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Howler of the Month (archive)

Thoraya Boumehdi,

"Islam has been a great civilization which has been haunted for centuries by populations that were not Muslim."

Thoraya Boumehdi, an Arabic instructor at the Stanford Language Center, speaking on a panel titled, "Terror, Freedom, Blasphemy: Reflections on Citizenship in Our Times"; Stanford University; January 30, 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

"Pass the Bhong": At Stanford, "Academics" Discuss the "Connection" Between the Middle East and Ferguson
March 1, 2015 - Fousesquawk Blog

Braintree High May Offer Mandarin, Arabic Language Classes
March 1, 2015 - The Patriot Ledger

Wise Won't Ask College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to Reconsider Salaita Job
February 28, 2015 - The News-Gazette

University of Illinois Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit From Professor Who Lost Job Offer Over Tweets [on Steven Salaita]
February 26, 2015 - Associated Press

Center for Global Islamic Studies Hopes to Expand to Provide a Greater Understanding of Islam [incl. Robert Rozehnal]
February 26, 2015 - The Brown and White (student newspaper of Lehigh University)

University of Illinois Files Motion to Dismiss Salaita Suit
February 26, 2015 - The Daily Illini (student newspaper of the University of Illinois)

University of Illinois Asks Judge to Dismiss Salaita's Federal Suit
February 26, 2015 - The News-Gazette

Stanford 'Charlie Hebdo' Panel: Je Suis Ferguson?
February 25, 2015 - Jihad Watch

Juan Cole: The Islamic State is Not Islamic
February 25, 2015 - Jihad Watch

'Bring People Together' is Arab-Israeli Expert's Charge for Coexistence [on David Makovsky]
February 25, 2015 - The Jewish Chronicle


Columbia Tops List of Colleges With 'Worst anti-Semitic Activity'

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 26 Feb 2015, 4:36 PM | Permalink

Columbia University's Joseph Massad

Columbia University has the dubious distinction of ranking number one on the David Horowitz Freedom Center list--part of its "Jew Hatred on Campus" campaign--of the ten U.S. campuses with the worst anti-Semitic activity in 2014. Israel-bashing Middle East studies professors Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad figure prominently in that decision, as does the fact that former Virginia Tech professor, and anti-Semitic tweeter par excellence, Steven Salaita was invited to speak on campus. As noted by the Algemeiner:

According to the Center, Columbia University is listed first because it is home to the "most well-known antisemitic professors in the nation such as Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad, who has been accused of harassing Jewish students on multiple occasions. In addition, it is home to a highly active SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] chapter that has recently brought BDS founder Omar Barghouti and disgraced antisemitic professor Steven Salaita to campus."


Stanford 'Charlie Hebdo' Panel: Je Suis Ferguson?

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 25 Feb 2015, 6:16 PM | Permalink

Shahzad Bashir

What does the Islamic terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January have to do with the 2014 police shootings of African-American men in Ferguson, Missouri and Long Island, New York; San Francisco's troubled Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood; and the Occupy Wall Street movement? In the latest Campus Watch research, Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene report on a panel discussion at Stanford University, "Terror, Freedom, Blasphemy: Reflections on Citizenship in Our Times," in which speakers used the connection between the struggles—both real and imagined—of minorities in the U.S. and those attributed to Muslims worldwide to deflect attention from Islamic radicalism in the West. Their article appears today at Jihad Watch:

Sponsored by the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the afternoon discussion took place in a Center for International Security and Cooperation conference room with a long, narrow table in the middle, at the head of which sat the panelists. Approximately forty people—a mixture of students and locals, many of them eating lunch—were seated at and around the table, some spilling out into the hallway. . . . In his introduction, Shahzad Bashir, Lysbeth Warren Anderson Professor in Islamic Studies, explained that:

The idea for this event came from a discussion between myself and [fellow panelists] Robert Crews, [and] Aishwary Kumar, and grew out of a general frustration about the state of the world.

According to Bashir, the latter included such disparate subjects as:

[T]he torture information that came out of the U.S. Senate; what's happening in Iraq and Syria; what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri and Long Island; events in Nigeria, and what happened in Paris most recently. . . . We wanted an occasion where we could draw the connections between these events.

To read the entire article, please click here.


Steven Salaita Imagines a Palestinian Garden of Eden

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Sat, 21 Feb 2015, 2:01 PM | Permalink

Who else but Steven Salaita, the former Virginia Tech English professor whose unhinged, Israel-hating tweets cost him a job at the University of Illinois, would deliver a lecture on the imagined superiority of Palestinian "environmentalism" in the face of Israeli "colonization and conflict"? In the latest Campus Watch research, Andrew Harrod reports on Salaita's incoherent ramblings, otherwise known as, "Natural History Under Siege." His article appears today at Jihad Watch:

Palestine "will never be decolonized unless it is first demythologized," stated Steven Salaita, a controversial academic whose job offer from the University of Illinois was rescinded last summer after a series of anti-Semitic tweets came to light. Speaking on "Natural History Under Siege" before an audience of about twenty-five persons at Washington, DC's anti-Israeli Jerusalem Fund think tank on February 13, Salaita employed pseudo-intellectual rhetoric to apply his own mythology of hackneyed postcolonial themes to his ancestral Palestinians.

For those who have come to expect puerile packaging of anti-Israel screeds with fact-free, high-flown, often incoherent verbiage on the basis of his past writings, Salaita did not disappoint. In his introduction, he described the geography of a "Palestine" (including apparently Israel) as a "cacophony, but also an ensemble," even though "not everybody can see it." This geography "is a simulation of ideology," a "diversion into mythic cultural adventure," and "for the crooked and pious alike it is always in some way holy." Despite "continuous reinvention . . . we can still speak of Palestine as an actual place" whose soil once "was rendered tactile and knowable" to him when he got dirt under his fingernails during a visit as a graduate student. Sometimes it's the little things.

To read the entire article, please click here.


Diplomat Debunks Obama's Yemen 'Success' Story

By Winfield Myers | Mon, 16 Feb 2015, 2:10 PM | Permalink

On Feb 3, Ambassador Barbara K. Bodine titled her Georgetown U. lecture, "Yemen: If this is a Policy Success, What Does Failure Look Like?" Eight days later the U.S. embassy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, fell to Houthi rebels. Writing for Campus Watch, Andrew Harrod reports at FrontPage Magazine on Bodine's lecture:

Yemen has been an "always almost failing state" for as long as Ambassador Barbara K. Bodine can remember, she affirmed in her February 3 Georgetown University luncheon lecture, "Yemen: If This is a Policy Success, What Does Failure Look Like?" The truth of Bodine's sobering presentation to a fifty-person conference room packed to standing-room-only was confirmed when, eight days later, America's embassy in the capital Sanaa fell to Houthi rebels and U.S. Marines were forced to destroy their weapons before fleeing the country to prevent them from falling into rebel hands. The humiliating failure of American policy demonstrated that, President Barack Obama's wishful thinking notwithstanding, Yemen will not be a policy success anytime soon.

To read the rest of this essay, please click here.


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