On January 27, Qatar Foundation International (QFI) sponsored a continuing-education event titled “Middle East 101” for public-school teachers in Phoenix, Ariz. It was hosted by the Arizona Department of Education — which is not surprising, given that QFI has donated over $450,000 to Arizona public schools (and over $30 million to public schools across the country). Unfortunately, while there was a good deal of interesting material, teachers also got a large helping of Islamist propaganda, designed to influence American schoolchildren and ultimately to advance Qatari foreign policy.
QFI program officer Craig Cangemi introduced QFI as an American member organization of the Qatar Foundation (QF), which he blandly described as “a private, education-focused foundation in Doha, Qatar.” In fact, QF is a massive apparatus directly managed by Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family, which conducts a tremendous range of state-development activities ranging from technology research to higher education. This includes “Education City,” a district in Doha that hosts Qatari branches of American universities, including Texas A&M, Northwestern, Georgetown, and others, which QF funds to the tune of more than $400 million annually. Georgetown alone received nearly $300 million in grants from QF between 2011 and 2016.
However, while the American universities are able to preserve some freedom of thought, other QF-backed schools in Doha enforce a rigid ideological program. QF schools and mosques often host the most virulently radical Islamist preachers, including one who referred to the 9/11 attacks as a “comedy film,” another who said that Jews bake Passover matzoh with human blood (“believing that this brings them close to their false god”), and a third who accused the Shia of “poisoning” and “sorcery.”
A featured lecturer of the QF-backed Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies was Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, currently a professor at the QF’s flagship Hamad bin Khalifa University. El-Shinqiti was once an imam at a West Texas mosque, where he openly encouraged young people to engage in terror attacks against Israel and Egypt. The dean of the QF’s College of Islamic Studies (CIS) is Emad al-Din Shahin, a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood whose prominence led Egypt’s military regime to sentence him to death in absentia. Other CIS faculty are connected to the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), the Muslim Brotherhood’s American think tank that is the nexus of a terror-finance network named the SAAR Network. These CIS faculty include Louay Safi, former IIIT executive director and research director, and Jasser Auda, also an IIIT lecturer. Other faculty seem closely aligned with the IIIT’s long-term goal of the “Islamization of knowledge,” including one professor working under Auda who has written about “Revelation as a source of engineering sciences.”
An American educator who worked at a QF educational institution in Doha told the Middle East Forum that faculty were not allowed to purchase maps showing the state of Israel, the entire territory of which was instead labeled “Palestine.” Even tangentially mentioning the existence of Israel or the Holocaust in class would provoke severe reprisals from the Qatari Ministry of Education. The official government policy was “Israel doesn’t exist.”
QF is a committed supporter of Islamist extremism, particularly at its Al-Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal — named in honor of Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who chaired the committee that established the Center’s faculty. (Al-Qaradawi has repeatedly endorsed suicide bombings, terrorist attacks against the United States, and the total extermination of the Jews. He is barred from entering the U.S. because of terrorism concerns.) And in 2012, QF hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (who was just designated as a terrorist by the federal government) and gave him a “victory shield” featuring the Dome of the Rock.
Meanwhile, during the “Middle East 101” event, Cangemi insisted that QFI (the American branch of QF) sets its own policies, saying, “We are an autonomous organization. . . . We do not have any ties with Qatar: the government, the state, or really [the] Qatar Foundation.” This is patently false. The CEO and nominal founder of QFI is Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani, the daughter of Qatar’s former emir. The chairman of the board of QFI is Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani, another member of the royal family. As of 2012 (the most recent year for which public records are available), the treasurer of QFI was Khalid Al Kuwari, a senior Qatari government official and a scion of the powerful Al-Kuwari clan. QFI is in fact a key instrument of Qatari state policy.
Evidence of this is found in the teaching materials that Cangemi recommended to his schoolteacher audience. Al Masdar, for instance, is QFI’s flagship curriculum project. It offers lesson plans and resources about countries all over the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, the most flattering collection is about Qatar. One resource offered is even titled: “Express Your Loyalty to Qatar.” No lesson plan appears particularly critical of Qatar, whereas other countries discussed in Al Masdar’s resources are subject to much more varied discussion.
Other lesson plans contain anti-Semitic and anti-American material, particularly several lessons produced by the Zinn Education Project, which claims to promote a revisionist “people’s history.” These include “Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War,” which examines the “greed” of the corporations ostensibly responsible for the Iraq war in order to “feast on Iraq’s economy,” and “Whose ‘Terrorism’?”, which questions the definition of terrorism, creating scenarios for students to discuss — for example, if “Israeli soldiers taunting and shooting children in Palestinian refugee camps, with the assistance of U.S. military aid” should be considered an example of terrorism.
Read it all…and read what your children bring home from school. More importantly, ask them what they are discussing in school. Many schools and teachers discuss topics without handouts and tell the kids not to mention it at home.
Better yet, if you can, remove your children from public schools often staffed with young, left-wing ideologues fresh from the socialist breeding grounds called universities.
If you don’t think Muslims have a well-coordinated, well-funded and multi-pronged strategy to take over America, think again. Or just listen to their words. The educational system is under attack.