Middle East studies in the News
Professor Argues Genocide Is Sometimes Morally Required [on Mohammed Abed]
by Grace Carr
Mohammed Abed reaffirmed his belief that genocide is not always immoral and is sometimes even morally required in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.
The California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) professor argued in his 2015 paper, "The Concept of Genocide Reconsidered," that genocide — defined as "a violent process that aims at the liquidation of protected groups" — doesn't need to involve mass murder, and the perpetrators of genocide can have a wide variety of motivations, not all of which are evil. "The characteristic harm of genocide, I will argue, consists in the fact that victims are stripped — either permanently or temporarily — of a social identity that gives meaning to their lives," he wrote in his analysis.
Raphael Lemkin's "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" sparked his interest in war, terrorism, torture and genocide, causing him to "have doubts about narrow definitions of genocide that view it as a species of mass murder that aims at the destruction of nations and other such groups," Abed told TheDCNF. He added that those queries were "what motivated the project of conceptual clarification and analysis I have undertaken in my work."
Abed's paper was written in 2015, but noticed and reported on by Taki Mag earlier this month.
There has been much disagreement on the concept of genocide he argued in his paper, but "genocide is not in any sense distinctively heinous. Nor is it necessarily immoral." He acknowledged that there has been no widely recognized historical instance where genocide was moral and cited the Holocaust, for example, as an immoral and inexcusable genocide via mass murders by the Nazis.
Abed wrote in his paper that genocide is most importantly the destruction of social bonds, pointing to colonization as a kind of genocide. He argued that slavery in the American South was a "comprehensive way of life and worldview" to many whites, and that the North had a moral imperative to wage a genocide against them to annihilate this morally repugnant feature of the South.
The professor's contentious ideas have yet to receive criticism from Cal. State University. The president of the university refused to allow conservative author Ben Shapiro to speak in February of 2016.
"I have not had any pushback from CSULA," Abed said in his email.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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