Middle East studies in the News
Harvard Accused Of Betrayal After Hiring Anti-Israel Professor [on Ali Akbar Alikhani]
Harvard University has brought on board as a visiting scholar an Iranian academic who has labeled Israel as a "country that from its inception was based on force, coercion, and oppression of others."
Ali Akbar Alikhani, who is an associate professor at the University of Tehran and a visiting scholar at Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, is a supporter of Iran's hard-line anti-Western regime.
At least one critic familiar with Alikhani's work questioned the appointment.
"Time after time, Western institutions lend academic credibility and a platform to extremists who operate unchallenged through the guise of interfaith dialogue," said Sam Westrop, research director of the advocacy group Americans for Peace and Tolerance.
"By legitimizing a die-hard regime supporter like Alikhani as a voice of Shia Islam, Harvard is betraying the thousands of authentically moderate Iranian Muslims working to free their faith from the tyranny of the violent Iranian theocracy," Westrop said.
Alikhani has left a paper trail of anti-Semitic comments.
In praising an Arabic language book titled "The Jewish Threat-Danger to Christianity and Islam," he said it showed "the quality and the method of the Jewish threat," according to translations provided to The Washington Free Beacon.
In another work, Alikhani argued that "the Jewish dissidents of Zionism" were in fact "propagandistic exploitations" created by the "Jewish government" to "pretend that Israel is a free country."
Alikkhani's works have included citations from Roger Garaudy, a French scholar known for denying the existence of the Holocaust and support for Rachid Ghannouchi, a Muslim who supports violence against Israel.
"Here's the thing: Ali Akbar Alikhani should never have been hired, but he will fit right in at Harvard, just as he would at any American university," wrote Pamela Geller. "They are virtually all hotbeds of Jew-hatred and far Left agitprop. Education in those venerable institutions is a thing of the past."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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