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Howler of the Month (archive)

Hatem Bazian

"This moment for American Muslims must be contextualized and considered with an important event and circumstances some 50 years ago, the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama."

Hatem Bazian, director of the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley, comparing the first accreditation of an Islamic college in the U.S., Zaytuna College in Berkeley, to the historic civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act; Turkey Agenda, March 14, 2015. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Paul Rivlin

"The desire to avoid an Orientalist bias generated an aversion to making judgments, except in contexts where the Middle East may have outperformed Europe, such as that of agricultural or scientific productivity in the early Middle Ages. As a result, Middle East experts avoid identifying deficiencies and do not explain their causes."

Paul Rivlin, senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University and professor in the Interdisciplinary Program in Philosophy and Jewish Thought at Shalem College in Jerusalem; "The Blame Game, Part 2," "Iqtisada: Middle East Economy," 5, no. 3 (March 19, 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

George Mason University Offers Mini-Course on Abrahamic Religions
March 26, 2015 - Falls Church News Press

Panel Discussion on "Faith and Trauma: Abrahamic Religions as Victims and Perpetrators" [on Timothy J. Gianotti]
March 26, 2015 - The Chicago Monitor

Imam Breaks Misconceptions of Islam at University of Oklahoma [on Imad Enchassi]
March 26, 2015 - The Oklahoma Daily

Panel Seeks to Promote Dialogue on Middle East Issues [incl. Jeremy Pressman]
March 26, 2015 - UConn Today

Georgetown's Elliott Colla Blames the West for ISIS' Desecration of History
March 25, 2015 - American Thinker

Defending the Indefensible: Georgetown Professor "Explains" ISIS' Destruction of Antiquities [on Elliot Colla, incl. John Esposito]
March 25, 2015 - Fousesquawk Blog

Phony Obama-Netanyahu Conflict Diverts Attention From Real Issues [on Rashid Khalidi]
March 25, 2015 -

Meet the Radical Professor Behind America's First Accredited Muslim University [on Hatem Bazian]
March 25, 2015 - The College Fix

Religious Extremism Not the Leading Cause of Terrorism, Professor Says [on Robert Pape]
March 24, 2015 - The Red and Black (student newspaper of the University of Georgia)

Politicizing Scholarship to Question Israel's Existence [incl. Richard Falk]
March 22, 2015 - Arutz Sheva


Georgetown's Elliott Colla Blames the West for ISIS' Desecration of History

By Winfield Myers | Wed, 25 Mar 2015, 11:15 AM | Permalink

ISIS smashes Assyrian statues in Mosul, Iraq.

Elliott Colla of Georgetown, like many other professors of Middle East studies, downplays the role of radical Islam in ISIS' attacks on antiquities and even compares this barbaric vandalism to the toppling of the year-old statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad in '03. Writing at American Thinker, Middle East Forum director of academic affairs and director, Campus Watch, Winfield Myers dissects Colla's absurd attempt to "contextualize" ISIS by shifting blame to the legacy of Western archaeology and the museums that hold its treasures:

Elliott Colla, associate professor of Arabic studies at Georgetown University, has joined the herd of Middle East studies professors who insist that Islam has nothing to do with widespread destruction of antiquities by the Islamic State (ISIS). Rather than appealing to Islamic texts or traditions to defend Islam, however, Colla deploys a two-fold strategy of feigning ignorance about ISIS and contextualizing their horrific acts within the intellectual and material legacy of Western colonial archaeology. As a result, in whitewashing Islamism Colla degrades the worth of ancient civilizations and their artifacts while training his moral outrage on Western colonialism, particularly the archaeological digs it sponsored and the museums these enterprises filled.

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


Norman Finkelstein As Repugnant As Ever

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 19 Mar 2015, 2:14 PM | Permalink

Norman Finkelstein

In case there was any doubt that Norman Finkelstein--the former DePaul University professor currently teaching international law at Sakarya University in Turkey--despite occasionally making sense these days, is as repugnant as ever, these excerpts from a recent lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison should put them to rest:

Despite being a Jewish son of two Holocaust survivors, he posed the question of whether the world is actually facing a "new anti-Semitism" in 2015. Finkelstein said instead it may be the fourth ploy by Jews since the 1980s to "deflect global condemnation of Israel."

He argued that because only 2 percent of the population is Jewish yet both Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania are 40 percent Jewish, they have become beneficiaries of reverse discrimination.

"There is an advantage to being Jewish in the United States, it's not a liability anymore . . . it opens many doors and closes none," Finkelstein said.


Islamic Apologist Reza Aslan to Host CNN Show

By Winfield Myers | Tue, 17 Mar 2015, 3:44 PM | Permalink

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan, the religion writer who claimed that his academic credentials include a Ph.D. in the history of religions (his Ph.D. is in sociology, not history; he teaches creative writing) and two decades' study of Christianity, will have his own show on CNN, the network that invented cable news but which has lately seen its ratings plummet.

Aslan rose to fame on his 2013 book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, about which the genuine religious scholar Allan Nadler wrote in the Jewish Review of Books:

Aslan's entire book is, as it turns out, an ambitious and single-minded polemical counter-narrative to what he imagines is the New Testament's portrayal of Jesus Christ.


Whichever [New Testament] verses fit the central argument of his book, he accepts as historically valid. Everything else is summarily dismissed as apologetic theological rubbish of absolutely no historical worth.

Continue to full text of posting...


Berkeley's Bazian on Paris Attacks: It's the Islamophobia, Stupid!

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Fri, 13 Mar 2015, 1:17 PM | Permalink

Hatem Bazian

Only in academe can a panel discussion on Islamic terrorism turn into an exercise in obfuscation and denial. Titled "Shooting Rampage in Paris: Free Speech, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Religion, Islamophobia," the recent University of California, Berkeley panel—which promised to "start a dialog" on the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks in Paris—featured six professors from a variety of UC Berkeley departments. This mixture produced an array of contrasting views, yet neither of the two Middle East studies specialists involved—anthropology professor Saba Mahmood and Near Eastern studies lecturer Hatem Bazian—addressed the topic in a forthright manner, but deflected controversial issues and issued apologias for terrorism.

In the latest Campus Watch research, CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell and contributor Rima Greene report on the panel; their article appears today at Jihad Watch:

As befitting his role as director of UC Berkeley's Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP), Hatem Bazian devoted the bulk of his talk not to Islamic terrorism, but to the mythical scourge of "Islamophobia." . . . Claiming that the "Broader Muslim community in Europe feels like it's under siege," Bazian lamented that, "Their inclusion and integration is predicated on their accepting to be insulted to be part of civil society," as if being held to the same standards as others constitutes inequity. He claimed to have documented a wave of "violence across the continent directed at Muslims," yet, artfully dodging the need for evidence, complained that because "they don't get reported . . . these cases do not get the attention required."

To read the entire article, please click here.


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