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RESOURCE: Qatari Involvement in the US Educational System

October 14th, 2020 06:03

A doc­u­ment authored by the US pro-Israeli Law­fare Project con­tains use­ful infor­ma­tion about Qatari involve­ment in the US edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem the role this involve­ment plays in fur­ther­ing the coun­try’s agen­da. The memo begins:

Jan­u­ary 27, 2020 This mem­o­ran­dum exam­ines the appli­ca­tion of the For­eign Agents Reg­is­tra­tion Act, 22 U.S.C. §§ 611–621 (“FARA”), to agents of the gov­ern­ment of Qatar, includ­ing, inter alia, Qatar Foun­da­tion Inter­na­tion­al, Duke Uni­ver­si­ty, the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na at Chapel Hill, North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, and pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary school teach­ers who have par­tic­i­pat­ed in teacher-train­ing pro­grams paid for and designed by Qatar. The Law­fare Project has been exam­in­ing the nature and extent of Qatar’s involve­ment in the Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion sys­tem and the influ­ence Qatar exerts through its fund­ing of pro­grams that amount to paid polit­i­cal speech that empha­size an under­stand­ing of only the pos­i­tive aspects of Islam while omit­ting a bal­anced dis­cus­sion of oth­er reli­gions or belief sys­tems. The lack of bal­ance of per­spec­tives that is cru­cial to a crit­i­cal under­stand­ing of the Mid­dle East is par­tic­u­lar­ly trou­bling because it is per­ceived as orig­i­nat­ing organ­i­cal­ly from Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties, rather than acknowl­edged to be the prod­uct of Qatar’s influ­ence. Our pre­lim­i­nary review of pub­licly avail­able doc­u­ments sug­gests that FARA applies to Qatar’s activ­i­ties, and requires that the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als ben­e­fit­ting from its fund­ing reg­is­ter as agents of Qatar. Sec­tion I of this mem­o­ran­dum pro­vides an overview of Qatar’s activ­i­ties and influ­ence on the Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion sys­tem. Sec­tion II exam­ines FARA. Sec­tion III presents the pre­lim­i­nary con­clu­sion that, based upon pub­licly avail­able infor­ma­tion, reg­is­tra­tion is required under FARA. Sec­tion IV address­es addi­tion­al con­sid­er­a­tions with respect to inves­ti­gat­ing the issues set forth herein.

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