Saturday, April 12, 2008

UK: Teaching Extremism With Saudi Backed Funding

Extremist ideas are being spread by Islamic study centres linked to British universities and backed by multi-million-pound donations from Saudi Arabia and Muslim organisations, a new report claims.

Eight universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have accepted more than £233.5 million from Saudi and Muslim sources since 1995, with much of the money going to Islamic study centres, according to the report.

The total sum, revealed by Anthony Glees, the director of Brunel University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, amounts to the largest source of external funding to UK

Arab donors have argued that their gifts to academic institutions help to promote understanding between the West and the Islamic world. However, Prof Glees claims in his unpublished report that the propagation of one-sided views of Islam and the Middle East at universities amounts to anti-Western propaganda.

Prof Glees attracted controversy in 2005 when he claimed that up to 48 universities had been infiltrated by fundamentalists and warned that the threat posed by radical groups should be "urgently addressed".

At a conference in London on Thursday, the Government is expected to call for the opening of more Islamic study centres at British universities. Last year, ministers declared Islamic studies a "strategically important subject" and put aside £1 million for the teaching of the subject, as part of a counter-radicalisation drive.

Universities that have accepted donations from Saudi royals and other Arab sources include Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, University College London, the London School of Economics, Exeter, Dundee and City. Prof Glees says Government policies "push the wrong sort of education by the wrong sort of people, funded by the wrong sorts of donor".

Teaching anti-western, extremist views with Saudi funding. The three "r's" in reversion. Muslim's believe all are born Muslim and when one converts to Islam they are actually reverting back. Just some food for thought.

Crossposted at MPJ

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