Middle East studies in the News
Columbia Professor Rashid Khalidi Prohibited from Speaking at Ramaz School
The Bwog (student blog of Columbia University)
Students at the Ramaz School, a Jewish prep school in Manhattan, created a petition to oppose their school's decision to prohibit a speech by Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi.
Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia, as well as Director of the Middle East Institute at SIPA.
The Ramaz Political Society, a student group, invited Khalidi to give a talk, but the event was banned by the school's administrators. The decision appears to be based on Khalidi's outspoken criticism of Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East. Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East is the scathing title of just one of Khalidi's books on the subject.
A Ramaz student recently drafted a petition to allow Khalidi to speak, which has garnered 203 signatures and counting. The petition reads:
In a letter sent home to parents on Friday, Ramaz Head of School Paul Shaviv called the student group's invitation to Khalidi "well intentioned, but inappropriate." Shaviv defended his decision to prohibit the talk: "We felt that controversy would be inevitable over this invitation, would massively overshadow any conversation and would make an educational experience impossible; and also that Prof. Khalidi, who is an international personality of great political stature, was not the right partner for 'dialogue' with high school students."
School administrators have not changed their stance as the number of petitions signatures continues to grow.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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