The Trump Administration is pressuring the University of North Carolina and Duke University to revise their joint Middle East program or risk federal funding.
The Education Department wrote a letter to the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies on August 29 that the program is disproportionately "the positive aspects of Islam." The agency requested to change the program by September 22 or lose a scholarship that they had received for nearly a decade, the Associated Press reported.
The National Resource Center grants grants for programs that support the learning of foreign languages.
The Education Department stated in its letter that foreign language and national security "are lagging behind other priorities" that have "little or no relevance" to the objectives of the grant.
The Education Department wrote that the program "places considerable emphasis" on "understanding the positive aspects of Islam, while there is absolutely no comparable emphasis on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism or any other religious or belief system in the Middle East ".
The program Until 22 September, the department has time to submit a "revised plan of action" and describe how each area relates to the foreign language and national security.
The Education Depa Thursday's report said the review focused on compliance.
"It is obviously wrong that the department rated the program as too positive for Islam," a spokesman for the department said in a statement to The Hill. "We are reviewing the use of UNC-Duke grant funding because we fear they will not meet the congressional requirements for the program ̵
"Our investigation has nothing to do with their program's Islamic bias," the spokesman added. "Pro-Islamic programming is not the problem – it's the lack of diversity and foreign language learning."
Duke declined to comment. UNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Elizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosTrump awards the Medal of Valor to Task Force Dayton and El Paso State University .5M in the case of Larry Nassar Government Guard notes that the expanded program is to Student Loans Most applicants still reject. MORE The consortium's investigation began after Rep. George Holding George Edward Bell Holding Delays in a New Trade Agreement Harms the Digital Advantage of America's Republican Troll Democrats with Proposals to Rename the Pending Health Act The GOP legislator is calling for an investigation alleged "anti-Israeli bias" at the conference of the Duke of the United Nations. MORE (RN.C.) sent her a letter condemning the program for holding a conference with "severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric."
DeVos said she was "disturbed" by the letter and will deal with the consortium, reported The Associated Press.
Holding informed the AP that the education department has the right to ensure the proper use of funds.
"This has fallen through the cracks, and this could be going on at other educational institutions," he said. "If the department provides the money and gives guidance on how to use the money, they can, in my opinion have as much weeds as they need to. "
The consortium writes 960 students in Middle Eastern language courses from 6,791 students across the Middle East study program, the letter said.
Updated at 15:23 Clock