Columbia University has the dubious distinction of ranking number one on the David Horowitz Freedom Center list--part of its "Jew Hatred on Campus" campaign--of the ten U.S. campuses with the worst anti-Semitic activity in 2014. Israel-bashing Middle East studies professors Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad figure prominently in that decision, as does the fact that former Virginia Tech professor, and anti-Semitic tweeter par excellence, Steven Salaita was invited to speak on campus. As noted by the Algemeiner:
Columbia University's Joseph Massad
According to the Center, Columbia University is listed first because it is home to the "most well-known antisemitic professors in the nation such as Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad, who has been accused of harassing Jewish students on multiple occasions. In addition, it is home to a highly active SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] chapter that has recently brought BDS founder Omar Barghouti and disgraced antisemitic professor Steven Salaita to campus."
By Cinnamon Stillwell | February 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
What does the Islamic terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January have to do with the 2014 police shootings of African-American men in Ferguson, Missouri and Long Island, New York; San Francisco's troubled Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood; and the Occupy Wall Street movement? In the latest Campus Watch research, Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene report on a panel discussion at Stanford University, "Terror, Freedom, Blasphemy: Reflections on Citizenship in Our Times," in which speakers used the connection between the struggles—both real and imagined—of minorities in the U.S. and those attributed to Muslims worldwide to deflect attention from Islamic radicalism in the West. Their article appears today at Jihad Watch:
Sponsored by the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the afternoon discussion took place in a Center for International Security and Cooperation conference room with a long, narrow table in the middle, at the head of which sat the panelists. Approximately forty people—a mixture of students and locals, many of them eating lunch—were seated at and around the table, some spilling out into the hallway. . . . In his introduction, Shahzad Bashir, Lysbeth Warren Anderson Professor in Islamic Studies, explained that:
The idea for this event came from a discussion between myself and [fellow panelists] Robert Crews, [and] Aishwary Kumar, and grew out of a general frustration about the state of the world.
According to Bashir, the latter included such disparate subjects as:
[T]he torture information that came out of the U.S. Senate; what's happening in Iraq and Syria; what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri and Long Island; events in Nigeria, and what happened in Paris most recently. . . . We wanted an occasion where we could draw the connections between these events.
To read the entire article, please click here.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | February 25, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
Who else but Steven Salaita, the former Virginia Tech English professor whose unhinged, Israel-hating tweets cost him a job at the University of Illinois, would deliver a lecture on the imagined superiority of Palestinian "environmentalism" in the face of Israeli "colonization and conflict"? In the latest Campus Watch research, Andrew Harrod reports on Salaita's incoherent ramblings, otherwise known as, "Natural History Under Siege." His article appears today at Jihad Watch:
Palestine "will never be decolonized unless it is first demythologized," stated Steven Salaita, a controversial academic whose job offer from the University of Illinois was rescinded last summer after a series of anti-Semitic tweets came to light. Speaking on "Natural History Under Siege" before an audience of about twenty-five persons at Washington, DC's anti-Israeli Jerusalem Fund think tank on February 13, Salaita employed pseudo-intellectual rhetoric to apply his own mythology of hackneyed postcolonial themes to his ancestral Palestinians.
For those who have come to expect puerile packaging of anti-Israel screeds with fact-free, high-flown, often incoherent verbiage on the basis of his past writings, Salaita did not disappoint. In his introduction, he described the geography of a "Palestine" (including apparently Israel) as a "cacophony, but also an ensemble," even though "not everybody can see it." This geography "is a simulation of ideology," a "diversion into mythic cultural adventure," and "for the crooked and pious alike it is always in some way holy." Despite "continuous reinvention . . . we can still speak of Palestine as an actual place" whose soil once "was rendered tactile and knowable" to him when he got dirt under his fingernails during a visit as a graduate student. Sometimes it's the little things.
To read the entire article, please click here.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | February 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
On Feb 3, Ambassador Barbara K. Bodine titled her Georgetown U. lecture, "Yemen: If this is a Policy Success, What Does Failure Look Like?" Eight days later the U.S. embassy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, fell to Houthi rebels. Writing for Campus Watch, Andrew Harrod reports at FrontPage Magazine on Bodine's lecture:
Yemen has been an "always almost failing state" for as long as Ambassador Barbara K. Bodine can remember, she affirmed in her February 3 Georgetown University luncheon lecture, "Yemen: If This is a Policy Success, What Does Failure Look Like?" The truth of Bodine's sobering presentation to a fifty-person conference room packed to standing-room-only was confirmed when, eight days later, America's embassy in the capital Sanaa fell to Houthi rebels and U.S. Marines were forced to destroy their weapons before fleeing the country to prevent them from falling into rebel hands. The humiliating failure of American policy demonstrated that, President Barack Obama's wishful thinking notwithstanding, Yemen will not be a policy success anytime soon.
To read the rest of this essay, please click here.
By Winfield Myers | February 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
The extensive email exchange reproduced below stems from a September 16, 2014 discussion on "The Growing Divide Between the Sunni and Shia Worlds" held at New York University's Center for Dialogues, at which two Columbia University professors—Hossein Kamaly, an assistant professor in the Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures Department of Barnard College, and Richard Bulliet, emeritus professor of Middle Eastern history—were asked if the Iranian constitution called for the spread of its Islamic revolution. Both men said it did not.
This piqued the interest of Richard Horowitz, an attorney who has lectured on terrorism related issues in eighteen countries, who emailed both professors and quoted from his 2010 World Policy Institute article, "A Detailed Analysis of Iran's Constitution," calling attention to the fact that:
The Iranian constitution's preamble states that "the mission of the Constitution" [is] "to create conditions conducive to the development of man in accordance with the noble and universal values of Islam" and that the constitution "provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad."
Horowitz also noted that:
The preamble also states that Iran's Army and Revolutionary Guard "will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God's way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God's law throughout the world."
Continue to full text of posting...
By Winfield Myers | February 13, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink
Steven Salaita, gnostic: in a February 5 lecture at UNC-Chapel Hill, he claimed that the word "civility," used in post-colonial discourse, "sets up a hierarchy that distinguishes between those who are capable of entering into modernity and those who are incapable of entering into such a passage." University of Illinois officials (who denied him a job last summer), didn't know the word was "racist" and, "thought 'civility' was [an] innocuous word."
Because, you see, words have meanings known only to an ordained elite with access to Knowledge, which is conferred via a PhD in victimization studies; the rest of us remain in darkness.
A clumsy, sophistic attempt by Salaita to delegitimize his opposition, i.e., the civilized world. Note that it finds its most willing supporters in academe.
By Winfield Myers | February 11, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
Obfuscation from Middle East studies academics on the Islamic origins of ISIS continues. Imam and Duke University Islamic studies professor Abdullah Antepli, speaking at the University of Texas, El Paso, departs from the pack by admitting that Islam does indeed have something to do with ISIS, but then engages in the type of ahistorical moral equivalency popular in faculty lounges and corridors of power alike:
I'm not going to say that Islam has nothing to do with it, that they [ISIS] have nothing to do with Islam. As evil as they are, I can't tell them they are not Muslim; they are, as crusaders were Christian.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | February 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
There's no shortage of Middle East studies academics eager to absolve Islam of any responsibility for the region's ills, despite all evidence to the contrary. In the latest Campus Watch research, Andrew Harrod reports on a recent lecture from Harvard and Georgetown University professor Jocelyne Cesari that featured this sort of delusional thinking. His article appears today at Jihad Watch:
"Islam is not the major obstacle . . . for democratization" in Muslim societies," declared Jocelyne Cesari, a Harvard and Georgetown University professor of Muslim politics, on January 27 at George Washington (GW) University. Cesari's presentation of her book, The Awakening of Muslim Democracy, before an audience of about thirty failed to justify her overconfident contention that the Muslim world's authoritarianism has no basis in Islamic doctrine.
. . . She asserted counterfactually that, for legitimating liberty under law, the "resources in the Islamic tradition are the same" as "in the Jewish tradition or the Christian tradition." Contradicting Islamic history, she stated that, "nothing in Islam" demands an "Islamic state" and that "not even one part" of the "totalitarian project" in the current Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) "existed historically." "The idea that Islam subsumes everything is a modern . . . not a traditional idea," she later elaborated. In her imaginary conception of Islam, the "role of religion is not about state institutions," but "improving the common good of the people."
To read the entire article, please click here.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | February 6, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink
Eric Owens, writing for the Daily Caller, offers up one of the best article titles of all time ("'Zionist'-Hating Professor Who Tweeted Himself Out Of A Job Sues DONORS For Not Liking Him"), in addition to a plethora of humorous gems while encapsulating the strange case of Steven Salaita, the former Virginia Tech professor now suing the University of Illinois--and unnamed donors--after his offer of a position was withdrawn due to his hateful, vitriolic tweets:
Salaita's legal theory appears to be that these donors wrongly interfered with his right to a taxpayer-funded teaching position by threatening to refuse to give free money to the University of Illinois if he were to work there.
. . . One novel aspect of the balding, bespectacled professor's suit is the inclusion of "John Doe Unknown Donors" as co-defendants.
. . . Salaita, a leading light in the movement among obscure academics to boycott Israel, had been slated to begin teaching in the University of Illinois's Native American Studies department this fall.
. . . In October, during his speaking engagement at DePaul University in Chicago, Salaita expounded at length to a sympathetic audience about what can only be described as an Israeli ice cream freezer libel. During the latest Gaza conflict, he claimed, ice cream freezers were filled with the bodies of dead Palestinian children.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | February 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
In a welcome departure from the obfuscation and apologetics that typifies Middle East studies academics' commentary on the Islamic State (IS), a recent panel at George Washington (GW) University provided a relatively straightforward look at IS and resurgent jihadism. In the latest Campus Watch research, Andrew Harrod reports on the GW panel, "New Challenges for Islamist Movements." His article appears today at Jihad Watch:
Brigham Young University professor Quinn Mecham
Noting a "resurgence of various . . . jihadist movements," George Washington (GW) University's Marc Lynch, director of the Institute for Middle East Studies, opened a January 22 GW panel on "New Challenges for Islamist Movements." The panel highlighted the Middle East's growing and well-organized Islamist dangers with a refreshing minimum of politically correct Islamic apologetics before an audience of about forty.
Graduate international relations students in the audience corroborated a reporter's impression that Brigham Young University political science professor Quinn Mecham was the most intriguing panelist. Using the Fund for Peace's Fragile States Index, he evaluated the Islamic State's (IS) "trajectory of increasing stateness," ranking it as merely the seventeenth most failed state in the world, more stable than such countries as Afghanistan or Yemen. He observed that the IS's "multiple large revenue streams," such as oil and taxation, are the "envy of many poor states."
To read the entire article, please click here.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | February 3, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink