Tucson schools to take $465,000 from Arab charity with Muslim Brotherhood ties
Last week, the governing board of the Tucson Unified School District asked the school board to accept a $465,000 curriculum grant from the Qatar Foundation International, a global philanthropic organization with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of the terrorist group Hamas.
The grant money is intended to implement “innovative curricula and teaching materials to be used in any Arabic language classroom,” reports the Arizona Daily Independent.
Two Tucson schools, Safford K-8 Magnet School and Cholla High Magnet School, will be the recipients of the terror-infested cash, according to Tucson News Now.
About 100 students at Cholla High Magnet School are learning Arabic. At Safford K-8 Magnet School, 125 students are learning the language.
Last year’s grant for Arabic language from the Qatar Foundation was $55,000.
A handful of similar programs funded by the Qatar charity exist in other American cities. In 2012, for example, the nonprofit provided $250,000 for a three-year pilot project for Arabic language at P.S. 368 in Harlem, reports DNAinfo New York.
The Qatar Foundation International is the U.S.-based branch of the Qatar Foundation, a generous global philanthropic organization founded in 1995 by Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani.
Al Thani is also an influential architect of Middle East media mammoth Al Jazeera.
In 2012, the Qatar Foundation launched the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics in Qatar. The Center’s director is Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Sunni Muslim and the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ramadan had been banned from the United States for several years because he allegedly contributed money to a terror-connected charity, reports The New York Times. However, in 2010 the Obama administration allowed him to apply for a visa so that he could speak on a panel at Cooper Union in Manhattan.
The Qatar Foundation is also closely associated with Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a strong and candid advocate of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian cleric has a popular program on Al-Jazeera television and supervises Islam Online, a popular internet site for all things Muslim.
The Anti-Defamation League has called al-Qaradawi a “theologian of terror.”
In his book Flight of the Intellectuals, liberal scholar Paul Berman notes that al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa sanctioning Palestinian suicide attacks two years after Sept. 11 (and another one sagely allowing female suicide bombers to reveal their hair especially for certain suicide missions).
“I support Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah,” al-Qaradawi said in 2007. “I oppose the peace that Israel and America wish to dictate. This peace is an illusion. I support martyrdom operations.”
In 2008, al-Qaradawi gave a speech in Doha, the capital of petroleum-rich Qatar, heralding “the collapse of the capitalist system, which is based on usury and securities rather than commodities in markets,” according to Islamweb.
“Our integrated Islamic philosophy, if properly understood and applied, can replace the Western capitalism,” he argued.
The fervently anti-Israel cleric has also proclaimed himself a “Mufti of martyrdom operations.”
Mark Stegeman, a member of the Tucson Unified School District board, and an economics professor at the University of Arizona, supports the district’s acceptance of the grant.
“As far as I can tell, the money comes with no strings attached,” Stegeman told The Daily Caller.
“There are people we wouldn’t want to take money from. That would be case by case. The main issue is what we can do with the money,” Stegeman said. “We get money from lots of different foundations including American foundations that fund all kinds of things. I don’t know what they are funding. If we turn down money from foundations because we don’t agree with what they do, we would turn down a lot of money we could use.”
In 2011, notes the Arizona Daily Independent, there was some controversy in Tucson over the Muslim Brotherhood’s association with the radical Mexican-American political group MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán).
Lupita Cavazos-Garcia, assistant superintendent in the Tucson school district, expressed her concerns regarding MEChA’s efforts to recruit students taking Mexican-American studies courses for an occupied peoples’ conference. At the conference, Palestinian students and Tucson students would share their experiences living in occupied territories.
Garcia reportedly noted that the Muslim Brotherhood’s “anti-Semitic tone and tenor” could create problems because “our Raza students are ripe for this kind of influence.”
The occupied territories in which the students in Mexican-American studies courses lived are not named.
In March, a federal judge ruled against teachers and students at four Tucson schools in a lawsuit concerning a 2010 Arizona state law that prohibits school districts from offering coursework that endorses the overthrow of the United States government or stokes resentment toward a race or class of people. (RELATED: Federal judge: Arizona can ban classes promoting ‘racial resentment against ‘whites’)
The ruling stemmed from a case concerning the Tucson school district’s intervention to forcibly alter coursework in a controversial Mexican-American studies program. The highly race-conscious program taught history, civics and literature from a pointedly Mexican-American vantage point.