Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

New questions on Exeter's Middle East funding

    Campaigner: Halfon
    Campaigner: Halfon

    An MP campaigning on the funding by the Arab world of British universities has demanded an explanation from Exeter University over a donation from the Middle East broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

    Conservative MP Robert Halfon has asked if the TV station has funded the European Muslim Research Centre at the university, which was recently forced to issue a public apology over "serious errors of fact" in its research.

    Mr Halfon raised questions about the funding of the EMRC at the university earlier this year. The EMRC is devoted to the study of Islamophobia and combating the idea that "European Muslims, Islam and strict adherence to Islam poses a threat to the safety, cohesion and wellbeing of communities and countries in Europe".

    A Freedom of Information request from the Harlow MP confirmed that the EMRC received £50,000 from the Cordoba Foundation and £50,000 from IslamExpo, but it also showed a £35,000 gift from Al-Jazeera Satellite Network.

    The centre's co-directors, Robert Lambert and lecturer Jonathan Githens-Mazer, were obliged to publish a lengthy apology for the first piece of work published by the centre: Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies.

    This was a series of anecdotal accounts of personal experiences of alleged Islamophobia. However, Labour councillors in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets objected to their portrayal as Islamophobes, as did local MP Jim Fitzpatrick. The apology, which included a recall of the original research paper, said: "The university has become aware that a third party account…in an earlier version of the academic report Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies, contained serious errors of fact which may lead a reader to misconstrue the conduct, actions and the intentions of Councillors Helal Abbas, Denise Jones, Ken Clark, Joshua Peck, Rachael Saunders, Michael Keith and Jim Fitzpatrick MP."

    The apology went on to clarify that it was "not the position or finding of the university that the actions and intentions of those individuals were Islamophobic or racist in any way. Those individuals have passionately stressed to the university that they have worked throughout their careers to fight racism, discrimination and inequality in east London."

    Questions have been raised in the past about the Islamist connections of the EMRC. The Cordoba Foundation is headed by Anas al-Tikriti, former president of the Muslim Association of Britain, which represents the views of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.

    Mr Halfon's FOI request also showed Exeter receiving over £1m from the Kurdistan regional government and donations from the Qatar National Research Foundation, the Emirates Foundation and the Gulf Research Foundation. It has also received over £30,000 for research from the Israel Nature and Natural Parks Protection Authority.

Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
Uk News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86