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Yale Receives $10 Million Donation for Sharia Law Center
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Yale Law

Summary: Yale Law School will soon have its own Islamic law center after a wealthy Saudi donated $10 million to get the program running.

Yale Law School was given a $10 million donation by a billionaire Saudi banker to establish a Sharia law center. The Abdullah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization is named after its patron, CEO of the Dallah al Baraka Holding Company. He is valued at $20 billion and has given money to the law school before.


The organization is a large privately-held multinational conglomerate that was started by his father. Their aim is to bring experts in Islam and Islamic law (Sharia) to Yale to provide lectures, seminars, fellowships, and guest professorships. Kamel gave money to the school previously for a three-year lecture series in Islamic topics that has prepared the school for this recent donation.

Harvard Law School is actually the first to have its own Islamic Legal Studies Program. Their program began in the 90’s so this will finally be a chance for Yale to catch up in this area and they hope to surpass Harvard’s. Yale Law School dean Anthony Kronman said, “Every program that is established, every initiative at the Yale Law School is undertaken with the ambition to be the very best in the world.”

The timing of the donation, one day before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, was critical to show the changing attitude between the US and Middle East. Kamel had been investigated after the attacks for a connection with his company and al-Qaida but was cleared in 2005. His father’s name still remains on the “Golden Chain” document of alleged terror sponsors. At the time though, just about every Muslim was investigated for being a terrorist or involved somehow in the group.

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Several other universities have programs and endowed professorships funded by rich Saudis. It appears to be a trend that will continue growing in the future.




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