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'Student Voices' Exposes Anti-Semitism in the College Classroom

M. Shahid Alam

The testimonials of more than 100 students from almost 50 colleges and universities in twenty states tell of "being intimidated, harassed or bullied as a Jewish and/or a pro-Israel student," according to Student Voices, a project of the AMCHA Initiative. In the latest Campus Watch research, appearing today at the Algemeiner, CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell focuses on the students' less-than-pleasant encounters with Middle East studies academics, such as M. Shahid Alam, Saree Makdisi, and Steven Salaita:

For example, students at Northeastern University in Boston recount classroom bias and intimidation by M. Shahid Alam, an economist whose research interests include Islamic civilization and Zionism, and who once declared it "a sign of distinction" to be called an anti-Semite.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  July 26, 2015 at 10:23 pm  |  Permalink

Lincoln U.'s Kaukab Siddique: Jews 'Rabid Dogs,' ISIS Atrocities Mere 'Propaganda'

Kaukab Siddique

Kaukab Siddique, the Pakistan-born Lincoln University English professor, is under fire for the bigoted and radical commentary on his publicly available Facebook page. As reported by the Daily Beast, his writings include rants about "dirty Jewish Zionist white supremacist thugs," the "homo lobby," "American women" being "slaves of rich men," and "many women" being "sluts."

A member of the Baltimore-based Islamist group Jamaat al-Muslimeen (Assembly of Muslims), Siddique is notorious both for his Holocaust denial and calls at a 2010 Washington, DC rally to "destroy" and "dismantle" Israel.

In addition to anti-Semitic, anti-gay, and sexist comments, Siddique claimed that, "no American Muslim is a terrorist" and told the Daily Beastregarding ISIS's well-documented rape and sexual slavery of Yazidi and other women, "I need evidence that anything was done to Yazidis." On Facebook he wrote, "Gradually Muslims will realize that the atrocity stories against ISIS are propaganda."

Daniel Greenfield of FrontPage Magazine has pointed out numerous instances of Siddique's open support for ISIS, including a Facebook postafter the shooting at the "Draw Muhammad" contest in Garland, Texas that read, "Two of ISIS [sic] gave their lives for the honor of the Prophet, pbuh." He also decried the fact that the U.S. is "bombing the Islamic state," while elsewhere defending the late al-Qaeda recruiter—and reported inspiration for Chattanooga shooter Mohammod Abdulazeez—Anwar al-Awlaki.

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By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  July 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm  |  Permalink

No Jihad Here: Middle East Studies Profs on Chattanooga Shooting

Reza Aslan

At FrontPage Magazine today, Campus Watch director Winfield Myers takes a look at reactions to the Chattanooga shooting by professors of Middle East studies and finds plenty of obfuscation, equivocation, and denial. What he doesn't find is a close analysis of Abdulazeez's clear motive: jihad.

Less than one week after the slaughter in Chattanooga, Tennessee of four U.S. Marines and one sailor by Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born Islamist who grew up in suburban Chattanooga, a pattern has emerged in Middle East studies scholars' analyses of the shooting: obfuscation of any Islamist or jihadi motives accompanied by efforts to depict Abdulazeez as one among many troubled killers whose recent actions have shocked the country. No specialized knowledge of the Middle East is required for such politicized and misleading analyses, and none is evident in the examples that follow.

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

By Winfield Myers  |  July 23, 2015 at 11:57 am  |  Permalink

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Allegations Against UCLA Prof Gabriel Piterberg

Notoriously anti-Israel UCLA history professor Gabriel Piterberg is being accused of sexual harassment by two graduate students in a lawsuit against the University of California Regents. The website eBossWatch has reprinted a report based on the plaintiffs' original complaint that details the sordid allegations, as well as the purported failure of the university, including history department chair David Myers, to address the students' numerous complaints.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  July 13, 2015 at 7:50 pm  |  Permalink

Georgetown's Elliott Colla Misses Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood

Elliott Colla

While many applaud the Egyptian people's speedy course correction in ousting the Muslim Brotherhood, the ranks of Middle East studies are filled with academics who remain nostalgic for the Islamist party and the "revolution" that ushered it in. In the latest Campus Watch research, Andrew Harrod reports on a lecture from Georgetown University Arabic literature professor Elliott Colla, in which he focused on esoteric literary documents and protest signage as part of his longing for the "good old days." Harrod's article appears today at Jihad Watch:

Egypt's Arab Spring "revolutionary period is over," lamented Georgetown University Arabic literature professor Elliott Colla on June 25 at the anti-Israel Washington, DC, Jerusalem Fund before about twenty listeners. With stereotypical academic bias, his presentation, "The Poetry of Dissent," ignored political dangers from an "Egyptian revolution" celebrated, in his leftist view, for "many, many accomplishments" of popular culture.

Seemingly unconcerned by the possibility of Egypt becoming a sharia state after dictator Hosni Mubarak's overthrow, Colla focused on literary "documents of a social movement that tried to change a regime but stumbled." His slides were reminiscent of a college English seminar, examining genres such as "Literary Journalism," "Literary Memoirs," and "Graphic Novels" among the "expressive cultures of revolutionary Egypt." He described the "speed of publication" as "remarkable" for the various forms of literature that appeared between Mubarak's February 2011 fall and the July 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-dominated government. "Everything tends to become melodrama" in soap opera-like novels from this period, he observed, while the "Collective Memoirs" presented in a slide were "open-ended and polyphonic." Such minor details somehow interested him more than, say, a MB revocation of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  July 10, 2015 at 7:49 pm  |  Permalink

Steven Salaita Heads to Beirut, While Malcolm Kerr Spins in His Grave

Steven Salaita

How utterly appropriate: Steven Salaita will be the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut (AUB) for the 2015/16 academic year. A supposed expert on Native Americans whose anti-Semitic attacks on Israel cost him a job at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, Salaita will assume a chair named for the late Columbia University English professor whose 1978 book Orientalism contributed more than any other work to the systemic intellectual decadence that still characterizes Middle East studies.

Salaita is Said's equal when it comes to producing polemical revisionist history that relies more upon postcolonial victimization studies than upon rigorous research. Although Illinois expected him to teach American Indian studies and he'll teach American studies at AUB, all six of his books deal with modern Arab studies, Arab Americans, or Israel. In the through-the-looking-glass historiography of Salaita and his academic allies, these disparate fields are connected by a typology of the victim that is easily transferred from antiquity to the present, so that Canaanites are Native Americans and ancient Hebrews are modern Zionists. It's a handy way of attacking the entire history of a people or civilization without having to bother with facts, research, doubt, unanswerable questions, or the human agent at the heart of all genuine historical research.

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By Winfield Myers  |  July 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm  |  Permalink

The Middle East Studies Mess

The chaos gripping the Middle East today stems in no small part from the terrible scholarship of the Middle East studies establishment. So says Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in an essay commissioned by Campus Watch and sponsored by the Middle East Forum. It appears in the July 2015 issue of the Australia/Israel Review.

The Middle East is in chaos. After four years of Syrian civil war, there are now more refugees and displaced persons seeking to escape violence than at any point since World War II. Libya and Yemen are in chaos. The Islamic State has both revived medieval notions of the caliphate and returned such practices as slavery, beheadings, and crucifixions to the headlines. Turkey, once celebrated both as a bridge between East and West and more recently as proof of the compatibility of political Islam and democracy, slides down the path to Islamist autocracy.

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

By Winfield Myers  |  July 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm  |  Permalink

Mark LeVine's Internet Rants Continue

Mark LeVine

As if to drive home the point CW made recently in the quote-filled article "Bonfire of the Vulgarians: Middle East Studies in Decline," UC Irvine history professor Mark LeVine—whose profanity-laden Facebook call to "dismantle" Israel featured prominently in our round-up—has accompanied a new post on his Facebook page with this brilliant analysis: "F— the occupation. 50 years is enough."

Elsewhere, LeVine, who can't stop posting ill-advised, unedited commentary anywhere and everywhere on the Internet, left a rambling, op-ed length comment for a Jewish Journal op-ed on whether or not the University of California Board of Regents should adopt the U.S. State Department's definition of anti-Semitism. LeVine was not placated by the author's reticence on the matter and concludes his rant with the type of eliminationist rhetoric—couched in platitudes about "Judaism," "human rights," and "democracy"—for which he's become known:

[T]he vast majority of supporters of BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions], including the rapidly growing number of Jewish and Israeli supporters, oppose not merely Israeli policy but the Isareli [sic] state as its [sic] presently conceived of and acts--as an ethnocratic, exclusivist state built upon decades of occupation and no willingness to relinquish these claims.

I want to "undo the events of 1948," but not because I hate Israel or am anti-Semitic. Rather, it's because I stay true to the Prophetic Judaism that has always been the core of my identity and the ideals of human rights and democracy for all that they demand. There are many alternatives to the present Israeli political system--confederation, parallel states, binationalism. Advocating for them, and even for the end of a Zionist state cannot be equated with anti-Semitism.

We'll leave it to LeVine to decide if his single-minded obsession with the world's sole Jewish state or his tunnel vision regarding alleged human rights abuses constitutes anti-Semitism. But one thing's for sure: he needs to get help with impulse control vis-à-vis the Internet. Online anger management counselors are standing by. . . .

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  June 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm  |  Permalink

Bonfire of the Vulgarians: Middle East Studies in Decline

Earlier this year, a firestorm erupted when Connecticut College philosophy professor Andrew Pessin's 2014 Facebook comments, in which he compared Hamas in Gaza to a "wild pit bull . . . chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape," were deemed "racist" and "dehumanizing" by student activists, colleagues, and administrators alike. Meanwhile, Middle East studies academics regularly emit commentary that is unambiguous in its bigotry, tastelessness, and vulgarity, to nary a peep. Not coincidentally, the vitriol is directed at targets academe finds politically unpopular: Israel, pro-Israel Jews, and anti-Islamists. In the latest Campus Watch research, appearing today at American Thinker, CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell take a look at the worst of the worst:

A glaring example occurred in late 2014, when UC Irvine history professor Mark LeVine posted an expletive-laden, unhinged rant on Facebook calling for the destruction of Israel. . . . In this age of selective campus hypersensitivity, it's difficult to imagine correspondingly genocidal language being directed at any other country. Given that he's the authorof Heavy Metal Islam, LeVine's juvenile language might be chalked up to his rock 'n' roll persona, but it is hardly befitting the temperament of a scholar.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  June 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm  |  Permalink

A Year After His Death, Fouad Ajami's Detractors Look Worse than Ever

Fouad Ajami

Lebanese-born Middle East studies scholar Fouad Ajami died one year ago today. At the time of his death, his lemming-like detractors attacked him, viciously at times, for his refusal to ape their cultural relativism and biased scholarship. Today at FrontPage Magazine, CW director Winfield Myers critiques the critics and finds them boorish and intellectually parochial:

"He came with conceptions, but he made a voyage of discovery. And so he caught truths, deeper and more durable truths about himself and about us all." (The Traveler's Luck)

So wrote Fouad Ajami, who died one year ago today, about Joseph Conrad, whose talents for capturing the clash between East and West he judged superior to V.S. Naipaul's. He might have been writing about his own gift for interpreting the Middle East from his adopted American home. The truths he caught were gained (like Conrad's) through an immigrant's eyes—eyes trained not just on his adopted country, but on the land of his birth.

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

By Winfield Myers  |  June 22, 2015 at 9:16 am  |  Permalink

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