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News Analysis

Iranian Front Group Funded 30 Universities in U.S. & Canada

Tue, June 25, 2013

Harvard Yard

Harvard Yard

by: 
Ryan Mauro

The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood isn’t the only Islamist group funding American universities. The Iranian regime has done the same thing on a massive scale through its New York-based front, the Alavi Foundation. The Foundation’s website openly lists 30 “academic institutions” in the U.S. and Canada it has awarded grants to.

The Alavi Foundation is accused of funneling money to an Iranian bank linked to the nuclear program. The president of the Foundation, Farshid Jahedi, pled guilty to destroying evidence before it could be submitted to the grand jury. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigations chief, Adam Kaufmann, said “We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the foundation.”

The case has yet to be resolved.

The Foundation’s purpose is not only to launder money for the regime, but to become subtly engaged in the ideological war. U.S. officials told the Washington Post that the Foundation “promotes Tehran’s views on world affairs.” The communications director for the Iranian-American Community of Northern California, Hamid Azimi, says it is part of the regime’s “propaganda machine.”

This alleged component of Iran’s “propaganda machine” has invested heavily in academia. According to the Alavi Foundation website, 30 colleges and universities in North America have received its financing. The objective is to “offer courses on Persian language, Iranian studies and the Islamic culture with a focus on Shi'ite studies.”

The named 30 are listed below, organized by state alphabetically and additional notes. The Canadian institutions are listed at the end. All monetary figures were taken from the Alavi Foundation's own financial reports.

State University Comments
Arizona University of Arizona  
California San Diego State Univeristy $20,000 (2010); $40,000 (2008); $48,000 (2007); $3,000 (2004)
  University of California-- Berkeley $30,000 (2007 and 2004)
  University of California-- Los Angeles $10,000 (2007); $2,000 (2005); $10,000 (2004)
  University of Southern California $3,000 (2006); $10,000 (2005)
Connecticut Harford Seminary
$17,500 (2008)
As the Clarion Project has reported, Hartford Seminary 
has also partnered with the International Institute of 
Islamic Thought, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.
  Sacred Heart University $5,000 (2008); $39,000 (2007); $60,000 (2006); $10,000 (2005);$3,000 (2004)
Georgia Georgia State University $13,000 (2004)
Illinois Lake Forest College $20,000 (2007)
Maryland University of Maryland
$50,000 (2007)
As the Clarion Project has reported, the University of 
Maryland has also partnered with the International
 Institute of Islamic Thought, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.
The IIIT booked University of Maryland professor Dr. Ahmad
Kazemi Moussavi, a former Iranian diplomat, as a speaker
 on December 16, 2011. Moussavi is a visiting instructor for the
 Fairfax Institute, an organization with strong U.S. Muslim
 Brotherhood links.
Massachusetts Boston University  
  Harvard University
$75,000 (2010 for its Center for Middle East Studies)
$41,000 (2008); $41,000 to Harvard University and $17,00 to
Harvard Law School (20007)
$36,000 (2006)
$36,000, (2005)
$41,000 (2004)
Harvard has also reportedly received at least $2.5 million from 
Saudi Arabia.
Michigan University of Michigan $16,000 (2009, 2008 and 2006)
New Jersey Princeton University
The school has also reportedly received at least $1 million from
 Saudi Arabia.
  Rutgers University
According to the New York Post, the Foundation donated $351,600 to the Persian Language Program between 2005 and 2007. The newspaper said that the Foundation also financed the professorship of Hooshang Amirahmadi, a former director of Rutgers’ Center for Middle East Studies. He “unabashedly has touted Hezbollah and Hamas as legitimate organizations and not terrorists.”
$72,500 (2007); $40,500 (2006); $2,100 to Rutgers University and $75,000 to Rutgers Foundation (2005); $137,500 (2004).
The school has reportedly received at least $5 million from Saudi Arabia to endow a chair.
New York Bard College  
  BinghamtonUniversity
$7,500 (2006); $5,000 (2005)
As the Clarion Project has reported, Binghamton University has
also partnered with the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.
  City College of New York $1,000 (2007)
  City University of New York $1,000 (2006)
  Columbia Univeristy
According to the New York Post, the Foundation donated $100,000 to Columbia University after the school agreed to host Iranian
President Ahmadinejad as a speaker in 2007.
The newspaper reported that the Foundation financed at least two professorships, Gary Sick of the School of International and Public Affairs and Hamid Dabashi, professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature. Sick has justified Ahmadinejad’s calls to destroy Israel and Dabashi has praised Iraqi, Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorists as heroes “resisting this [American] empire.”
$20,000 (2006); $50,000 (2004)
The school has also reportedly received Saudi financing.
  Hunter College
In 2010, the school gave back $13,349 (it was originally allocated for its religious program.
$6,000 (in 2007, 2006, and 2006); $14,000 (2004)
  New York University $350 (2006)
  State University of New York at Old Westbury $700 (2008)
Ohio Ohio State University $3,000 (2006)
Oregan  Portland State University $71,000 (2010 for its Middle East Studies Center); $16, 750 (2008); $32,500 (2007); $20,000 (2006); $47,500 (2005 to the Portand State University Foundation); $18,00 (2004)
Pennsylvania Kutztown University $9,000 (2009); $5,000 (2007); $3,00 (2006); 
  Temple University $5,000 (2006)
  University of Pennsylvania $5,000 (2006); $40,000 (2005)
Texas University of Texas  
Virginia University of Virginia  
  Eastern Mennonite University
$20,000 (2010).
As the Clarion Project reported, Eastern Mennonite University has also partnered with the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.
Washington, D.C. Catholic University of America $45,000 (2007); $60,000 (2006); $75,000 (2005 and 2004)
Wisconsin University of Wisconsin -- Madison $48,000 (2004)
Canada Carlton University $10,000 (2007)
  McGill University $90,000 (2010); $30,000 (2009); $40,000 (2008); $80,000 (2007); $30,000 (2005)
  University of Alberta $5,000 (2008); $5,000 (2004)

As the investigation continues into the Alavi Foundation, U.S. and Candian officials need to also investigate the influence the Iranian regime has had on academia through its vast amounts of money.