Editor's Note: This article was originally published by RealClearWire on November 7, 2022, and is crossposted here with permission.
Eleven Middle East Studies Centers at American universities funded by the U.S. are pushing overtly anti-West ideologies, according to a new report.
While there are more than 50 Middle East Studies Centers at American universities, training students in the culture and languages of the region, 11 are designated National Resource Centers, which provides federal funds.
According to a new report by the National Association of Scholars, the 11 centers each get $260,000 in Title VI funding through the Department of Education to the tune of $2.9 million a year.
They are at Columbia University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Indiana University, New York University, University of Arizona, UCLA, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, UNC/Duke University partnership.
The report, Hijacked: The Capture of America’s Middle East Studies Centers, says the centers have veered from their purpose, now pushing overtly anti-West ideologies focusing on social issues such as Islamophobia and immigration at the university level, and even pushing critical race theory to K–12 educators.
This investigation by Neetu Arnold, National Association of Scholars senior research associate, was initiated as part of the organization’s continued effort to uncover foreign influence in American higher education.
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal she wrote, “My research found that National Resource Centers in the Middle East often back efforts that promote sympathy for illegal immigration and portray borders as inherently immoral.”
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Robert King called out a Duke University-UNC partnership for using its program to “advance narrow, particularized views of American social issues rather than focusing on language development or the geography, geopolitical issues or history of the Middle East,” the original purpose of the centers, Inside Higher Education reported.
Yale University courses are frequently rife with progressive dogmas, such as “Islam Today: Jihad and Fundamentalism,” which attempts to reframe the most dangerous aspects of Islam as a “reactive force to Western colonialism,” according to the report.
“By only presenting students with books that advance a pro-immigration agenda, educators sidestep meaningful debate on the issue and bias students toward their own progressive views,” Arnold wrote in the report. “The bias of these centers has been documented for years. It’s time for taxpayers to be taken off the hook for these activist centers.”