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Trump Administration Threatens to Cut Off Funding to University Programs with Too Much of a Pro-Islam Bias

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The Trump administration is putting pressure on the University of North Carolina and Duke University to change their joint Middle East studies program or risk losing federal funding.

The Education Department sent the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies a letter on August 29 criticizing the program for disproportionately portraying “the positive aspects of Islam.” The Associated Press reports that the agency demanded that the two universities reform the program by September 22 or lose a grant they’ve been receiving for nearly a decade.

The National Resource Center gives grants to programs that promote foreign language learning.

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The Education Department claimed 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 grant’s principal objectives.

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The agency also wrote that the program puts “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 the deadline of September 22 to send a “revised schedule of activities” and detail how each is connected to foreign language and national security.

“It is patently false that the Department is reviewing the program as being too positive on Islam,” a department spokesperson told The Hill. “We’re reviewing UNC-Duke’s use of grant funds because we are concerned that they have not followed congressional requirements for the program — that students must learn a foreign language and hear diverse regional perspectives.”

“Our inquiry has nothing to do with their program having an Islamic bias,” the spokesperson continued. “Pro-Islamic programming isn’t the concern — it’s the lack of diversity and foreign language learning.”

A spokesperson representing the Duke-UNC consortium declared in a statement that “the Consortium deeply values its partnership with the Department of Education and has always been strongly committed to complying with the purposes and requirements of the Title VI program.”

“In keeping with the spirit of this partnership, the Consortium is committed to working with the Department to provide more information about its programs,” the spokesperson added.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos‘s investigation into the consortium started after Congressman George Holding forwarded her a letter criticizing the program for holding a conference with “severe anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

DeVos stated that she was “troubled” by the letter and would look into the consortium, The Associated Press reported.

Ideally, the federal government would not be subsidizing these education programs.

Instead, private entities or at least state governments would be funding university programs.

What this case shows is American university’s embrace of political correctness culture, where certain religions like Islam are given a positive spin, while other faiths like Christianity get constantly demonized.

Even in the 21st century, Islam still has a ways to go in reforming many of its brutal practices, something many universities  across the nation whitewash.

Universities should be about free inquiry and fierce debate, not PC coddling.

And in no way should taxpayers be financing universities’ PC curricula.

Big League Guns

Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation

Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.

Under The Background Check Expansion Act,  gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House

“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.

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According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.

Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms. 

Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.

Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race. 

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