Middle East studies in the News
Left-Fascists at University of Arkansas Cancel Speaker Because She Cowrote Pamphlet with Robert Spencer Ten Years Ago [on Phyllis Chesler]
by Robert Spencer
"In expressing concerns with Chesler, faculty cited her writings on 'the ultra-right Breitbart forum' and her role as co-author of a pamphlet, The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam, with Robert Spencer, 'considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be 'one of America's most prolific and vociferous anti-Muslim propagandists,' the email stated."
Chesler is defending UA prof Tom Paradise, who was responsible for getting her canceled. She is apparently unaware that he wrote to colleagues that he was "delighted" that she had been cancelled. Paradise has now been suspended, which is unusual in light of the fact that his delight was no doubt shared by the overwhelming majority of his colleagues. Now he should be fired, as should all of his colleagues who supported this cancellation, especially Joel Gordon, Mohja Kohf and Ted Swedenburg, who called upon UA's King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies to withdraw its support for Chesler's appearance, which led directly to her being cancelled.
The stigmatization and silencing of dissenting voices on campuses nationwide is inconsistent with the very idea of a university, which is supposed to be a place where ideas are accepted or dismissed on their merits alone. Chesler was canceled because, among other things, she cowrote a pamphlet with me ten years ago. That's a very remote association, and is akin to the Nazi Brownshirts getting professors fired because it was discovered that they had a Jewish great-grandmother. Apparently now everyone who has ever said a kind word to me or stood in a room with me is to be deprived of all professional opportunities and stigmatized as a "bigot" and an "Islamophobe." This is reminiscent of the Stalinist purges, and all the more shameful for taking place at a university.
Meanwhile, did Gordon, Kohf, and Swedenburg present any evidence that what we said in that pamphlet was false? No. Apparently all they said about it was this: "The pamphlet was published by David Horowitz' Freedom Center, which frequently targets students and scholars for speaking out about justice for Palestinians." More guilt by association: now Chesler is being tarred not only with my supposed enormities, but with those of David Horowitz as well.
The professors went on: "The pamphlet is a catalogue of horrors inflicted on women that are said to be the outcome of Islam's essential nature. 'Islamic gender apartheid,' Chesler and Spencer write, 'is not caused by western imperialism, colonialism, or racism. It is indigenous to Islam both theologically and historically.'" Do they present any evidence to show this is false? Apparently not: after the manner of Leftist academics and spokesmen everywhere, they present their perspective as if its truth were self-evident. They don't have to refute dissenting views. They just have to show that they're right-wing. What's more, do they present any evidence that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a neutral and impartial arbiter of what constitutes "hate" and what doesn't? Of course not. Leftists never consider it incumbent upon them to demonstrate the truth of what they claim.
This authoritarian demonization and suppression of opposing perspectives is quintessentially fascist, and contrary to the core purpose of a university. Enough is enough. The University of Arkansas has done well to suspend Paradise. Now he, Gordon, Kohf, Swedenburg and all the other fascist professors at UA should be fired. UA should follow through on its suspension by reaffirming the lost idea that a university should allow for and protect the freedom of speech. No Stalinists should be allowed to terrorize their opponents. Because I believe in the freedom of speech and the importance of free discourse, I hereby challenge any or all of these professors — Paradise, Gordon, Kohf, and/or Swedenburg — to a debate on the status of women under Sharia. I am willing to debate all four of them at once. I will travel to UA at my own expense. But will they accept? Of course they won't.
"UA professor suspended after speech cancellation a scapegoat, author says," by Jaime Adame, Arkansas Online, May 5, 2017:
Come now, Swedenburg. Take some responsibility for your own actions, and own up to your fascism.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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