Middle East studies in the News
The New York Post Doesn't Care For Your "Facts" [incl. Hamid Dabashi, Gary Sick]
The Bwog (Columbia University)
Everyone's favorite anti-Columbia tabloid, the New York Post, is back with another swipe at Alma Mater. In an article entitled "Schools' Iran $$ Pipeline," the Post reports that "anti-Israel, pro-Iran university professors are being funded by a shadowy multimillion-dollar Islamic charity based in Manhattan that the feds charge is an illegal front for the repressive Iranian regime." More specifically, the article claims that the Alavi Foundation, which recently had several of its properties seized by the US government under allegations of being controlled by Iran, "donated $100,000 to Columbia University after the Ivy League school agreed to host Iranian leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
So far, so provocative…except university officials told Bwog today that the Post's implication of a quid pro quo for Ahmadinejad's appearance was false. In fact, the Alavi Foundation's grant was awarded to Columbia prior to the invitation of Ahmadinejad, rather than after. University spokesman Robert Hornsby also told the Post that the university was surprised to learn of the foundation's direct ties to the Iranian government.
Not content with playing around with timelines, the Post then finishes the article with a list of three professors it calls "apologists for the Iranian government." Obviously, such serious charges merit a check on the ol' Google machine, right? Or, you know, not. In fact, the first Columbia professor on the list, Hamid Dabashi, wrote in July a long article including such laudatory sentences as "[Ahmadinejad] is so patently transparent that all you have to do is sit through 10 minutes of his charlatanism during the televised presidential debates to see through the rampant lumpenism with which he operates." Even more irresponsible is the inclusion of a second Columbia professor, Gary Sick. In the real world, Tehran has named Sick "an agent of the CIA," and the fabricated charges against Columbia grad/professor Kian Tajbakhsh are in part based on Sick's contact with Tajbakhsh.
Somehow, we doubt there's an apology forthcoming.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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