Trump administration says joint UNC, Duke Middle East Studies program portrays Islam too positivelyBreaking News
tags: Islam, academia, censorship, Middle East Studies, UNC, Duke, Trump
The Trump administration is pressuring the University of North Carolina and Duke University to revise their joint Middle East studies program or risk federal funding.
The Education Department wrote in an Aug. 29 letter to the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies that the program disproportionately portrays "the positive aspects of Islam." The agency requested they amend the program by Sept. 22 or lose a grant they've been receiving for almost a decade, The Associated Press reported.
The National Resource Center provides grants to programs that support foreign language learning.
The Education Department said in its letter that foreign language and national security have "taken a back seat to other priorities" that have "little or no relevance" to the objectives of the grant.
The Education Department wrote that the program places "a considerable emphasis" on the “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.”
The program has until Sept. 22 to send a "revised schedule of activities" and describe how each relates to foreign language and national security, the department said in its letter.
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