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Qatar Scam to Gain More Influence on US Universities

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The Al Jazeera newsroom; inset: Professor Justin D. Martin (Photos: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images; inset: Twitter)
The Al Jazeera newsroom; inset: Professor Justin D. Martin (Photos: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images; inset: Twitter)

The latest Qatar scam to gain influence on America universities, with no accountability to the Department of Education: Over a million dollars in grants to an anti-American, anti-Semitic professor at Northwestern University.

On September 12, the president of Northwestern University, Morton Schapiro released a statement condemning a tweet from one of the university’s professors, Justin Martin.

Schapiro described a recent tweet by Martin as “insensitive and deeply disappointing.”  Martin, an associate professor in residence at Northwestern’s campus in Doha, Qatar used the anniversary of 9/11 to downplay the heinous nature of this terrorist act.

Martin, a journalism professor, has a long history of problematic views. He has expressed support for BDS and Qatar’s involvement in promoting the anti-Semitic movement on U.S. college campuses.

The Clarion Project recently exposed the exorbitant spending from foreign countries on American Universities and Northwestern University’s particularly problematic relationship with Qatar. However, contrary to common belief, DoE records do not show all donations from foreign actors and disclosure can be avoided with simple evasive measures.

U.S. law requires universities to disclose information about foreign gifts, as well as “any ownership interests in or control over the institution by a foreign entity.”  Since 2012, the amount of foreign funding to American universities disclosed to the Education Department is $10,629,930,796.

Qatar alone has provided $1,478,676,069 to U.S. universities in the form of gifts and contracts.

 

The Qatar Scam

Martin has been the recipient of two grants from the Qatar Foundation’s National Priorities Research Program (NPRP).  In a curriculum vitae published at Martin’s LinkedIn profile, he lists the amounts of the two Qatar Foundation grants as $871,282 and $483,005.  Neither of these two grant amounts, totaling over $1.3 million, is listed in the DoE’s figures.

Established by the Qatar Foundation in 2008, Northwestern University’s Qatar campus (NU-Q) focuses on journalism and communications. In 2013, NU-Q signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Qatar state owned propaganda news outlet, Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera is known for parroting the Qatari regime’s views, advocating for the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and support for terrorist groups.

In May, Al Jazeera’s Arabic language video channel, AJ+ Arabic, came under fire for producing an anti-Semitic Holocaust-denial video that denied exterminations at the Nazi concentration camps.

Martin has written about how Al Jazeera can make itself appear more credible to American audiences. His NPRP grants went into a multi-year study of media consumption within the Middle East. Al Jazeera also provided funds for this project.

Both the Qatar Foundation and NU-Q are not in the United States; however, Martin’s grants and the nature of NU-Q as a satellite campus for an American university raise questions about the shell game being played by foreign entities to hide their funding.

In a previous Clarion Project expose, we showed how the Iranian regime used a well-known front to send donations to about 30 universities in the U.S. and Canada. These donations, as well, do not show up in the DoE’s records of foreign funding.

Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism oversees NU-Q’s journalism program and both programs are “modelled [sic] on the highly regarded curricula offered on Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, Illinois.”  According to DoE data, NU has received $340,244,432 from Qatar.

The Medill School of Journalism advertises NU-Q as their “onsite presence in the Middle East” and offers American students opportunities to pursue their entire degree in Qatar, as well as both semester and journalism residency programs.

The Qatar Foundation covers the expenses for six U.S. universities to have campuses in the country: Texas A&M (TAMU), Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern and Georgetown. The cost is nearly $405 million annually.

 

RELATED STORIES

Clarion EXCLUSIVE Report: Foreign Influence Ops on US Universities

Islamist Infiltration of American Universities

Qatar on Our Campuses

 

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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.

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