A taxpayer-funded program seeks to foster "new perspectives" on the Middle East. A group of six Ohio colleges in the Cleveland area are working together to help provide "new perspectives" about the Middle East and to confront "misinformation" about the region and about Islam specifically. However, the group has chosen a curious partner to represent the American Muslim community: the Muslim Brotherhood-founded and terror-supporting Hamas front group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
On Tuesday, the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies (NOCMES) will be hosting Naif al-Mutawa at the City Club of Cleveland for a talk on "Art, Narrative and Muslim Identity." Later that evening he will appear at Baldwin Wallace College. Al-Mutawa is the CEO of the company that has produced the first series of comic books with Muslim superheroes. The colleges sponsoring NOCMES include Oberlin College, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Case Western Reserve University, and Hathaway Brown (an all-girls K-12 private school).
The Tuesday talk is part of NOCMES' "New Perspectives on Muslim and Middle East Societies" program funded by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), which is funded partially by U.S. taxpayers through the State Department and the National Science Foundation. SSRC's "Islamic Traditions and Muslim Societies in World Contexts" has awarded a grant to NOCMES funded by the Carnegie Corporation.
A video promoting the NOCMES "New Perspectives" project features Neda Zawahri, associate professor of political science at Cleveland State University. She states:
So when people first meet people from the Middle East they're first afraid because, is this person going to be a terrorist or an Islamic fundamentalist? But to actually learn that they're human beings just like them. (...)