(New York, N.Y.) — Today Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Chief Executive Officer Ambassador Mark D. Wallace commended Texas A&M University for its decision to close down its flagship campus in Doha’s Education City.
Ambassador Wallace stated:
“Qatar’s global isolation is rightly increasing every day. Texas A&M should be roundly applauded for rejecting sponsorship from a global funder of terrorism. Remaining universities with ties to Qatar must follow suit or risk severe reputational damage.
Academic integrity, freedom of expression, and tolerance cannot exist alongside terror sponsorship. Texas A&M has taken the right step in rejecting this sponsorship and refusing to participate in Qatar’s attempts to whitewash its bloody legacy.”
On November 30, 2023, CEP called on American institutions with Qatari satellite campuses to take immediate action against their academic hosts, following up with a letter to Texas A&M dated February 8, 2024.
At its quarterly meeting that day, the Board of Regents voted to begin a years-long process to shut down its campus in Doha, with plans to complete the shutdown by 2028. Board Chairman Bill Mahomes stated that “The Board has decided that the core mission of Texas A&M should be advanced primarily within Texas and the United States.” The university’s statement cited “heightened instability in the Middle East” as one of its reasons for closing down its satellite campus.
Qatar is a top foreign funder of American universities, and has donated at least $4.7 billion to U.S. colleges since 2001. It hosts and accredits several American university satellites alongside Texas A&M: Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Georgetown, Northwestern, Virginia Commonwealth, and Arkansas State all enjoy Qatar’s hospitality—alongside Hamas’s senior leadership.
In addition to the six remaining universities who have not taken action regarding their relationship to Qatar, Doha is home to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who celebrated the October 7 massacre from his office along with his predecessor, Khaled Meshaal. Qatar has for months hid behind its role as “mediator,” claiming that it is acting as a neutral party facilitating hostage release negotiations. But the Gulf state in fact funds Hamas to the tune of $360 to $480 million annually, held Israel “solely responsible” for the Oct 7 massacre in the days following the attacks, and has spent months sponsoring a full-court propaganda press against the Jewish state via its state-funded mouthpiece, Al Jazeera.
American universities admitted long ago that associations with authoritarian governments like Qatar compromised academic freedom. More recent studies have found direct links between foreign funding from authoritarian countries like Qatar and increased levels of antisemitism, intolerance, and speech suppression on campus.
Texas A&M has taken a significant first step in excising such malign influences from its storied academic legacy. We urge the following universities with campuses in Qatar to follow suit:
- Arkansas State University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Cornell University
- Georgetown University
- Northwestern University
- Virginia Commonwealth University
To read CEP’s Nov 30 statement calling on American universities to take action against Qatar, click here.
To read The Times’ report on CEP’s call to boycott Qatar’s London hotels, click here.
To read The Wall Street Journal’s report on UANI and CEP’s previous call to action, please click here.
To read The Telegraph’s report citing CEP’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Wallace’s call for a Qatari asset freeze until it surrenders Hamas leadership to the U.S. and/or Israel, please click here.
To read The Washington Post’s report citing CEP CEO Mark Wallace on Qatar’s role in harboring Hamas, please click here.
To read CEP’s report, Qatar: Extremism and Terrorism, please click here.
To read CEP’s HARBORS Campaign Report on Qatar, please click here.