Middle East studies in the News
Carleton's Misjudgment [on Hassan Diab]
The Ottawa Citizen
The question of whether Hassan Diab should be teaching at Carleton University has nothing to do with academic freedom. No one is objecting to the content of his instruction.
The question is whether a man who has been charged with a serious crime should have been hired to teach an introductory sociology course.
Diab has been accused of involvement in a synagogue bombing in Paris in 1980 that killed four people. He is free on bail while he waits for an extradition hearing. The justice system presumes he is innocent, and so must we all. In general, people who are on bail should be allowed to earn a living. They haven't been convicted, and the wheels of justice can be slow.
Nonetheless, society can and does place reasonable restrictions on people who are charged with violent crimes, even before they've been convicted. They can be detained. Bail can be required. Indeed, Diab himself must wear an ankle bracelet equipped with a global-positioning device. That, and other conditions of his release, are there to protect society. He is not free to do anything he likes, and will not be while this investigation continues.
One can't help but wonder if the radical politics that infects some university campuses these days played a role in causing Carleton University to show such colossal bad judgment.
Sure Diab is accused of bombing a synagogue to express hatred of Israel, but it's not as if he did something bad like attack an abortion clinic.
If he stood accused of sexual harassment you can bet no sociology department would ever have anything to do with him, but trying to kill Jews? Hey, it was a long time ago.
Students shouldn't have to wonder whether they'll be safe when they walk through the classroom door.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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