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Qatar-Funded Group Engages In ‘Propagandistic Activities’ While Divvying Out Millions To US Schools, Experts Say

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  • A Qatar-funded organization has disbursed more than $30 million to U.S. public schools to fund Arabic language programs, reports show.
  • Schools that accept grants from the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) are required to give over a degree of access to the foreign-funded organization, including at-will access to students, documents show.
  • QFI has engaged in activities that some experts said may cross the line into overt propaganda on behalf of Qatar.

A U.S.-based organization funded by Qatar and tasked with furthering the allegedly terror-linked country’s national vision is openly influencing K-12 public school curriculums across America. A legal loophole allows it to do so without registering as a foreign agent, but experts say the group has at times stretched that boundary by pushing overt propaganda.

The Washington, D.C.-based Qatar Foundation International (QFI) has disbursed more than $30 million to U.S. public schools to fund Arabic language programs, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2017. Public documents and news reports indicate the Doha, Qatar-based Qatar Foundation has funded QFI from its 2009 founding through at least 2017. The Qatar Foundation has been registered as a foreign principal since 2006 and is tasked with carrying out the vision of the country’s royal family.

QFI memos state that it exists to further the Middle Eastern nation’s goals, and its executive director has stated publicly that her bosses include a member of the Qatari royal family and the CEO of the foreign Qatar Foundation. Despite this, QFI is not required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, because it says it’s strictly an educational organization.

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“Given QFI’s very close association with the Qatar Foundation and the Qatari government – both of which have extensive political functions in the United States designed to influence public policy – the FARA Unit of the Department of Justice should take a close look at QFI to ensure that the organization is what it says it is,” government affairs lobbyist Craig Holman of the left-leaning Public Citizen told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If its educational programs in any way seek to shape public opinion in a propagandistic manner, then QFI should be registered and disclose its funding,” Holman continued.

He and a second expert, Middle East Forum analyst Oren Litwin, both believe QFI has pushed overt propaganda for the government of Qatar, which would require the organization to register as a foreign agent under FARA.

“Some of their activities are very clearly crossing the line, and further, if you back up and look at everything they do in the larger context of what the strategic goal is, it’s very clear that even their educational component is part of an influence operation,” Litwin told the DCNF.

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He pointed to what he called a “propaganda video” QFI and Al Jazeera co-produced in 2017 that featured Qatari residents speaking out about a land and sea blockade neighboring countries imposed. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have accused Qatar of funding terror, backing Iran and engaging in foreign meddling.

The video is “very clearly not part of QFI’s educational mission,” Litwin said. “It’s clearly advocacy.”

Republican lawmakers questioned the Justice Department in June about whether Al Jazeera, which they called a “messaging tool for the Qatari government,” should be required to register as a foreign agent of the Middle Eastern nation.

Holman also said the Al Jazeera and QFI co-produced video should be considered foreign propaganda.

“That video crosses the line and QFI should have registered and disclosed for that video,” Holman said. “If there are other such propagandistic activities ongoing today, then QFI should register” as a foreign agent.

Saudi Arabian state news said in 2017 it cut diplomatic ties with Qatar to “protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” The UAE said Qatar was “funding and hosting” the Muslim Brotherhood, which the federation considers a terrorist organization, when it announced that it, too, was cutting diplomatic ties with the nation.

Qatar has denied accusations that it harbors terrorists and engages in efforts to destabilize the region.

QFI did not return a request for comment.

QFI Exists To Further The Goals Of Its Foreign Benefactor

QFI is funding Arabic language programs at 22 K-12 public schools across the country, the DCNF previously reported.

QFI reorganized from a private charity to an LLC in 2011, according to Washington, D.C., business registration documents the DCNF obtained. Unlike charities, LLCs are not required to disclose their funding sources, meaning QFI’s reorganization obscures that the Qatar Foundation, a registered foreign principal, funds it.

QFI’s only source of income when it was operating as a charity in 2009, 2010 and 2011 was the Qatar Foundation, which provided $10,276,831, according to its Form 990s covering those years filed with the IRS.

The Qatar Foundation continued funding QFI after it reorganized into an LLC, according to a WSJ report showing the foundation had funneled $30.6 million into QFI between 2009 and 2017.

QFI stated in a 2015 memorandum of understanding with a Houston school district that it was formed “for the purpose of advancing the vision of Her Highness Sheikha [Mozah] bint Nasser and the vision of the Qatar Foundation.”

Mozah, the second wife of a former Qatari emir, is the chairwoman of the Qatar Foundation. The Qatari government mandated the foundation in 2008 be the “engine” driving the Middle Eastern country’s “National Vision 2030,” a plan that outlines how Qatar will leverage its vast oil wealth to transform into a knowledge-based economy.

“Qatar Foundation was built by Qatar, it is sustained by Qatar, and it belongs to the people of Qatar, regardless of their background and occupation,” former Qatar Foundation President Saad Al Muhannadi said in 2013 after Mozah appointed him to the post.

QFI Executive Director Maggie Mitchell Salem tweeted in 2018 that Mozah and Qatar Foundation’s current CEO are her “bosses.”

Mitchell Salem also has close ties to slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, which intelligence reports found was assassinated in a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Mitchell Salem “at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government,” The Post reported after Khashoggi’s death in 2018.

The Post also reported that a QFI researcher and translator assisted Khashoggi in the drafting of his columns published in the newspaper.

“We should not be comfortable with the idea that a foreign country placed an information operator at a major U.S. paper and fed him information, corrected his stuff, and then The Washington Post ran it with not a disclaimer in sight — and everybody ate it up like it was the truth,” the president of the national security think tank Security Studies Group, Jim Hanson, said during a February conference on Qatar’s “malign influence.”

Mitchell Salem insisted the assistance she gave to Khashoggi had nothing to do with QFI.

“He and I talked about issues of the day as people who had come together, caring about the same part of the world,” Mitchell Salem told The Post. “Jamal was never an employee, never a consultant, never anything to [the foundation]. Never.”

QFI Has Direct Access To US K-12 Students

U.S. public schools that accept QFI’s grant money are contractually required to give over a degree of access to the foreign-funded organization, according to a 2013 agreement between QFI and the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona.

The contract stipulated that Tucson teachers participating in the QFI-funded Arabic program would allow QFI staff to:

  • observe classroom activities and speak with students;
  • have access to a program to monitor student progress;
  • request that teachers administer an Arabic language proficiency test to students and share their results with QFI; and
  • receive enrollment information for the Arabic classes, “including the number of students in each class and grade.”

The contract also stated that Tucson teachers “will be required to organize or facilitate at least 6-8 cultural activities inside and outside of the classroom.”

“QFI grants for schools, students and teachers support education in Arabic language and about the Arab world. They are designed to enable students to become engaged with 21st century skills and global competency, and support programs that reach more than 3,200 students in the US and Europe,” a QFI LLC spokesperson previously told the DCNF.

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One comment

  1. Islam was banned from the United States in 1952. But the politically correct left doesn’t
    want us to know this because they don’t respect or uphold United States Law.

    The Immigration and Nationality Act passed June 27, 1952 revised the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality of the United States. That Act, which became Public Law 414, established both the law and the intent of Congress regarding the immigration of Aliens to the US and remains in effect today.

    Among the many issues it covers, one in particular, found in Chapter 2 Section 212, is the prohibition of entry to the US if the Alien belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by “force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.”

    This by its very definition, rules out Islamic Immigration to the United States but this law is being ignored by the leftists. Islamic Immigration to the United States would be prohibited under this law because the Koran, Sharia Law, and the Hadith all require complete submission to Islam, which is antithetical to the US Government and the Constitution and to the Republic. All Muslims who attest that the Koran is their life’s guiding principle subscribe to submission to Islam and its form of government .
    Now the Politically Correct left would say Islamists cannot be prohibited from entering the US because Islam is a religion.

    HOWEVER on November 18, 1990 the 101st congress QUIETLY repealed the McCarren Warner Act forbidding “Muslims” from holding office; members of congress supporting this repeal were Dick Cheney, John McCain, Joe Biden, Al Gore, John Kerry, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi to name a few!

    So we now have a few Muslims voted into congress. Due to their faith, they refuse to put their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold our constitution. We are being destroyed from within our own nation. The Trojan Horse has made it into our government!

    Islam is not a religion. It is a governing doctrine that not only dictates religious beliefs, but also social behavior that includes laws, penalties and punishments, not by God, but by people if the laws are not obeyed. Islam is a form of government, not a religion. It does not belong here. By their own admission and the verses in the Quran, Islam’s goal is to dominate any land in which they enter and to kill and rape anyone who does not submit to their beliefs! That alone, makes Islam an enemy of the state and constitution. It set’s Islam above all other laws and does away with all constitutional rights afforded by the constitution!

    Weather it is a religion is immaterial because the law states that Aliens who are affiliated with any “organization” that advocates the overthrow of our government are prohibited. As previously stated Islam, Sharia and the Hadith ALL call for COMPLETE SUBMISSION and for no allegiance to anything else.

    According to Sharia law, Muslim men are allowed to practice polygamy. According to the Quran, a man may have up to four legal wives at any one time. (Muhammad had thirteen wives,) The husband is required to treat all wives equally. Let the beatings and mutilations begin! Why ANY Muslim woman here in the US would agree to live under Sharia Law is the mystery of the ages!!!.
    Everyone should be aware that Islam does not allow for abortions so each of these wives has an average of 8 children. Doing the math, within twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President. Islam is not a religion Islam is a CULT!!!

    It is my belief that EVERYONE in the U.S. should be required to read this, however, unless each one of us passes this along the ACLU will not allow for this to occur let alone become publicized. I have done my part to pass this information on, will you forward this along, or will you drop the ball?

    Now we have a government that has completely stop listening to the taxpayers, the people who pay their salaries. Demorrhoids have deteriorated so far as to have an Anti-Semitic Muslim woman threatening the Jewish people and the LIEberal Democrats refuse to censure or impeach her. They refuse to protect our borders. That refuses to honor their oaths of office. The Democrats are now the enemy of the people!!!

    Islamophobe (is-slahm-oh-fohb) A non-Muslim who knows more than they are supposed to know about Islam

    The 3 Phases of Muslim Immigration.
    Phase 1 – Few in number – Oppressed Islam – Play the Victim – Claim Islamophobia – More Tolerant of Others
    Phase 2 – Large Minority – Indignant Islam Threatening – Demand Sharia Law – Intolerant of Infidels
    Phase 3 – Clear Majority Dominant Islam Militant – Strict Sharia Law – Kill/Subdue All Infidels
    For 1400 Years This Pattern Hasn’t Changed. There are no Moderates, as Moderates Are Irrelevant.

    Attention Americans
    Although many armed citizens of the US continually declare that they are prepared for hand to hand combat with Muslims, “please be advised that it’s not going to happen”. Islam’s intentions are to get enough bodies in your country to legally win a federal election, and then take full control of your once great nation. When that happens “what will all the brave Americans with guns do”? Do you think they will take to the streets and murder every member of the newly elected Islamic Party of America?
    If 330 million American’s cannot remove one Islamic president who was destroying their country, how would they be able to get rid of an entire political party that has full control over the country?
    The only thing that can save America “and Canada” is that all Islamic immigration be stopped “immediately”. If it is not stopped, it is guaranteed that the children of your grandchildren will suffer under a Sharia Law government.

    Assimilate they say??
    We provide refuge. We provide welfare. We allow 100% of all Mosques. We allow Islamic Ideology into our schools. We are allowing Sharia Law by pretending it doesn’t happen. We are paying tax on Halal food. We allow fully masked (hooded) people to run the streets and enter into public spaces. We are making exceptions to our laws. – We are doing a better job at assimilating to the Muslim way of life than those who should be assimilating into our way of life!

    What do we expect from these Islamic fanatic radicals who are now two of our Democratic house of representatives members. Thank you Dearborn, Michigan and Minneapolis Minnesota. You are truly not Patriotic Americans.

    This is the beginning of trying to end America’s friendship with Israel. The defamation of the Jewish religion and race. The gathering and generating of sympathy for Islamic terrorists and terrorism. The total disrespect and general destruction of our American way of life. You can’t have Sharia Law and constitutional law coexist. They are diametrically opposed. You can’t have one part of our country Sharia and the other constitutional. So what is it going to be? Radical Islam or our U.S. constitutional law? It’s up to you, the American citizen, to decide.

    Muslims are Colonizing Under our Noses – Putting Muslim Representatives Into Position Only to Attack!
    Quietly colonizing & then waiting it out until there are enough Muslims in certain demographics-districts to then vote in their own Muslim representatives (see the McCarran Internal Security Act), which, by the way, explains an Ihan Omar, and a Keith Ellison, Hodan Hassan, Mohamud Noor, etc.

    On more of a sarcastic note: I support a mosque being built anywhere in the US.
    I think it should be the goal of every American to be tolerant regardless of their religious beliefs. To promote tolerance, I would also propose that two nightclubs be opened next door to the mosque. We could call one of the clubs, which would be gay, The Turban Cowboy and the other, a topless bar, would be called You Mecca Me Hot.

    Next door should be a butcher shop that specializes in pork and across the street, an open-pit barbecue pork restaurant, called Iraq of Ribs. We could have a lingerie store called Victoria Keeps Nothing Secret and a liquor store called Morehammered.

    All of this would encourage Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand of us. Yes we should promote tolerance, and you can do your part by passing this on!

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