Middle East studies in the News
Iran's Ties to U.S. Universities — An Infiltration to Fear
by Cheryl K. Chumley
Rep. Dan Donovan wants the feds to look into some curious grants given to the likes of Columbia, Harvard and Princeton that came from a foundation with a pro-Iran, anti-Israel slant.
This is an investigation that should definitely go forth, and the sooner, the far better.
The Alavi Foundation was deemed in June by jurors in Manhattan's federal court of illegally managing 650 Fifth Ave. on behalf of Iran. Now, it's this same group, the Alavi Foundation, that's been tied to the funding of certain professors at these Ivy American schools — and others around the U.S. — who are decidedly anti-Israel and pro-Iran in their teachings.
As Donovan said, the New York Post reported: "Did this foundation attempt to subvert American academic institutions?"
Good question. And one that raises the knee-jerk reaction that better vetting of donors by university folk is needed.
But this goes deeper than a funding concern.
Critics are worried the foundation dollars may have been used to purposely plant pro-Iran professors within the U.S. university system. It's not out of the realm of possibility.
This is what acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in late June, while making the case against Alavi: "For over a decade, hiding in plain sight, this 36-story Manhattan office tower secretly served as as front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of U.S. sanctions laws."
And now, this same group has reportedly sent millions of dollars into dozens of America's top-ranking colleges and universities?
For what purposes?
If the money came with strings attached — say, stipulations that certain professors must be hired, or that certain doctrines should be taught — then this is a radical infiltration of dangerous proportions, pure and simple.
Donovan said he's going to contact the secretary of the Department of Education, along with various congressional committees, and ask for an investigation.
One needs to be conducted, and pronto. And if untoward infiltration has occurred, then justice —beginning with firings of compromised professors and complicit administrators — should be both swift and harsh.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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