The head of a religious science university in Texas has been awarded $200,000 to teach his students about the Bible, even though he had previously denied that the religion existed.
The university, known as the Institute of Technology, is located in Houston, where the largest population of U.S. Muslims are concentrated.
The university has been a favorite of Republican President Donald Trump, who said in a statement that it should be renamed the Institute for Technology for the Study of Science.
The institute is funded by the American Council for Islamic Relations (ACIR) and has also received funding from the State Department.
The institute was created in 2010 to advance the study of Islamic theology.
A spokesman for the Institute said in an email that it is grateful for the federal funding and will work with the university to improve the institute.
The spokesman added that the institute is “working to improve its website, communications and research.”
The university has faced criticism from the National Muslim Student Association (NMSSA) for the decision to grant the contract to the head of the institute, Dr. David Yoo.
“The institute has failed to provide its full diversity of views, and its leadership has failed its students, faculty and staff, the NMSSA said in its statement, which was posted on Twitter.
In the statement, NMSSAA President Farhad Shabazz called on the institute to “put its ideology aside and become a leader in providing a more welcoming, diverse and tolerant environment.””
Instead, the Institute has opted to become a conduit for the indoctrination of Islam, its most pernicious ideology, and a source of anti-Muslim violence,” Shabaz said.
Yoo’s contract was approved by the University Senate in January, according to university spokesperson Johnathan D. Williams.
The university is a center of Islamic education in Texas.
According to the National Association of Scholars, Texas is home to around 1.2 million Muslims, of which nearly 400,000 are enrolled at Texas Tech.
The institute said it would focus on teaching students about Islamic science and the Bible and that its curriculum would focus “on the historical origins of Islam and the evolution of religious belief and practice.”
“The changes have been approved by our Academic Council and are currently in process.””
As part of the project, the University has reviewed the curriculum for the course and the title has been changed to reflect that change,” the statement said.
“The changes have been approved by our Academic Council and are currently in process.”
The institute also plans to create a center for Islamic Studies and the Koran.
The National Council for Science Education (NCSE), an organization that promotes the teaching of science, has called on universities to be more welcoming to Muslims.
NCSE President James F. Stokes told ABC News that while the University of Texas and other institutions have a responsibility to be welcoming to all students, the question is whether the Institute should be considered a welcoming school for all students.
“It’s very unfortunate that we don’t have more open spaces for students to come and study Islam, and that the University would be one of the institutions that would have a difficult time welcoming Muslim students,” Stokes said.