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Northwestern University Partners with Al Jazeera

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Northwestern University's Qatar campus (Photo: NU-Q website)
Northwestern University’s Qatar campus (Photo: NU-Q website)

Illinois’ Northwestern University officially collaborates with Al Jazeera, the biggest anti-American and Islamist extremist propaganda outlet in the world.

Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar, which is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbyists, think-tanks and U.S. universities to influence American public opinion and policy so it can get away with aiding and supporting Al-Qaeda, the Iranian regime, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al Jazeera is known for its parroting of the Qatari regime’s views, advocating for the Muslim Brotherhood and long history of spreading anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and support for terrorist groups. This includes glorifying  Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders.

Recently, Al Jazeera’s Arabic language viral video channel, AJ+ Arabic, came under fire for producing an anti-Semitic Holocaust-denial video. The video denied exterminations at the Nazi concentration camps and accused the the Zionist movement of being the main beneficiary of the Holocaust.

 

Al Jazeera and Northwestern

The relationship between Northwestern University and Al Jazeera began in 2008 when the Qatar Foundation, a “charity” linked to terrorism and controlled by the Qatari regime, funded the establishment of a campus in Qatar for Northwestern University (NU-Q).

Since 2012, Northwestern University has received over $340 million from Qatar. That is part of the overall $1.5 billion Qatar has donated to U.S. universities during the same time period. Obviously, Qatar believes it is getting a worthwhile return on its investments.

For its part, Northwestern University should have been deeply suspicious of why the Qatar Foundation would be so interested in setting up a branch of Northwestern in Qatar (as should have been the other five American universities and Western schools which share the same location in Qatar as does Northwestern).

Northwestern in Qatar is located at a site outside Doha known as Education City. There, the Qatar Foundation also operates a mosque which has become a stage for radical clerics, including one who took joy in the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in France, describing it as “the sequel to the comedy film of 9/11.”

Some have openly praised Osama Bin Laden. One lamented that Hitler didn’t succeed in exterminating every last Jew.

The Qatar Foundation is also committed to promoting the radical Islamist teachings of Muhammad al-Wahhab, the founder of what is oftentimes referred to as “Wahhabism.”

In 2011, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, then Qatar’s emir, publicly pledged to “spare no effort” to promote Wahhab’s views. He said that the country was founded on Wahhab’s preaching and the government would spread it around the world.

Al Jazeera is a key player in Qatar’s campaign to promote their radical Islamist ideology and the terrorist groups that it inspires. Partnering with Northwestern University is a means to that end.

 

Northwestern’s Agreement with Al Jazeera

Case in point, Northwestern University immediately began collaborating with Al Jazeera “since NU-Q’s inception,” according to the public statements.

Shamelessly, NU-Q focuses on two majors: journalism and communications. It is overseen by Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and is “modelled [sic] on the highly regarded curricula offered on Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, Illinois.”

This relationship was intensified when NU-Q signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Al Jazeera in 2013.

The agreement states that they will engage “in joint research and strategic studies projects, training workshops, a co-designed lecture series, internships and faculty contributions as well as journalist-exchange programs.”

The agreement also makes it clear that one objective of Qatar and Al Jazeera is to use Northwestern University to carry out its influence operations on U.S. soil:

“NU-Q will conduct consultations with Al Jazeera leadership based on its faculty research interests and expertise in the American media industry, as the news network moves forward with its planning for Al Jazeera America,” the agreement states.

Additionally, the director-general of Al Jazeera Network, H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al-Thani, said it would “support NU-Q students with scholarships and training opportunities, and by encouraging them to participate in Al Jazeera’s community service initiatives.”

In other words, Northwestern University would help improve Al Jazeera’s operations and Al Jazeera would recruit Northwestern University students to serve its agenda.

David Reaboi, senior vice president of the Security Studies Group, writes:

“Al Jazeera is the world’s most successful and influential state-directed information operation. Its sophistication is evident in its ability to promote two very different messages to two audiences simultaneously. In Arabic, Al Jazeera pushes a stream of vile, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories … In English, however, Al Jazeera presents itself as progressive and left wing … A rebranding in English as ‘AJ+’ was further meant to obscure the Islamist-run network and to appeal to younger people in the West, with social media material in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.”

Eight members of Congress have asked the Justice Department to investigate Al Jazeera for violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Because it is owned by the Qatari government, Al Jazeera is required to register as a Foreign Agent. Yet, it has not.

The Department of Education is also investigating the flow of money from Qatar to U.S. universities.

Regardless of whether the Department of Education finds a discrepancy in accounting or illegal activity, Northwestern University has to a lot to answer for.

Al Jazeera, the Qatar Foundation and the Qatari government are demonstrably not on the side of the United States. They are not suitable academic partners, but propagandists who spread hate and  support terrorist groups.

Northwestern University’s leaders, faculty, alumni and students should demand to know why the university sees betraying the Western world and human rights as a worthy endeavor.

 

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Islamist Infiltration of American Universities 

 

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Ryan Mauro and Alex VanNess

Ryan Mauro is the director of the Clarion Intelligence Network and Shillman Fellow for Clarion Project.Alex VanNess is a research analyst for the Clarion Intelligence Network.