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Howler of the Month (archive)

Jonathan Brown

"I don't think you can talk about slavery in Islam until you realize that there is no such thing as slavery. . . . Slavery cannot just be treated as a moral evil in and of itself. I don't think it's morally evil to own somebody because we own lots of people all around us. And we're owned by people."

Jonathan Brown, Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization and Director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, in a February 7 lecture at the International Institute of Islamic Thought; The Investigative Project on Terrorism, February 13, 2017. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Michael Rubin

"MESA [Middle East Studies Association] hardly lifts a finger to condemn the almost total ban among many states—including those subject to Trump's proposed ban—regarding Israelis. . . . Most ironic, however, is that MESA appears ready to embrace if not endorse BDS—effectively banning Israeli scholars and students and denying access to Israel with university grants—and yet opposes Trump's ban. That shows that intellectual consistency—something in which academics should take pride—is absent among MESA's leadership and probably the vast majority of its membership which now unapologetically places politics above scholarship."

Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), in "The Unbearable Hypocrisy of MESA"; Commentary, February 8, 2017. (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

Vote Yes on MESA Bylaw Amendment: Roundtable by Elyse Semerdjian, John Chalcraft, and Asli Bali
February 22, 2017 - Jadaliyya

Texas Pre-School Teacher Tweets 'Kill Some Jews'
February 22, 2017 - The Clarion Project

Majority of Domestic ISIS Terrorists Are U.S. Citizens by Birth [on Robert Pape]
February 21, 2017 - Chicago Magazine

Moms Raise Concerns About Teaching of Islam at NJ Middle School
February 21, 2017 - Fox News

Texas Pre-School Teacher Removed From Classroom After Twitter Calls to 'Kill Some Jews' Come to Light
February 21, 2017 - The Algemeiner

Analyzing Palestinian Propaganda on CNN: Rashid Khalidi on "Fareed Zakaria GPS"
February 20, 2017 - Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Muslim-American Professor Speaks on American Political Climate [on Omid Safi]
February 20, 2017 - Spartanburg Herald Journal

The Evolution of 'Orientalism' with Professor Joseph Massad
February 20, 2017 - Student Life

Professor Caught Up in Travel Ban Returns, Compares Trump to Iranian Dictators [on Mohsen Kadivar]
February 20, 2017 - The Duke Chronicle

Three Months After Somali Refugee Attacks OSU, School Holds Talk on Dangers of 'Islamophobia'
February 19, 2017 - The Blaze


Campus Watch and Islamism: A Guide for the Perpetually Perplexed Elyse Semerdjian

By Winfield Myers | Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 6:04 PM | Permalink

Elyse Semerdjian

Elyse Semerdjian is panic-stricken—and deeply confused—about her profession and, it seems, reality itself. In arguing in Jadaliyya that the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) should amend its bylaws to remove its claim to be "non-political," the associate professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic history at Whitman College falsely accuses Campus Watch [CW] of

smearing academics on the internet for being critical of the US War on Terror, critical of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or doing their job by offering a scholarly view of Islam within an environment of vitriol and willful ignorance.

If scholars of her ilk bothered to offer a "scholarly view of Islam," CW wouldn't exist. Our future is assured, however, thanks to Semerdjian and her colleagues nationwide, whose displays of vitriol and willful ignorance over the decades have left Middle East studies in ruins.

Continue to full text of posting...


Turmp Upsets the Academic Foreign Policy Establishment

By Winfield Myers | Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 10:25 AM | Permalink

Nathan Brown

Why are leaders of the Middle East studies/foreign policy establishment upset over the new administration's rhetoric and actions regarding policy toward the Middle East? Andrew Harrod, who writes frequently for Campus Watch, reports at Jihad Watch on a recent talk by former MESA president and George Washington U. professor Nathan Brown and U. of Maryland professor ShibleyTelhami at the anti-Israel Jerusalem Fund.

"Previous administrations, Republican and Democrat, very sharply resisted" the Middle East foreign policy outlook of America's new president, Donald Trump. So argued George Washington University Middle East studies professor Nathan Brown during the February 7 presentation "Trump's Foreign Policy Positions on Palestine and the Middle East" at Washington, DC's anti-Israel Jerusalem Fund. The hackneyed views of the panelists and, presumably, the largely leftist audience of about fifty, including two women in Code Pink attire and "pussy hats," strengthened the case for Trump's anti-establishment approach.

Brown skeptically referenced Trump's "conviction that the United States is in a civilizational battle." Trump considers the "necessity to eliminate radical Islamic terrorism" a "very, very core theme," thereby raising a "suspicion on some people's parts that 'radical Islamic terrorism' is really a synonym for Islam." As an example, Brown cited Trump's references to global Muslim support for executing apostates, a factual observation of Islam's political pathologies.

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


CW Contributor Kicked Out of Georgetown Prof Jonathan Brown's Lecture

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Fri, 10 Feb 2017, 5:52 PM | Permalink

Andrew Harrod, a Campus Watch contributor reporting, in this case, for Jihad Watch, was kicked out of an International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) lecture from thin-skinned Georgetown University professor Jonathan Brown, who whined, "Aren't you tired of writing your stupid articles?"


U. of Chicago's Robert Pape's Faulty Argument Against Trump's Exec. Order

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 8 Feb 2017, 4:48 PM | Permalink

University of Chicago professor and lead author of a new report on ISIS argues that Trump's immigration executive order doesn't address the homegrown threat and fuels anti-U.S. propaganda. The very existence of the U.S. fuels ISIS propaganda, while Pape is downplaying the threat posed by foreign-born terrorists.


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