The director of the London School of Economics resigned on March 3 after it was revealed that the school had accepted a donation of 1.5 million pounds from the son of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Saif al-Islam, the Jerusalem Post reports. Civil war broke out in Libya last month as opposition forces are fighting to end Qaddafi’s dictatorship. The revelation spoke calls for an investigation into the funding of universities from abroad.
The Telegraph’s Stephen Pollard writes that between 1995 and 2008, eight universities in the United Kingdom received 233.5 million pounds on behalf of Muslim governments, specifically for Islamic and Middle Eastern studies departments. He noted that the London School of Economics also received 9 million pounds from the United Arab Emirates and that a majority of the board of the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies supports boycotting Israel.
The funding to universities raises questions about whether the donations influence the education at the schools.
“The management committees of the Islamic Studies centres at Cambridge and Edinburgh contained appointees hand-picked by Prince Alwaleed [of Saudi Arabia]. Other universities have altered their study areas in line with their donors’ demands,” Pollard writes.
Funding from the Middle East has also reached American universities. The donations from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states is thoroughly documented, but the government of Iran, designated by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism, has also given funding to schools.
The U.S. government seized the assets of Alavi Foundation for being an Iranian government front in 2009. It was learned that the front had made over $3 million in donations to schools in the U.S. from 2000 to 2008. Columbia University received $100,000 after it allowed Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak there in 2007 and one of its professors of Persian Studies that glorified Iraqi insurgents and Hezbollah was also found to have received money from the Alavi Foundation.
Funding was also provided to Hooshang Amirahamadi, the former head of Rutgers University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The New York Post reported that he has stated that Hamas and Hezbollah are not terrorist organizations. Both Islamic extremist groups receive extensive support from Iran.