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Howler of the Month (archive)

Juan Cole

"It's just a way of beating up on the Muslims in the UK. . . . Cameron is grandstanding about this and it's Islamophobia, it's just racism. . . . It's a kind of political hysteria, it's racism, and it's unworthy. I think David Cameron, who has an Oxford education, should be ashamed of himself."

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, on British Prime Minister David Cameron addressing the security threat posed by British citizens joining ISIS; California State University, Long Beach, October 16, 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

MESA and IIIT: Islamists Infiltrating Academia
October 30, 2014 - American Thinker

Sherman Jackson Takes His Sharia Propaganda to University of Tennessee
October 30, 2014 - Fousesquawk Blog

Southern California Professor Compares Sharia Law, U.S. Constitution [on Sherman Jackson]
October 30, 2014 - The Daily Beacon (student newspaper at University of Tennessee Knoxville)

In Defense of U.S. Funding for Area Studies
October 30, 2014 - The Washington Post

Experts Weigh in on ISIS Threat and Ideology [incl. Juan Cole and Mohammad Khalil]
October 29, 2014 - The Michigan Daily (student newspaper of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor)

Juan Cole's 'New Arab' Fantasies
October 28, 2014 - FrontPage Magazine

Student Enrollment Plummets for Persian Studies
October 28, 2014 - Golden Gate Xpress (student newspaper of San Francisco State University)

Speaker Aims to Connect Shari'ah Law with U.S. Constitution [on Sherman Jackson]
October 28, 2014 - The Daily Beacon (student newspaper, U. of Tennessee)

Alumni Return to Campus in Various Roles [on Andrew Bowen]
October 28, 2014 - The Rice Thresher (student newspaper at Rice University)

University Hosts Panel "Responding to ISIS: Violence Against Women and Girls" [incl. Haleh Esfandiari]
October 27, 2014 - The Cavalier Daily (news of University of Virginia)


MESA and IIIT: Islamists Infiltrating Academia

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 30 Oct 2014, 12:36 PM | Permalink

MESA's leaders never met an Islamist they didn't embrace, so it's in keeping with their fallen reputations that their annual conference next month in DC will feature a reception for the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization. In a Campus Watch article posted today at American Thinker, I examine just how far IIIT's tentacles reach into America's universities:

The field of Middle East studies has a troublesome penchant for partnering with Islamist organizations. Case in point: The 2014 annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) will host an International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) reception at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC on November 23.

The true nature of IIIT, a Virginia-based think tank, was revealed during the 2007 U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial, which unearthed a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum naming IIIT as one of the likeminded organizations in the U.S dedicated to a "grand jihad" aimed at "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within" so that "God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions." . . . As far back as 1988, an FBI investigation exposed IIIT's goal to "get inside . . . American universities" for the larger purpose of instituting "the Islamic Revolution in the United States." Clearly, IIIT is making headway.

To read the entire article, please click here.


Juan Cole's 'New Arab' Fantasies

By Winfield Myers | Tue, 28 Oct 2014, 10:44 AM | Permalink

Juan Cole

Hope springs eternal for Middle East studies professors who prefer to issue apologias for the Middle East and Islam than engage in clear-eyed, rigorous research. This is proved again in a new Campus Watch report by Andrew Harrod, "Juan Cole's 'New Arab' Fantasies," which appears today at FrontPage Magazine:

The "advent of a new generation" of Arabs was the overly optimistic theme for University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole's recent lecture at the George Washington University Elliot School of International Relations. Cole's discussion of his new book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East, to an audience of about fifty, mostly Elliot School students, failed to substantiate his ongoing hopes for the so-called Arab Spring.

Elliot School professor Edward W. (Skip) Gnehm introduced Cole as a Middle East expert who is popular on television, a supposedly confidence inspiring credential. Cole focused on Tunisia, noting that this comparatively small North African country with no oil resources had received "insufficient press." His main concern was "youth revolutionaries," as the Arab press termed Arab Spring regime opponents in Libya, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

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


Stacked MESA Panel to Praise Steven Salaita

By Winfield Myers | Fri, 24 Oct 2014, 10:24 PM | Permalink

Steven Salaita is set to receive more praise (and pity) from his academic peers next month when a panel at the annual Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference in Washington, DC, examines his travails at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which in August rescinded an offer to appoint him professor of Native American studies.

The panel is to discuss "issues of freedom of speech, academic freedom, university governance, civil discourse, and the potential repercussions for faculty in Middle East studies." Given its composition, its biases in favor of Salaita are beyond doubt: every member specializing in the Middle East shares Salaita's history of anti-Israel activism, including support for the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement and objections to off-campus criticism of academe. The records of non-specialists also give every indication that they, too, will support Salaita.

A small sampling of the radicalism of panel members demonstrates this bias:

  • Laurie Brand (chair), former MESA president and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Southern California, was signatory to a hysterical December 2002 letter warning that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would encourage Israel to engage in "ethnic cleansing" against Palestinians:

"Americans cannot remain silent while crimes as abhorrent as ethnic cleansing are being openly advocated. We urge our government to communicate clearly to the government of Israel that the expulsion of people according to race, religion or nationality would constitute crimes against humanity and will not be tolerated."

Continue to full text of posting...


Hamza Yusuf Still An Apologist for Sharia

By Winfield Myers | Fri, 24 Oct 2014, 2:22 PM | Permalink

Hamza Yusuf, recently portrayed as a moderate, is in fact an apologist for Sharia and its "brutal hudud punishments" and the return of the Caliphate. That he has partnered with Hatem Bazian of UC Berkeley (and, like Yusuf, of Zaytuna College) further clarifies his true beliefs, as Bazian is the poster child for anti-American, anti-Israel, radical Islamist academics. See CW's collection of articles on him here.



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