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Trump Admin Challenges University Program Promoting Islam, by Meira Svirsky (Clarion Project)

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Sept. 22, 2019

Left-wing academics are up in arms about the threat by the Trump Administration threat to cut federal funds for a program promoting Islam that may violate the Constitution, promote anti-Semitism and advance “ideological priorities” that have nothing to do with the purpose of the program.

As reported by AP, the program in question is run by University of North Carolina and Duke University. The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies received $235,000 last year from the government for the program which was to promote foreign language instruction for the purpose of preparing students for careers in diplomacy and national security.

Yet, an investigation showed that the program unfairly promoted “the positive aspects of Islam” but not Christianity or Judaism. Moreover, a conference put on by the program titled “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities,” featured a rapper who performed a “brazenly anti-Semitic song.”

The investigation into the program was ordered by Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after North Carolina Rep. George Holding exposed the conference for its “severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

In a letter to the program, the government noted “a considerable emphasis [on] understanding the positive aspects of Islam, while there is an absolute absence of any similar focus on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism or any other religion or belief system in the Middle East.”

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