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.
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Professor Juan Cole Discusses ISIL in Iraq
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Pakistani Rock Band Khumariyaan Gets Connecticut College Dancing — And Thinking [incl. Sufia Uddin]
Juan Cole Condemns David Cameron for Alerting UK Public to British ISIS Fighters
MSU Welcomes Professor Michael Gunter to Speak on Combating ISIS, Aiding Kurds
By Winfield Myers | Mon, 20 Oct 2014, 3:42 PM | Permalink
[Editor's note: the following letter to the editor of The Hoya, the student newspaper of Georgetown University, was not published by the paper and so is reproduced here.]
In "13 Professors Boycott Israeli Universities," September 13, Katherine Richardson writes that "Georgetown has become the most-represented university involved in the American Studies Association's boycott of Israeli academic institutions since the petition's creation last month."
In fact, the ASA's boycott was launched last December. The boycott to which Ms. Richardson refers is unrelated, represents "scholars and librarians working on the Middle East," and was launched in August. There is no linkage between the two groups.
An important issue unaddressed by the article is whether two directors of federal Title VI-funded Georgetown centers who signed the pledge speak for themselves or for the centers they lead. Under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, recipients must give "assurances" to "maintain linkages with overseas institutions of higher education"—an assurance threatened by a pledge to boycott Israeli universities and academics.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 16 Oct 2014, 2:58 PM | Permalink
The letter relies upon the notoriously biased United Nations for its obviously inflated figures. Worse, it makes no mention whatsoever of Hamas's rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, or its kidnapping and murder of Israeli citizens, both of which precipated Israel's military action. Also conveniently omitted is Hamas's calculated use of human shields and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) facilities.
MESA has a long history of issuing one-sided letters accusing Israel of supposed restrictions on academic freedom, as these from 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, and 2001 demonstrate.
But rest assured, writes MESA president and George Washington University professor Nathan J. Brown, MESA's role is merely "to promote scholarship and teaching on the Middle East and North Africa."
By Winfield Myers | Mon, 13 Oct 2014, 5:09 PM | Permalink
Ali Mazrui, who directed the Institute for Global Cultural Studies at SUNY Binghamton, has died at 81. Although the BBC is calling him a "towering intellectual figure," at a 2010 Columbia U. conference he said that Jews had "a certain kind of impurity" that led them to be "like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," but now they have "landed with Mr. Hyde's evil identity." And that "even U.S. presidents are scared [of them]."
By Winfield Myers | Fri, 10 Oct 2014, 10:51 AM | Permalink
Intellectually eviscerated and utterly discredited would be better, but at least he sees these authors as problems.
But will he apply these criticisms to himself and rein in his own extremism, as illustrated in the following examples? In 2007, Khan refused to serve on a student-organized panel on "Anti-Americanism in the Middle East" with a veteran of the Israeli Defense Force who had served in the West Bank because, he wrote:
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