The U.S. Department of Education said it will continue to fund a Middle East-studies program it had accused of misusing government money and advancing an ideological agenda. In August, the department ordered the Duke-University of North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies to revamp its programming or risk losing a $235,000 grant. In particular, it suggested that the consortium was promoting Islam, while failing to focus on other religions. The universities defended the center, and higher-education groups, including the Middle East Studies Association, criticized the Education Department for meddling in curricula and stepping on academic freedom. But even as it released the funds, the department signaled that federal grantees should expect more scrutiny.
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