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Profs Blame ISIS on 'Islamophobia' and 'Grievances'

ISIS Flag

How is Middle East studies academia addressing the rise of ISIS? All too often, by denying the group's Islamic supremacist ideology, blaming "Islamophobia" or "grievances," and equating its atrocities with the defense of the U.S. and Israel. Reporting for Campus Watch, CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell examines these professors in their own words. Her article appears today at FrontPage Magazine:

President Obama's infamous proclamation that ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is "not Islamic" was received sympathetically within the ranks of Middle East studies. While many scholars of Islam and the Middle East have condemned ISIS's heinous actions, a stubborn refusal to acknowledge their theological underpinnings lingers. Those who do concede ISIS's Islamic supremacism are branded "Islamphobes." Others attribute ISIS's rampage of mass murder, beheadings, rape, slavery, and strict Sharia law in pursuit of a caliphate to Western-inspired "grievances" or "root causes."

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm  |  Permalink

Peace Train to Nowhere: Profs on Israeli-Palestinian 'Negotiations'

Daniel Kurtzer

Reporting for Campus Watch, Andrew Harrod covered a recent Washington, DC, panel discussion on the vagaries of the Arab-Israeli "peace process" featuring Princeton University's Daniel Kurtzer. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, panelists blamed Israel for the lack of progress and diverted blame from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Harrod's article appears today at Jihad Watch:

"What can you tell" an audience "that they haven't already heard" at yet "another conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict?" asked Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) Board Chairman Omar Kader at a recent Washington, DC, panel. About fifty attendees, who enjoyed coffee, juice, and pastries at the Phoenix Park Hotel, encountered typical anti-Israeli animus and sterile discussion of a "peace process" stillborn amidst abiding Palestinian hatred for Israel.

Former ambassador and Princeton University professor of Middle Eastern policy studies Daniel C. Kurtzer advocated an uninspiring "process that keeps the process going" for largely hopeless Israeli-Palestinian negotiations so that "situations on the ground" do not "fester." . . . He praised Secretary of State John Kerry's "brilliant diplomacy" and the 1991 Madrid Conference leading to the dead-end Oslo Accords, which he labeled a "critical breakthrough in the Middle East," further illustrating his disconnect from an all-too violent reality.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  November 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm  |  Permalink

Steven Salaita's Historiography of Victimhood

Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita's academic work emerges from a highly politicized, Manichaean historiography that champions anachronistic concepts of victimhood over a rigorous examination of sources. CW director Winfield Myers examines this work today at American Thinker:

Had the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign not nixed Steven Salaita's appointment as professor of American Indian studies after his extended string of vituperative, vulgar Tweets, blog posts, and other communications exposed his anti-Semitism and radicalism to a broad audience, he would have likely remained an obscure academic. Today his legions of professorial supporters view him as a cause célèbre and alleged victim of the "Israel lobby" and rich alumni.

Salaita may not have presented himself as a victim of academe's alleged perfidy before Chancellor Phyllis Wise's action in August, but his fields of study assume the victimhood of indigenous peoples worldwide. Since world history is replete with conquests, intermarriage, assimilation, and the rise and fall of expansive empires, separating victims from victimizers through the millennia is a difficult process -- unless, that is, the purpose of one's academic work has less to do with the pursuit of truth than with achieving political goals through a quixotic, politicized reading of history.

To read the rest of this essay, please click here.

By Winfield Myers  |  November 23, 2014 at 10:28 am  |  Permalink

Shakir, Al-Gharbi Downplay ISIS's Atrocities with Comparison to Mexican Cartels

Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir--a co-founder of Berkeley's Zaytuna College known for conspiratorial, anti-Western, Islamist rhetoric--delivered the keynote speech at this week's Sydney Muslim Conference in Australia, where he compared ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to Mexican drug cartels, claiming that, "the crimes of the drug lords made Islamic State actions 'pale in significance.'" As he put it:

ISIS has beheaded a handful of journalists. Mexican drug cartels have killed 57 in the same period . . . there is a very virulent ideology that has a vested interest in making sure we know everything about the crimes of ISIS.

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By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  November 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm  |  Permalink

UCLA's Sondra Hale Supports ASA Boycott

Sondra Hale

A Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) article about the annual meeting of the American Studies Association (ASA) a year after it adopted a resolution for an academic boycott of Israel demonstrates how the politicization of Middle East studies has come to infect other academic fields. According to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor emerita, former chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the notoriously biased Center for Near Eastern Studies, and self-described "activist academic" Sondra Hale:

[The boycott resolution] woke up American studies to the significance of Palestine in some of their own studies. . . . Hale said issues of Palestinian indignity can link to Native American studies, and that Israeli settler colonialism links to the study of Africa and the African-American experience.

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By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:52 pm  |  Permalink

Caliphate Dreaming: Georgetown Panel Reveals ISIS's Appeal to the Faithful

Emad Shahin

Attempts by apologists to distance the Islamic State (ISIS)'s caliphate declaration from its moorings in Islamic history and to deny its appeal to modern Muslims received a blow when a recent Georgetown University panel on the subject unwittingly demonstrated the opposite. Andrew Harrod's report for Campus Watch appears today at Jihad Watch:

The caliphate "is not something bad . . . for the majority of Muslims," concluded visiting professor Emad Shahin during a recent briefing titled "Boko Haram, ISIS, and the Caliphate Today" at Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). A small conference room housed around twenty people, as panelists pledged to "help explain" the allegedly "confusing phenomena" of Nigeria's Boko Haram and the Islamic State (ISIS)'s "overlapping language of political Islam" and the "caliphate and . . . sharia." The panel, however, merely reinforced that ISIS's brutal "caliphate" has ample justification in Islamic history and appeal among modern Muslims.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  November 11, 2014 at 5:29 pm  |  Permalink

Musa al-Gharbi Compares U.S. Military to ISIS

Musa al-Gharbi, a University of Arizona instructor and academic affiliate at the university's Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts, is the poster child for all that's wrong with field of Middle East studies. Drawing a moral equivalence between the U.S. military and ISIS is the sort of unhinged radicalism we've come to expect from its ranks.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  November 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm  |  Permalink

Interrogating Muslim Masculinities?

Amanullah De Sondy

In the latest Campus Watch research, A.J. Caschetta reports on a lecture from University of Miami religious studies professor Amanullah De Sondy that fell far short of its promising title. His article appears today at Jihad Watch:

On September 18, 2014, the day that Yemen-born Mufid Elfghee, also known as the "Rochester man," was indicted in federal court for being an ISIS recruiter, the University of Rochester hosted a lecture with the intriguing title, "Interrogating Islamic Masculinities." The flyer for University of Miami assistant professor Amanullah De Sondy's lecture stated:

Rigid notions of masculinity are causing crisis [sic] in the global Islamic community. These are articulated from the Qu'ran, its commentary, historical precedents and societal, religious and familial obligations. This lecture will interrogate this global gender and sexual crisis as we attempt to understand Islam and Muslims in the world today.

The juxtaposition of Elfghee's indictment and De Sondy's lecture is an apt emblem of the profession's increasing insularity and abandonment of the American public. While radicals recruit their fellow Americans to join a murderous, misogynistic army dedicated to ethnically cleansing much of the Middle East under the banner of a restored Caliphate, Middle East studies professors continue their decades-long descent into politicized and trivial scholarship.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  November 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm  |  Permalink

MESA and IIIT: Islamists Infiltrating Academia

MESA's leaders never met an Islamist they didn't embrace, so it's in keeping with their fallen reputations that their annual conference next month in DC will feature a reception for the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization. In a Campus Watch article posted today at American Thinker, I examine just how far IIIT's tentacles reach into America's universities:

The field of Middle East studies has a troublesome penchant for partnering with Islamist organizations. Case in point: The 2014 annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) will host an International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) reception at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC on November 23.

The true nature of IIIT, a Virginia-based think tank, was revealed during the 2007 U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial, which unearthed a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum naming IIIT as one of the likeminded organizations in the U.S dedicated to a "grand jihad" aimed at "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within" so that "God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions." . . . As far back as 1988, an FBI investigation exposed IIIT's goal to "get inside . . . American universities" for the larger purpose of instituting "the Islamic Revolution in the United States." Clearly, IIIT is making headway.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  October 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm  |  Permalink

Bazian vs. Maher: Vitriolic Speech For Me, Silence For Thee

UC-Berkeley's Hatem Bazian, who in 2004 said "it's about time that we had an intifada in this country" and who required 100 students to create Twitter accounts and post comments about "Islamophobia," wants to stop Bill Maher, the new bete noire of Islamists, from speaking at Berkeley. Typical Middle East studies tactic: vitriolic speech for me, silence for thee.

By Winfield Myers  |  October 29, 2014 at 4:53 pm  |  Permalink

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