism is Tawhid, or the uniqueness and unity of God … He preached against a ‘perceived moral decline and political weakness’ in the Arabian peninsula and condemned idolatry, the popular cult of saints, and shrine and tomb visitation.”
Professor O’Connor, whose academic credentials are in social work and juvenile justice, appears to have substituted the word Unitarianism for Wahhabism.
He has admitted that the substitution, which came under fire from religious commentators, was not appropriate.