Northwestern alumni demand university terminate 'collaboration' with Al Jazeera in Qatar: EXCLUSIVE

Campus Reform obtained a report that was sent to members of Congress ahead of Northwestern President Michael Schill's May 2023 testimony before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Northwestern University alumni are demanding that the institution end its relationship with Al Jazeera and the Qatari government, a report obtained by Campus Reform shows. 

Northwestern established its Qatar campus (NU-Q) in 2008 including a branch of Medill - its Evanstown, Illinois-based journalism school - at NU-Q.  In 2013, Northwestern entered into a “collaboration” with Al Jazeera to partner on research and trainings in the media and news industries.

”NU-Q will conduct consultations with Al Jazeera leadership based on its faculty research interests and expertise in the American media industry, as the news network moves forward with its planning for Al Jazeera America,” a 2013 NU-Q press release states, describing the venture as a “collaboration and knowledge transfer between two of Qatar’s foremost media organizations.”

The report, compiled by alumni affiliated with the Coalition Against Anti-Semitism at Northwestern (CAAN) including the author Scott Shay, says that Northwestern’s relationship with Al Jazeera potentially violates U.S. law and national security interests under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, arguing the partnership should end. 

NU-Q’s training-based “collaboration” with Al Jazeera may violate U.S. law because the latter is seen by the United States as a foreign agent and is complicit in spreading Hamas propaganda, the report argues. 

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CAAN sent the letter May 8 to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce ahead of its hearing with Northwestern President Michael Schill on May 23.

Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx’s May 10 letter requesting documents from Northwestern relevant to its handling of antisemitism cites evidence of anti-Jewish discrimination compiled by CAAN. 

“President Michael Schill owes us an explanation,” CAAN National Co-Chair and Spokesperson Wendy Khabie told Campus Reform. “It is unclear how or whether Medill administrators in Evanstown currently or have ever had oversight or an immediate connection to the Medill Qatar campus, calling into question how the university and Medill standards are being upheld or enforced at NU-Q.” 

CAAN’s report cites the Canary Mission, which states Northwestern University-Qatar “trains students to legitimize antisemitic, anti-Israel and anti-American narratives in Western media.” 

[RELATED: Northwestern’s handling of campus unrest leads to disbanding of anti-Semitism task force]

The cited reports echoes claims made by Shay in his book, Conspiracy U: A Case Studyin which he describes how conspiracy theories about Jews are masquerading as academic theories on campuses like Northwestern. 

The Canary Mission report found that two-thirds of the Al Jazeera staff that lectured students “had either expressed support for terrorists, demonized Israel or backed the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

”Owned by the government of Qatar, Al Jazeera cannot possibly function as a free and independent news organization,” the CAAN report states. “Having a partnership with either Russia-owned TASS or China-owned Xinhua would make as much sense for Medill as having one with the state-sponsored news agency of Qatar. None of these organizations represent our Western standard for free and independent journalism, let alone one that deserves to be endorsed by Northwestern’s prestigious Medill School.”

The CAAN report also states that Al Jazeera “Jazeera quite clearly betrays basic standards of journalism by being the sanctioned and singular voice on behalf of its government, in clear alignment with Qatar’s national priorities and interests.”

”As part of its agenda, Al Jazeera routinely weaponizes its reports to engender hatred of the West (US interests), of Jews and of Israel. This bias is blatant and readily apparent in Al Jazeera reporting. Moreover, Al Jazeera’s reporters often act as Hamas spokespeople,” the report states.

[RELATED: NEGOTIATING WITH TERRORISTS: These universities have cut deals with their Hamas-endorsed occupiers]

The report urges Northwestern to end its relationship with Al Jazeera for its alleged ties to terrorism.

”Northwestern should do so not only for the moral reason that it is aiding and abetting the mouthpiece of Hamas, thereby endangering Israelis as victims of Hamas atrocities and Gazan civilians who are cynically used as human shields,” the report states. “Northwestern is also endangering journalists around the world who may have their credentials questioned by less humane governments than Israel because of the way Hamas uses journalists as a cover.”