Partners with State, Education departments on international initiative
JERUSALEM – A Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization has partnered with the U.S. Department of Education and the State Department to facilitate an online program aiming to connect all U.S. schools with classrooms abroad by 2016.
Vartan Gregorian, a board member of the organization, the Qatar Foundation International, was appointed in 2009 to President Obama’s White House Fellowships Commission.
WND previously exposed that Gregorian served as a point man in granting $49.2 million in startup capital to an education-reform project founded by former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and chaired by Obama.
Documentation shows Gregorian was central in Ayers’ recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis with Ayers.
Obama also later said his job at the project qualified him to run for public office, as WND previously reported.
Connecting schools to fulfill Obama pledge
The Qatar Foundation International, or QFI, in 2011 partnered with the Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to facilitate matchmaking between classrooms in the U.S. and international schools through something called the “Connect All Schools” project.
QFI, funded by the Qatari government, explains on its website the initiative was founded in response to Obama’s call in his June 2009 speech to the Arab world in Cairo, Egypt, to “create a new online network, so a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.”
QFI relates how more than 100 U.S. schools and organizations have already connected on the interactive website.
The stated goal of the initiative is to “connect every school in the U.S. with the world by 2016.”
This is not the QFI’s first foray into the U.S. education system.
WND reported last May the Qatar-based foundation awarded “Curriculum Grants” to seven U.S. schools and language organizations to “develop comprehensive and innovative curricula and teaching materials to be used in any Arabic language classroom.”
QFI, based in Washington, D.C., is the U.S. branch of the Qatar Foundation, founded in 1995 by Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Thani is still the group’s vice-chairman, while one of his three wives, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairs the organization’s board.
Thani also launched Al Jazeera in 1996 and served as the television network’s chairman.
The Qatar foundation is close to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In January 2012, it launched the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics under the guidance of Tariq Ramadan, who serves as the center’s director.
Ramadan is the grandson of the notorious founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al Banna. Ramadan was banned from the U.S. until 2010 when the Obama administration issued him a visa to give a lecture at a New York school.
QFI, meanwhile, named several institutions after Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many regard Qaradawi as the de facto spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
The foundation instituted the Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi Scholarships and in 2009 established a research center named the Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal.
Qaradawi has personally attended scores of foundation events, including conferences at which he served as a keynote speaker.
Qaradawi achieved star status because of his regular sermons and interviews on Al Jazeera.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism documents Qardawi openly permitted the killing of American troops in Iraq and praised the “heroic deeds” of “Hamas, Jihad, Al-Aqsa Brigades and others.”
Obama, Ayers connection
Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corp. charitable foundation, was appointed by Obama in 2009 as a White House fellow. Born in Tabriz, Iran, Gregorian served for eight years as president of the New York Public Library and was also president of Brown University.
As Brown president, Gregorian served on the selection committee of the Annenberg Foundation, which funded Ayers’ Chicago Annenberg Challenge with a $49.2 million, 2-to-1 matching challenge grant over five years. Ayers was one of five founding members of the Annenberg Challenge who wrote to the Annenberg Foundation for the initial funding.
Steve Diamond, a political-science and law professor and a blogger who has posted on Obama, previously posted a letter from Nov. 18, 1994, in which Gregorian, serving as the point man on Annenberg’s selection committee, asked Ayers to “compose the governing board” of the Challenge’s collaborative project with “people who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of Chicago.”
Ayers and other founding Challenge members then recruited Obama to serve as the project chairman.
WND was first to expose that Obama and Ayers used the project grant money to fund organizations run by radicals tied to Ayers, including Mike Klonsky, a former top communist activist who was a senior leader in the Students for a Democratic Society group, a major leftist student organization in the 1960s from which the Weathermen terror group later splintered.
National Review Online writer Stanley Kurtz examined the project archives housed at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago, finding Obama and Ayers worked closely at the project.
The documents obtained by Kurtz showed Ayers served as an ex-officio member of the board that Obama chaired through the project’s first year. Ayers also served on the board’s governance committee with Obama and worked with him to craft project bylaws, according to the documents.
Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Obama. Ayers also spoke for the Chicago School Reform Collaborative before Obama’s board, while Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the collaborative, the project documents reviewed by Kurtz show.
WND reported Obama and Ayers also served together on the board of the Woods Fund, a liberal Chicago nonprofit that granted money to far-left causes.
One of the groups funded by the Woods Fund was the Midwest Academy, an activist organization modeled after Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky described as teaching tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation.
WND reported Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama’s campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.
Camp Obama was a two- to four-day intensive course run in conjunction with Obama’s campaign aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.
Obama scholar linked to ‘Ground Zero’ imam
Meanwhile, WND reported Gregorian is closely tied to the Muslim leaders behind the controversial Islamic cultural center to be built near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Gregorian also serves on the board of the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum. The museum is reportedly working with the American Society for Muslim Advancement, whose leaders are behind the mosque, to ensure the future museum will represent the voices of American Muslims.
“[The Sept. 11 museum will represent the] voices of American Muslims in particular, and it will honor members of other communities who came together in support and collaboration with the Muslim community on September 11 and its aftermath,” stated Daisy Khan, executive director of the society.
The Sept. 11 museum’s oral historian, Jenny Pachucki, is collaborating with the society to ensure the perspective of American Muslims is woven into the overall experience of the museum, according to the museum’s blog.
Khan’s husband, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is the founder of the society as well as chairman of Cordoba Initiative, which is behind the proposed mosque to be built about two blocks from the area referred to as Ground Zero.
With Gregorian at its helm, Carnegie Corp. is at the top of the list of society supporters on the Islamic group’s website.
Carnegie is also listed as a funder of both of the society’s partner organizations, Search for Common Ground and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. Gregorian was a participant in the U.N. body’s first forum, as was Rauf.
Rauf is vice chairman on the board of the Interfaith Center of New York, which honored Gregorian at an awards dinner in 2008.
Gregorian is the author of “Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith.” According to a book review by the Middle East Forum, his book “establishes the Islamist goal of world domination.”
A chapter of the book, “Islamism: Liberation Politics,” quotes Ayatollah Khomeini: “Islam does not conquer. Islam wants all countries to become Muslim, of themselves.” Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, is quoted stating it “is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its laws on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”
Gregorian himself recommends for Muslims a system he calls “theo-democracy,” which he defines as “a divine democratic government” that, according to the book review, “would have a limited popular sovereignty under the suzerainty of Allah.”
With additional research by Danette Clark and Brenda J. Elliott