AUSTRALIA: Top university 'begged' for Saudi funding

A prominent Australian university practically begged the Saudi Arabian embassy to bankroll its Islamic campus for AU$1.3 million (US$1.2 million), even telling the ambassador it could keep secret elements of the controversial deal, The Australian reveals. Documents obtained by the newspaper reveal that Griffith University, described by vice-chancellor Ian O'Connor as the "university of choice" for Saudis, offered the embassy an opportunity to reshape the Griffith Islamic Research Unit during its campaign to get some "extra noughts" added to Saudi cheques.

The revelation comes despite a claim last year by Ross Homel - then director of Griffith's key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, which manages the Islamic unit - that the university did not chase money from the embassy and that the $100,000 down payment was offered with "no strings" attached. While the Brisbane university says its centre is designed to promote moderate Islam, the Saudi Government espouses a hard-line version of the faith, policed at home by the Mutaween, the country's religious police notorious for enforcing strict Muslim laws.
Full report on the site