• Georgetown University
    Georgetown University
  • Anti-Israel
    Muslim Brotherhood / Affiliates
    Muslim Brotherhood / Affiliates
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Despite building a reputation as an award-winning academic, author and consultant, Prof. Esposito has similarly been identified as one of the most outspoken defenders of radical Islamist ideology in America, using his academic standing “to defend radical Islam and promote its ideology – including defending terrorist organizations and those who support them, advocating for Islamist regimes, praising radical Islamists and their apologists, and downplaying the threat of Islamist violence and involvement with Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in the U.S.” This was highlighted by Esposito’s active involvement with Muslim Brotherhood front-groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), both of which were cited in court evidence detailing a Hamas support operation in the U.S.[1]

Esposito has called for the release of Sami al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor who pled guilty to conspiring to aid the Islamist terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In his letter, he referred to al-Arian as “a proud and committed American and Palestinian professor and activist.”[2]

In 2005, Saudi prince Awaleed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood, donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, headed by Prof. Esposito. In 2014, Esposito was one of 6 directors of Middle East Studies at U.S. universities who signed a public letter pledging not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions.[3] Esposito has also served with Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress.[4]

[1] IPT News. (Sept. 30, 2009). John Esposito: Reputation v. Reality. Investigative Project on Terrorism. Retrieved from http://www.investigativeproject.org/1443/john-esposito-reputation-vs-reality#

[2] Esposito, J., Voll, J. (April 2007). Sami al-Arian and the American Justice System. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Retrieved from https://archive.is/LaL1N

[3] Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch. (Sept. 8, 2014).  John Esposito Signs Letter Pledging Not To Collaborate With Israeli Academics; Georgetown Professor Has Long History Of Ties To Saudia Arabia And Muslim Brotherhood. Retrieved from https://www.globalmbwatch.com/2014/09/08/john-esposito-signs-letter-pledging-collaborate-israel-academics-georgetown-professor-long-history-ties-saudia-arabia-muslim-brotherhood/

[4] Cultural Jihad. (Sept. 29, 2014). Georgetown Professors to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Retrieved from https://culturaljihad.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/georgetown-professors-to-boycott-israeli-academic-institutions/

Associated Organizations:

Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS); Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); United Association for Studies and Research (UASR); Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (founding director); American Academy of Religion (past president); Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).

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Departmental Contact

Joel S. Hellman, Dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service

Contact email


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