Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online, just published an important investigative report on Saudi extremist influence in curricula and teacher training seminars throughout U.S. public schools:
Unless we counteract the influence of Saudi money on the education of the young, we’re going to find it very difficult to win the war on terror. I only wish I was referring to Saudi-funded madrassas in Pakistan. Unfortunately, I’m talking about K-12 education in the United States. Believe it or not, the Saudis have figured out how to make an end-run around America’s K-12 curriculum safeguards, thereby gaining control over much of what children in the United States learn about the Middle East. While we’ve had only limited success paring back education for Islamist fundamentalism abroad, the Saudis have taken a surprising degree of control over America’s Middle-East studies curriculum at home.
Game, Set, Match
How did they do it? Very carefully…and very cleverly. It turns out that the system of federal subsidies to university programs of Middle East Studies (under Title VI of the Higher Education Act) has been serving as a kind of Trojan horse for Saudi influence over American K-12 education. Federally subsidized Middle East Studies centers are required to pursue public outreach. That entails designing lesson plans and seminars on the Middle East for America’s K-12 teachers. These university-distributed teaching aids slip into the K-12 curriculum without being subject to the normal public vetting processes. Meanwhile, the federal government, which both subsidizes and lends its stamp of approval to these special K-12 course materials on the Middle East, has effectively abandoned oversight of the program that purveys them (Title VI).
There’s a lot more and you need to read it all. His article just came out yesterday and this scandal of Saudi influence in teacher training should be investigated by the public education departments in all fifty states – and by Congress for encouraging this kind of infiltration into our public schools. Kurtz’ article is so good, this is one of those pieces you send to anyone with kids or grandchildren in K-12 classrooms. If you’re a teacher or parent and you have encountered this kind of Islamist curricula indoctrination in your schools, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We need to expose this wherever it is occcuring. Only with your help can that happen.
If the Khalil Gibran school is an example of this kind of Saudi influence in our schools, then the New York City authorities need to keep their promise and shut down this madrassa before it starts. It’s long past time for Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein to decide if they represent the Saudi royal family in Riyadh or the New York City citizens that voted them into office.