The Bayan Claremont graduate school in California has turned down $800,000 in federal funds dedicated to combat violent extremism, which is enough funding to fund half of their annual budget. The school had apparently debated this quite thoroughly, and in the end, they decided to turn the money down based on President Donald Trump’s recent travel restrictions from Muslim countries, according to the school.
“It’s “a heck of a lot of money, but our mission and our vision is to serve the community and to bring our community to a position of excellence,” said Jihad Turk, the school’s founding President. “And if we’re compromised, even if only by perception in terms of our standing in the community, we ultimately can’t achieve that goal,” he added.
Bayan Claremont is not alone, there are a growing number of education institutions which are turning down funding. Unity Productions Foundation in Potomac Falls, Virginia, has officials stating that “due to the changes brought by the new administration,” they would be denying a grant of $395,000.
One precursor to this was that a U.S. official claimed to the Associated Press (AP) that President Trump’s administration is considering changing the name of one of President Obama’s programs from 2011 involving DHS to include the phrase “countering Islamic extremism.” The AP claimed the official was not authorized to speak about this publicly.
DHS awards some of these funds being given to these institutions totaling $10 million annually in an attempt to get these institutions to alert them if they witness radicalization or potential threats to the nation. These institutions, however, continue to turn down the funds based on the completely legal actions being taken by the Trump administration.