Middle East studies in the News
Saudi Infiltration into U.S. Education
by by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) Sarah Stern, who heads EMET, a Washington, D.C.-based Endowment for Middle East Truth think-tank, says the Saudi Arabians are using their petrodollars to make major inroads into the American educational system, from elementary school and on up.
Speaking with Eve Harow on IsraelNationalRadio, Stern said the Saudis are making use of a clause in the little-known Higher Education Law called Title VI to train teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade with an anti-American, anti-Israel bent.
To hear and/or download the entire interview, click here.
Stern explained that Title VI was legislated in 1958, "in the midst of the Cold War, when it was felt that American youngsters did not know enough to deal with the Communist threat or to be succesful in the global market. So they set aside a pot of money, which has now grown to something like $120 million of taxpayers' money, to fund college campus programs for regional studies, such as African studies, Asian studies, Middle Eastern studies, etc. That was fine, but in 1978, Edward Said of Columbia University wrote his simplistic and lies-filled book Orientialism, which stated that only people from a given region can talk or write about that region. And that became the prevailing dominant trend of thought in academic circles. So that if you go into a Middle Eastern studies program as a Jew or Zionist, it is almost impossible to go through it without being constantly pounded with anti-Israel rhetoric."
The problem was succinctly summed up by Martin Kramer, a colleague of Stern, who wrote, "Title VI 'outreach' allows biased academics to bring in off-campus activists, and pay them lecture fees to propagandize teachers and the general public. All at the taxpayers' expense."
But there's even more, Stern says: "The law says you have to have teacher training seminars on campuses, and these have a radical anti-American bent. There is a place in New Mexico called Dar el Islam, a giant 1,300-acre complex that has a mosque, a medrassah [Islamic theological school], a summer camp, a teacher training workshop, and a publishing house that publishes some of the most virulent translations of the Quran, as well as the materials for their teacher-training that are used all over the country - and all stamped with the fancy blue-green-white star emblem of ARAMCO, the state-owned national oil company of Saudi Arabia. They are very very stealth - I call this the 'soft jihad' against America."
"So we are raising generations of Americans who feel that Israel is a liability to US," Stern said, "though it's not only anti-Israel, but also anti-American... The first question on their teacher-training guide is, Why was America attacked on 9/11? And the answer is because of American support for Israel. So the Saudis, with their millions and millions of dollars, have been penetrating into think tanks, and into the penal system where very Wahabi imams come in and teach and get them to convert to extreme-Wahabi Islam. And they are hiding behind the American constitutional rights to be able to do this in America."
Asked what is being done and what can be done to stop this, Stern said, "I see my primary mission as informing and educating. Although, we were successful in making some small changes in Title VI - myself together with Martin Kramer, who wrote the seminal book on this called Ivory Towers on Sand about the failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, and with Stanley Kurtz - we were able to make some small incremental changes, such as having the universities answer how many of the participants went on to serve in positions of national security interests as a result of these programs, which was the original purpose of the Title VI." %ad%
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