Middle East studies in the News
Rutgers University Professor Sparks Outrage After Saying U.S. is 'MORE Brutal' Than ISIS... And It's Not Her First Bizarre Rant [on Deepa Kumar]
by Sophie Jane Evans
- Deepa Kumar's controversial tweet on March 26 was picked up this week
A Rutgers University professor has sparked outrage after declaring that the United States is 'more brutal' than the Islamic State because its invasions of the Middle East have killed 1.3million people.
In a Twitter post, Deepa Kumar, associate professor of journalism and media studies, wrote: 'Yes ISIS is brutal, but US is more so, 1.3 million killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan #NoToWar.'
ISIS, which has massacred thousands of people worldwide, regularly posts videos online of its militants sadistically rounding up terrified victims and carrying out mass beheadings or shootings.
Meanwhile, the deaths resulting from U.S.-led invasions were civilian casualties. There is also debate over whether the reported civilian death toll - based on a study of 1,499 Iraqis - is accurate.
Kumar's tweet, which was posted on March 26 and highlighted this week by SoCawlege.com, has angered terrorism experts and the public alike, with some deeming her comments 'ludicrous'.
'I feel bad for Deepa Kumar's students at Rutgers... Only a complete ideologue could claim the United States is more brutal than Islamic State,' Max Abrahms, professor of political science at Northeastern University who specializes in the study of terrorism, told Fox News on Friday.
'Our government isn't in the habit of rounding up thousands of young girls to have them raped dozens of times... or throwing homosexuals off rooftops,' he added, referring to recent videos released by ISIS, which include crowds gathering around to watch gay men hurled off buildings.
Twitter user Lori Hendry also criticized Kumar, writing: 'Professor Deepa Kumar thinks Americans are worse than ISIS. She needs to go live with ISIS then see if she still says that! #loser.'
Another user agreed that the professor should 'go and live' with the extremist group, which now has control over territory occupied by more than ten million people, predominantly in Iraq and Syria.
And one said that Kumar was the perfect example of a 'broken education system'.
Other people emphasized that America's actions in the Middle East have saved millions of lives.
However, some Twitter users expressed support for Kumar, saying she has a right to speak freely and was justified in condemning the U.S. for civilian deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It is not the first time Kumar - who is also the author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization - has launched a bizarre rant on social media.
The educator encouraged the use of racial slurs against white men in a Facebook post last year.
'Okay, I'm sold on using the term "douchebag" to describe rich, white entitled males and their misogynistic, racist behavior!', she wrote in the post, which included a link to a Medium.com article.
'Yes, this piece has flaws in that it is individualistic in its focus and offers no critique of the system of capitalism, the structural roots of racism, sexism and homophobia, but it sure is a fun read.'
She also described former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali - an activist against female genital mutilation - as an 'islamophobe and native informant' in a public rant on Facebook, according to Fox News.
And she has frequently promoted Marxism online - a movement she says 'makes sense'.
Marion Smith, of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, told the news site that an educator such as Kumar should not be promoting such a 'deadly ideology' to young students.
Kumar, who is based in New York City, was also part of last year's protests to prevent former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice from speaking at New Jersey's main public university.
Rice ended up backing out of delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University following demonstrations by Kumar, and some faculty members and students, over her role in the Iraq War.
Rice said at the time that she informed Rutgers President Robert Barchi that she was declining the invitation because commencement should be a 'joyous time' for graduates and their families.
'Rutgers's invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time,' she said.
The school's board of governors had voted to pay the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush and national security adviser $35,000 for her appearance at the May 18 ceremony.
But some students and faculty had protested, staging sit-ins and saying Rice bore some responsibility for the Iraq War as a member of the Bush administration.
Barchi and other school leaders had resisted the calls to disinvite Rice, saying the university welcomes open discourse on controversial topics.
In her statement, Rice defended her record, saying that she was honored to serve her country and that she had 'defended America's belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas'.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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