Northwestern University in the United States received $340 million from the Qatar Foundation, an entity linked to terrorism. It allocated it to its journalism school, one of the most important in the country.
The Education Department is investigating whether Northwestern correctly reported the donations it received since 2012 through the nonprofit, according to The Washington Free Beacon on July 28.
Universities must report foreign donations of more than $250,000, but universities rarely comply with the standard. Qatar alone has donated $1.5 billion to U.S. universities during the same period.
The influence that various foreign governments exert through educational institutions, mainly universities, to strengthen their policies and systems by manipulating public opinion, both in the academic field and among young students, is well known.
“[Qatar’s] foreign influence operation is shaping public opinion to erode American ideas,” Alex Van Ness, a research analyst with the Clarion Project, told the Washington Free Beacon.
The Qatar influence, “… is muddying the waters on issues relating to national security and relating to our relationships with our allies, and it’s being done so by governments and entities that don’t have things like freedom of speech and are generally antagonistic to America and the American government,” Van Ness added.
For its part, the Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the threat from extremist groups in the United States, reports that the government of Qatar is investing millions of dollars in American lobbyists, think tanks and universities to influence public opinion in the United States in favor of its political views.
One example of investments to influence public opinion is the Qatari government’s $1.4 million payment to Justin Martin, an associate professor. He wrote about “Media Use in the Middle East,” downplaying the 9/11 attacks and applauding Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on his public Twitter profile.
The BDS Movement is a global campaign that seeks to increase economic and political pressure against Israel.
Northwestern’s relations with terror-linked groups began in 2008 through the Qatari government-owned media Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is accused of promoting and aiding Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Iranian regime and glorifying Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders, says Project Clarion.
This relationship led Northwestern to establish Northwestern University in Qatar, a branch of the elite school of journalism in Doh, the capital.
Qatar is a country known for funding terrorism and is one of the world’s leading human rights violators.
Because Qatar’s government owns it, Al Jazeera is required to register as a foreign agent. However, it has not done so.
Another case of foreign influence in American academia is the Confucian Institutes, hosted by more than 100 U.S. universities. These institutions run a program emanating from the Communist Party of China (CCP) to indoctrinate university students.