Middle East studies in the News
"Muslim Fags Don't Exist" [on Columbia's Joseph Massad]
by Jamie Kirchick
Mark Steyn reports on a perplexing problem for Europeans: how to reconcile their social tolerance and legal recognition of homosexuality with their tendency to indulge the whims of Muslim immigrants -- who tend to be quite reactionary in their views on gays? Steyn is no friend of gay activists here in America, but I see no reason why that makes his commentary on this particular matter moot. He links to a recent story in Der Spiegel which reports on the disturbing rise of anti-gay attacks in The Netherlands. The mayor of Amsterdam is wasting his constituents' money on a "study" to figure out why so many Muslim men commit homophobic violence, and the preliminary hypotheses demonstrate why:
That the cultures from which the attackers were reared in might be culturally backward and approving of violence towards openly gay people does not seem to factor into polite European discussions of this topic.
The headline of this blog post is attributed to a neighbor of Azedine Berkane, a Muslim immigrant who, in 2002, stabbed Bertrand Delanoe, the gay mayor of Paris. The neighbor justified the attack on the grounds that because Islam is perfect, impure things --- like gays --- don't exist within it. Therefore, by this logic, it is appropriate to kill those who mock Allah's law.
The above quote could also be attributed to Joseph Massad, the very learned, very cosmopolitan, very scholarly professor of Arab politics at Columbia University. He was a hero of that campus's "progressive" community, who championed him as a victim of the right-wing Zionist campaign to "silence" criticism of Israel, during the controversies several years ago about the school's department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC). As I've explained before, his latest opus -- the book that he hopes will get him tenure -- purports to expose gay rights activists as part of a dreaded, imperialist "Gay International," and, to my knowledge, might just be the most pernicious book ever published by a respectable academic press. The writer and political activist Wayne Besen aptly states that Massad is "mainstreaming murder" with his overwrought, cynical theories. One wonders if the ostensibly "progressive" students who rushed to Massad's defense several years ago when the evil Zionists attacked him will warm up to him now that he's written a volume attacking and justifying the oppression of one of the Left's protected victim classes: gays.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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