Friday, February 9, 2024

Texas A&M Doha Campus Closure Linked to ‘Disinformation Campaign’: Qatar Foundation


Texas A&M University’s decision to close its Doha campus has been attributed to a months-long “disinformation campaign,” according to Qatar Foundation. The university’s System Board of Regents voted in favor of ending the contract with the foundation, citing heightened instability in the Middle East as the reason for reevaluating its presence in Qatar. However, the foundation has condemned the vote, claiming that it was influenced by a disinformation campaign aimed at harming its interests.

The foundation expressed its disappointment in a statement, stating that it is disturbing that disinformation has become the determining factor in the decision. It criticized Texas A&M University for allowing politics to infiltrate its decision-making processes and failing to seek out the truth from Qatar Foundation before making its decision. The foundation emphasized the significant positive impact of the partnership between Qatar and the US.

Board of Regents Chair Bill Mahomes stated that the core mission of Texas A&M should be advanced primarily within Texas and the US. He argued that by the middle of the 21st century, the university would not necessarily need a campus infrastructure 8,000 miles away to support education and research collaborations.

The decision to close the Doha campus follows months of lobbying by a pro-Israel think tank in Washington. The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy raised concerns over the rights of the Qatari government to defense and nuclear technologies allegedly being developed at the Doha campus. The institute sent a letter to US officials warning of the national security threat posed by the campus.

In a report published after the outbreak of the Gaza war, the institute detailed a disturbing relationship between Qatar and Texas A&M University. It claimed that the Qatari state enjoys substantial ownership of weapons development rights and nuclear research conducted on the Texas A&M Doha campus. However, Texas A&M University’s president, Mark Welch, denied these claims, stating that no nuclear technology, weapons/defense, or national security research is conducted at the campus.

The closure of the Doha campus has sparked controversy and raised questions about the influence of disinformation campaigns on decision-making processes. It highlights the importance of verifying information and seeking the truth before making significant decisions. The partnership between Qatar Foundation and Texas A&M University has been praised for its positive impact on both Qatar and the US, and it is unfortunate that politics and disinformation have overshadowed this.

In October, Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani, CEO of Qatar Foundation, expressed her horror at the scale of murder and destruction in Gaza. She commended the Qatar Foundation community for raising awareness and debunking fake news on social media platforms. This response demonstrates the importance of countering disinformation and promoting accurate information.

In conclusion, the closure of Texas A&M University’s Doha campus has been attributed to a disinformation campaign. Qatar Foundation has criticized the university for allowing politics to influence its decision-making processes and failing to seek the truth. The controversy surrounding the closure highlights the need for accurate information and verification before making significant decisions. The partnership between Qatar Foundation and Texas A&M University has been praised for its positive impact, and it is unfortunate that disinformation has overshadowed this.

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