UK: 'Extremism' fear over Islam studies donations

Extremist ideas are being spread by Islamic study centres linked to British universities and backed by multi-million-pound donations from Saudi Arabia and Muslim organisations, a new report claims, reports The Telegraph. Eight universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have accepted more than £233.5 million (US$462 million) from Saudi and Muslim sources since 1995, with much of the money going to Islamic study centres. The total sum, revealed by Anthony Glees, the director of Brunel University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, amounts to the largest source of external funding to UK universities.

Arab donors have argued that their gifts to academic institutions help to promote understanding between the West and the Islamic world. However, Glees – who made controversial claims in 2005 that 48 universities had been infiltrated by fundamentalists – says in his unpublished report that the propagation of one-sided views of Islam and the Middle East at universities amounts to anti-Western propaganda.

At a conference in London last week, the government was expected to call for the opening of more Islamic study centres at British universities. Last year, ministers declared Islamic studies a "strategically important subject" and put aside £1 million for the teaching of the subject, as part of a counter-radicalisation drive.
Full report on The Telegraph site