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Education Fund to Assist Those Studying the Mideast

April 3, 2008 By:
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Daniel Pipes

The Middle East Forum, the Philadelphia-based research institute headed by scholar and opinion columnist Daniel Pipes, has just launched an Education Fund, which seeks to support institutions and researchers whose specialty is the Middle East, and particularly those whose focus centers on radical Islam.

The new fund is made possible through anonymous grants, according to a press release. The forum then distributes the money to scholars, organizations and those involved in investigative projects.

Funding decisions are done internally, said Pipes, and no applications for grants are accepted.

"As specialists in the topics we cover," he added, "we have a good sense of who is doing the most important work, and where funds can make the most difference."

Fatah as 'Moderate'

The forum has actually made such stipends available in the past, even before the formal establishment of the fund.

In 2007, MEF distributed monies in excess of $300,000.

One notable use of MEF funding, according to Pipes, is Arlene Kushner's study, "Fatah as 'Moderate': A Hard Look at Post-Annapolis." The report details Fatah's involvement in terrorist activities.

A news item on israelnationalnews.com stated that the Israeli government found the document so troubling that Jerusalem police arrested three Israelis in January of this year who'd been distributing the report to foreign journalists in front of the Dan Panorama Hotel. That was where most of them were staying that week during U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Israel earlier this year.

"The government of Israel seeks to portray Fatah as moderate," stated Pipes. "Kushner's study shows otherwise."

Projects that are at present being supported by the fund include studies of reform in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East at the United Nations, Israeli Arab media and honor killings.

Pipes said that the fund "reflects our commitment to support the widest and best possible understanding of the Middle East and Islam."

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