Campus Watch in the Media
Action Alert [regarding M. Shahid Alam of Northeastern University]
by American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Massachusetts
ACTION ALERT SUCESSFUL- SUPPORT NORTHEASTERN PROFESSOR TODAY
Today, Arab and Muslim American professors, businesses and community leaders are regularly attacked by right wing media organizations run by individuals like Daniel Pipes and organizations such as Campus Watch. These attacks have a devastating impact.
In Boston, these media smear campaigns are on the rise. The Islamic Society of Boston and the P Tech Corporation were the first targets of vicious media campaigns. Northeastern Professor M. Shahid Alam, a well respected professor of 16 years, is the most recent target. We need you to take a stand. In late December he experienced a rash of vicious emails, some of which contained explicit death threats against him and his family. The university was also barraged with mail calling for his job termination.
Wednesday, February 2, Bill O' Reilly aired a misinformed segment featuring Professor Alam, portraying an inaccurate picture of him. The ADCMA and Professor Alam are concerned that a new wave of attacks will begin immediately aimed at calling for his dismissal. It is up to the community to take a stand and defend academic freedom. Please Act Now!
See the bottom of this message for more details about the targeting of Professor Alam. You can read Professor Alam's "America and Islam: Seeking Parallels", and "Testing Free Speech In America," by visiting www.counterpunch.org.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
Contact The North Eastern President Richard Freeland, Provost Ahmed Abdelal, and Dean James Stellar. Print, sign and send the attached letters, write your own, or call the offices. The contact information is in this message.
Contact Prof. Alam by phone at (617) 373-2101 or FAX at (617)373-5015 to let him know he has support.
Contact the ADCMA at email@example.com so we can keep an accurate count of actions taken.
President Richard Freeland is available at:
or by fax at: (617) 373-5015
Emails can be sent via the North Eastern website by visiting http://126.96.36.199/president/letters.nclk
Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs:
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Northeastern University by phone at 1-617-373-2101 or FAX at 1617-373-5015.
I published an essay, "America and Islam: Seeking Parallels," in Counterpunch.Org on December 29, 2004. A day later, I began to receive nasty and threatening emails, all at once. These were orchestrated by a www.littlegreenfootballs.com. Shortly thereafter, other right-wing websites got into act, posting excerpts from the essay; these included jihadwatch.org, campuswatch.org, frontpagemag.com, freerepublic.com, etc. The messages posted on these websites were equally vicious, and some of them, containing explicit death threats, were ‘kindly' forwarded to me.
What did I say in this essay? I made two points. First, that the 9-11 attacks were an Islamist insurgency: the attackers believe that they are fighting – as the Americans did, in the 1770s – for their freedom and dignity against a foreign occupation/control of their lands. Secondly, I argue that these attacks were the result of a massive political failure of Muslims to resist their tyrannies locally. It was a mistake to attack the US.
I followed the first essay with a second one, "Testing Free Speech in America," where I elaborate on the points I had made earlier. This too was published in Counterpunch.Org on Jan 1/2, 2005.
The emails to me and the University continued for another two weeks, eventually tapering off. In the meanwhile, I was speaking to people at the ACLU, Boston, and the ADC, Boston. On the suggestion of the ACLU, I contacted the campus police and the police in my hometown to let them know about the death threats posted against me.
I had a feeling this was not the end of the matter. So yesterday, February 1, I received an email from Fox News asking for a TV interview; they were producing a program "on me." At this point, I spoke to people at ACLU who advised me against going on the program. I received the same advice from other friends. I wrote back to Fox saying I could not do the interview but would be glad to answer any questions. They did not take me up on my offer. Clearly, this would not help them in their designs against me.
It appears that Bill O'Reilly is doing a series on ‘unAmerican' professors on US campuses. Last night, my wife tells me, he did a piece on Ward Churchill. Tonight will be my turn. I expect he will make all kinds of outlandish accusations that will resonate well with the left- and Muslim-hating members of his audience. This will generate calls and emails to Northeastern and to me – containing threats, calls for firing me, and threats to withhold donations. I am not sure how well NU will stand up against this barrage.
If we can generate a matching volume of emails, letters and call to NU supporting my right to free speech, it might be helpful.
Result: There was a large volume of letters sent to Northeastern from individuals around the country in support of Professor Alam and his right to free speech. Northeastern University released a very supportive statement reiterating its support for Professor Alam and his right to express himself as an academic and scholar.Note: Postings in "Campus Watch in the Media" do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org