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Howler of the Month (archive)

Steven Salaita

"Civility is the language of genocide. It's inherently a deeply violent word. It's a word whose connotations can be seen as nothing if not as racist."

Steven Salaita, a former Virginia Tech University English professor whose offer of a position at the University of Illinois was withdrawn, speaking on the "Scholars Under Attack" panel at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association; Jewish Telegraph Agency, November 11, 2014. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

David Cook

"To say that ISIS doesn't have anything to do with Islam is just the statement of an ignoramus or an apologist. There is support for the things that ISIS does inside the Koran. There's support for things like beheading and different exemplary punishments that you can easily find."

David Cook, associate professor of religion at Rice University, as quoted in "Is ISIS a Faith-based Terrorist Group?" by Christopher Massie; Columbia Journalism Review, September 17, 2014. (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

Professor Defends Role in Gaza Twitter Scandal [on Steven Salaita]
November 21, 2014 - New Jersey Jewish News

Middle East Studies Association Fights a Rising Tide of Critics
November 21, 2014 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Stifling of Free Speech on Campus [Editorial on Title VI]
November 21, 2014 - The Hill

Brooklyn College Urged to Cancel Students for Justice in Palestine Event [incl. Katherine Franke and Steven Salaita]
November 20, 2014 - Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Professor Known For Anti-Israel Remarks Speaks At Brooklyn College; Some Critics Furious [on Steven Salaita]
November 20, 2014 - CBS New York

Princeton Jewish Community Split Over Hillel Stand on Divestment [incl. Max Weiss]
November 20, 2014 - Forward

Middle Eastern Studies Lacking at Eastern Washington University
November 20, 2014 - The Easterner (student newspaper of Eastern Washington University)

Peter Krause Critiques U.S. Response To ISIS
November 20, 2014 - The Heights (student newspaper of Boston College)

"How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?" Author Due to Visit Campus [on Moustafa Bayoumi]
November 20, 2014 - The Northerner Online (student newspaper of Northern Kentucky University)

State Board of Education in Texas Evades an Initial Vote on Social Studies Books
November 19, 2014 - The Austin Chronicle

Blog

Shakir, Al-Gharbi Downplay ISIS's Atrocities with Comparison to Mexican Cartels

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 20 Nov 2014, 1:24 PM | Permalink

Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir--a co-founder of Berkeley's Zaytuna College known for conspiratorial, anti-Western, Islamist rhetoric--delivered the keynote speech at this week's Sydney Muslim Conference in Australia, where he compared ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to Mexican drug cartels, claiming that, "the crimes of the drug lords made Islamic State actions 'pale in significance.'" As he put it:

ISIS has beheaded a handful of journalists. Mexican drug cartels have killed 57 in the same period . . . there is a very virulent ideology that has a vested interest in making sure we know everything about the crimes of ISIS.

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UCLA's Sondra Hale Supports ASA Boycott

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 13 Nov 2014, 6:52 PM | Permalink

Sondra Hale

A Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) article about the annual meeting of the American Studies Association (ASA) a year after it adopted a resolution for an academic boycott of Israel demonstrates how the politicization of Middle East studies has come to infect other academic fields. According to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor emerita, former chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the notoriously biased Center for Near Eastern Studies, and self-described "activist academic" Sondra Hale:

[The boycott resolution] woke up American studies to the significance of Palestine in some of their own studies. . . . Hale said issues of Palestinian indignity can link to Native American studies, and that Israeli settler colonialism links to the study of Africa and the African-American experience.

Continue to full text of posting...

 

Caliphate Dreaming: Georgetown Panel Reveals ISIS's Appeal to the Faithful

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Tue, 11 Nov 2014, 5:29 PM | Permalink

Emad Shahin

Attempts by apologists to distance the Islamic State (ISIS)'s caliphate declaration from its moorings in Islamic history and to deny its appeal to modern Muslims received a blow when a recent Georgetown University panel on the subject unwittingly demonstrated the opposite. Andrew Harrod's report for Campus Watch appears today at Jihad Watch:

The caliphate "is not something bad . . . for the majority of Muslims," concluded visiting professor Emad Shahin during a recent briefing titled "Boko Haram, ISIS, and the Caliphate Today" at Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). A small conference room housed around twenty people, as panelists pledged to "help explain" the allegedly "confusing phenomena" of Nigeria's Boko Haram and the Islamic State (ISIS)'s "overlapping language of political Islam" and the "caliphate and . . . sharia." The panel, however, merely reinforced that ISIS's brutal "caliphate" has ample justification in Islamic history and appeal among modern Muslims.

To read the entire article, please click here.

 

Musa al-Gharbi Compares U.S. Military to ISIS

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 5 Nov 2014, 4:52 PM | Permalink

Musa al-Gharbi, a University of Arizona instructor and academic affiliate at the university's Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts, is the poster child for all that's wrong with field of Middle East studies. Drawing a moral equivalence between the U.S. military and ISIS is the sort of unhinged radicalism we've come to expect from its ranks.

 

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