From The Gathering Storm Blog

Following is the HS Today (Homeland Security Today Journal) cover story “Jihad Versus Education.” An analysis of the impact of Jihadi influence and ideology on US Education and recommendations to the US Government, executive branch and Congress. Posted on Walid Phares and FDD web sites. The piece argues that for the past two decades the American educational system has been targeted and impacted by Oil producing regimes leading to a derailing of the national security analysis. The article underlines the fact that by reaching the classrooms, Wahabi and Khumeinist influence was affecting the newsrooms. Hat tip to The Counterterrorism Blog.

Here are some important excerpts of the Phares article.


One of the major results of the 1973 oil crisis was the rise of a determination by many oil producing regimes that the West, in general, and the United States, in particular, “understand” the greater Middle East, the Arab and the Muslim world and, accordingly, design its policies toward those regimes and ideologies on the basis of this “understanding”.

There is that need to ‘understand’ why our enemy doesn’t like us.

As a result, millions of dollars were invested in American and European educational institutions as a way to “foster” this understanding. But instead of fostering an objective understanding or spreading impartial knowledge, the growing influence of Wahabism, an extreme form of Islam, and other such ideologies on the nation’s campuses played a dangerous role: Because of the ideological nature of the donors, the financed programs followed the guidelines of the donor regimes and organizations, which obviously narrowed research and teaching to issues remote from the major historical crisis in the region, other than the modern Arab-Israeli conflict. It removed all serious attention to the rise of Islamism, jihadism and even Baathism, as well as the deep ethnic and religious conflicts and the mass abuse of human rights in that part of the world.

The apologists like John Esposito and Bernard Lewis say:

A careful review of curricula and research projects established within the US educational system, both public and private, since the 1980s stunningly reveals that American classrooms were deprived of knowledge on social, historical, ethnic and ideological movements rising to challenge the United States. Moreover, as I taught comparative studies for over a decade and lectured on many campuses in the 1990s, I came to realize that defense, strategic and security studies were heavily influenced by “regional” studies when it came to identifying the backgrounds of international terrorist movements emerging from the greater Middle East and penetrating western societies. History and Middle Eastern studies had been corrupted by Wahabi and other funding with an impact on political science, international relations and, ultimately, defense and security studies across the land.

A thorough review of the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, the Middle East Studies Association of America, the International Studies Association, the Middle East Institute and other professional education associations, of the hundreds of books, publications, articles, talks and research grants distributed by Ivy League universities and other colleges lead to only one conclusion: The gap is immense. There are no traces of the roots of jihadism and its long-term objectives against democracies and the United States. Instead, prominent scholars produced an enormous amount of literature precisely deflecting scholars and students away from the most serious issues related to American defense and security after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The “hole” was so vast and the “deflection” (not to use the term “deception”) so wide that a systemic problem strode the field producing waves of effects into the professional worlds of the media and policy. An academic lobotomy led to an incapacitation of the public learning process about the national security threat and created a cultural crisis in perception. In short, if one isn’t taught about the political thinking of the enemy and his ideological objectives in the classroom, where else would one catch up?

Those who spread the doctrine of jihadism in America during the 1990s had no counter check from the public or government, while even a minimal manifestation of Nazism, anti- Semitism or domestic violent racism was quickly countered. Clearly, Americans never lacked for imagination, but they were deprived of the necessary information.

If intellectual blurring starts in classrooms, it soon reaches the newsrooms and, eventually, the intelligence rooms and war rooms. If young Americans are mistaught the ideology, political culture and intentions of the enemy while at school and in college, once graduated, they will carry this misperception with them as they find jobs and are recruited in all the layers of national analysis. Students enter the media, legislative research, security, intelligence, foreign policy, justice, think tanks and other sectors crucial for national decision making at the bottom levels and rise up to the ultimate positions. By failing students in the classrooms, the educational system caused a national analysis failure: Media failed to report terrorism as it should have, impacting government’s various levels of policymaking; intelligence analysis, deprived of cultural understanding, saw the data but couldn’t put the bigger picture together; courts couldn’t process the concepts of terrorism beyond criminality; and, ultimately, both the legislative and executive branches were denied sound advice on the war already in progress against the country.

In conclusion, the failure in education led to a derailment of national analysis.

So what about today? How deep does the rabbit hole go?

In an article by Gordon Thomas in the G2 Bulletin, he writes that leading UK universities are seriously infiltrated by jihadists.

MI5 has established that four of Britain’s leading universities have been “seriously infiltrated” by al-Qaida recruiters. Another 15 campuses are under urgent investigation by the security services. Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, has publicly spoken of a “highly dangerous network that is designed to attract more and more students into al-Qaida.” Her claim is the first official indication of how far the terror organisation has penetrated British campuses that will produce the next generation of scientists and economists. “

Both professions have long been targets for al-Qaida.

Among the four universities already identified by MI5 are London University and Brunel University in the western suburbs of the city, Manchester Metropolitan University and Sheffield University. Between them they graduate a steady stream of chemists, biologists and economists. One of the graduates was Dhiren Barot, the most senior al-Qaida plotter to be captured in Britain. Barot, 34, a Hindu convert to Islam, was sentenced last week to serve 40 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to planning terrorist attacks, which the prosecution said “would have created carnage, bloodshed and butchers in Britain and America.” It emerged during the trial that Barot had used his Brunel student card to travel to America and film targets.

So how can al-Qaida recruiters openly do the recruiting?

MI5 increasingly believes al-Qaida recruiters are bypassing campus bans on groups with radical links by presenting themselves as “ordinary Muslims. They are also operating behind the names of harmless sounding societies like ‘The Search For Truth’ and ‘To Better Understand The Prophet,'” said an MI5 officer.

MI5 is not without resources, though.

Working with the security services are small teams of security cleared Muslim imams known as “the trouble shooters.” Their task is to go to campuses and tackle indoctrination head on. One of the trouble shooters is Sheik Musa Admani, a Muslim chaplain at London Metropolitan University. “We are dealing at campus level with highly skilled recruiters who are filled with hatred. Hatred of the white man, and America and Britain in particular,” he says.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, Michelle Malkin reported in November that Jihad sympathizers are running amok in Australia.

A SIMULATION exercise in which Year 11 students played Arabs and Israelis has been dropped by NSW schools after parents complained it was creating racial tension and painted terrorists in a sympathetic light. An inquiry by a senior Education Department officer found the simulation exercise, devised by Macquarie University’s centre for Middle Eastern studies, risked creating disharmony in schools and the community and that there was a “significant risk” of harm to the “welfare and wellbeing of students from particular minorities”.

Documents given to The Australian show the inquiry was prompted by complaints from parents that background notes presented to the students gave positive descriptions of groups such as Hamas’s Qassam Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Students were not told the groups are listed terrorist organisations and support for them is an offence under Australian law. The profile of Hezbollah accurately said that its long-term aims were to rid Palestine of the Jewish population and create an Arab state but no mention was made of its terrorist activities, only philanthropic ones.

A profile of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was presented without mention of his sponsorship of international terrorism. Rather, his goal was listed as trying “to bring the internet to Syria”.

H.G. Wells wrote nearly 50 years ago that “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

As far as the true knowledge of Islam is concerned, education is losing.

[Edited by Simon – Typos & HTML to fit template]


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