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Howler of the Month (archive)

Hatem Bazian

"[T]he Islamophobic industry in Europe and the U.S. are happier the more such murderers in Paris, Yemen, Iraq, and Nigeria authenticate with violent actions their distorted and racist views of Islam and the Prophet."

Hatem Bazian, director of the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley, in "Charlie Hebdo, and Murder in the Name of Islam?"; Turkey Agenda, January 8, 2015. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Manuel Valls

"[T]hose who use this word ['Islamophobia'] are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of 'Islamophobia' is used to silence people."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in an interview with the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg that took place prior to the January 7, 2015 Islamic terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo; The Atlantic, January 16, 2015. (link to source)

CAMPUS WATCH, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.

The Latest on Campus

Desmond Tutu Center Hosts Islamic Reconciliation Discussion [incl. Ebrahim Moosa and Marcia Hermansen]
January 28, 2015 - The Butler Collegian (student newspaper of Butler University)

American Middle East Studies Professors Paint European Muslims as Victims
January 26, 2015 - Fousesquawk Blog

Profs on Paris Attacks: Je Suis NOT Charlie!
January 26, 2015 - FrontPage Magazine

The Truth About Plagiarist Fareed Zakaria's Views on Censorship [incl. Yale University Press, Reza Aslan]
January 26, 2015 - Washington Free Beacon

Mark LeVine on Charlie Hebdo: Blame Capitalism and the West
January 25, 2015 - Fousesquawk Blog

Despite Tight Budgets, Some Schools Pick Up Languages Such as Arabic, Chinese
January 24, 2015 - Press of Atlantic City

Notre Dame Creates Endowed Professorship in Islamic Studies
January 23, 2015 - Associated Press

Muslim Call to Prayer Highlights Divisions and Solidarity at Duke University [incl. Omid Safi]
January 23, 2015 - The Guardian (U.K.)

Juan Cole talks Middle East Politics, Youth Thursday in University of Florida's Reitz Ballroom
January 23, 2015 - The Independent Florida Alligator (newspaper of the University of Florida)

Hatem Bazian's "Explanation" for Islamic Terror
January 22, 2015 - Fousesquawk Blog


Stanford Profs Beinin, Barhoum, and Crews Sign Divestment Petition

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 28 Jan 2015, 12:47 PM | Permalink

Joel Beinin

Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine, a coalition of student groups and individuals, has addressed a petition to the Stanford Board of Trustees urging divestment from "corporations [that are] complicit in the infrastructure of occupation, collective punishment, state-sponsored repression, and unjust incarceration in Palestine."

Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, is featured prominently at number four in the "faculty/staff" section of the signatories list, followed closely by Robert Crews, director of the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, and Khalil Barhoum, program coordinator for the African and Middle Eastern Language Program. Apparently, anti-Israel activism is what passes for Middle East studies "scholarship" at Stanford University these days.


Profs on Paris Attacks: Je Suis NOT Charlie!

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Mon, 26 Jan 2015, 2:45 AM | Permalink

'I Am Not Charlie' Sign

How did Middle East studies professors react to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris? Instead of offering rigorous condemnation, moral outrage, and an unbridled defense of free speech, they engaged in obfuscation, moral relativism, apologetics, and anti-Western bigotry. In an article that appears today at Frontpage Magazine, Campus Watch West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell reports on academia's "Je Suis NOT Charlie!" declaration:

Middle East studies professors responded to the attacks by Islamic terrorists in Paris earlier this month not with rigorous, informed analysis or even unadultered sympathy for those gunned down in the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market. Their reaction was instead precisely what one has come to expect from academics more concerned with shielding Islam from blame and shifting responsibility for its adherents' actions to the West than with the disinterested pursuit of truth.

. . . University of California, Riverside creative writing professor Reza Aslan claimed that an "anti-Muslim backlash" had created "tension among the Muslim population in Europe and non-Muslim population," leading "a lot of young Muslims" to "feel angry, perhaps, threatened, enough to actually take up violence."

. . . Oxford University Islamic studies professor Tariq Ramadan . . . accused Charlie Hebdo's editors of "target[ing] Muslims" for the purpose of "making money," adding, "It has nothing to do with courage."

To read the entire article, please click here.


French PM Denounces the Term 'Islamphobia'; Berkeley's Bazian Keeps Pushing It

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Tue, 20 Jan 2015, 1:53 PM | Permalink

Hatem Bazian

In the wake of this month's Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, to his credit, has declared that:

I refuse to use this term "Islamophobia," because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of "Islamophobia" is used to silence people.

Valls will have to contend with the legion of Middle East studies academics employing this very strategy, particularly Hatem Bazian, director of UC Berkeley's Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP), who, when asked by ABC News to comment on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, conveniently noted that he had been in Paris recently for an "Islamophobia conference." Indeed, Bazian and IRDP are at the forefront of the attempt to create an international field of "Islamphobia studies." It's a good bet Valls won't be on the roster of invited speakers.


Native Canadian Ryan Bellerose vs. Native Wannabee Steven Salaita

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Mon, 19 Jan 2015, 4:18 PM | Permalink

Native Canadian Ryan Mervin Bellerose, who has become known for debunking the academically popular Palestinian/Native-American comparison by writing about the commonalities between Jews and Native-Americans, reports on two University of Alberta lectures from former Virginia Tech professor Steven Salaita. Last year, Salaita's offered position in the American Indian studies program at the University of Illinois was rescinded because of his vicious anti-Israel, anti-Semitic tweets. Bellerose handily dismisses any claims to expertise Salaita may have harbored on the subject to which he aspired, as well as reporting on his more ridiculous utterances:

He claimed Edmonton was Metis land, and it is not – it is Cree land actually. He claimed he was a displaced Palestinian, but his father is from Jordan and his mothers family is from Beit Jallah, which is in a Palestinian Authority controlled area, so it's not like he cannot go back and live on his "ancestral lands.". . . . At his second talk, I sat quietly while he told several lies, one of which was that, "I never raises my voice. I have a 2-year old son and sometimes he makes me cry because I can't yell at him. I'm just not a confrontational person."


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