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Al-Jazeera Pulls Massad Article for 'Slandering' the P.A.

Although we have only Ali Abuminah of the Electronic Intifada to rely on for this story, it's entirely plausible that the always-unhinged Joseph Massad, an associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University, would have an article pulled, even by the notoriously lax Al-Jazeera. After all, it's happened before.

However, instead of targeting Israel, Massad's focus this time was on Mohammad Dahlan and the corruption of the Palestinian Authority, which may explain why Al-Jazeera's editor suddenly complained of "defamation, slander and libel." It sounds as though Al-Jazeera has gotten a dose of its own medicine, to which Campus Watch can only respond, welcome to the club!

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  April 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm  |  Permalink

Psychoanalysis, Islam, and Joseph Massad

Joseph Massad

In the latest Campus Watch research, CW contributor Rima Greene and I report on a lecture at Stanford University from Joseph Massad, an associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University, who attacked Western ideas about Islam while delivering a jargon-laden apologia for Islamic supremacism. It appears today at Frontpage Magazine:

What do psychoanalysis, liberalism, and Islam have in common? A recent lecture at Stanford University with the curious title, "Psychoanalysis and the Other of Liberalism," purported to answer that question. Delivered by Joseph Massad, an associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University and co-sponsored by Stanford's Abassi Program in Islamic Studies, the talk was attended by approximately a dozen graduate students who sat around a long, rectangular table with several circulated chapters of Massad's tentatively titled forthcoming book, Islam In Liberalism, in hand.

Massad began by describing his book, which he explained is not "concerned with liberal trends in Islam," but with "how Western liberalism constituted itself and, in constituting, created an object called 'Islam' as its 'Other.'"

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  March 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm  |  Permalink

SFSU Prof Advocates Violence against Israel

Rabab Abdulhadi at

Rabab Abdulhadi, director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative at San Francisco State University (SFSU), organized a recent delegation to "the West Bank" and "the 1948 areas of Palestine" during which she met with individuals affiliated with U.S. State Department-designated terrorist organizations.

A faculty advisor to the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), whose former president is currently under investigation by anti-terrorism officials, Abdulhadi has no shortage of radical bona fides. She:

  • Supported the inclusion of stencils with the likeness of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) convicted hijacker-turned-terrorist icon Leila Khaled or the disturbing motto, "My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers," in the 2013 GUPS-organized celebration of SFSU's Edward Said mural—an event that SFSU president Les Wong publicly condemned for "celebrating violence" and "promoting hate-mongering."
  • Called criticism of the celebration a "well-orchestrated attack" intended to "intimidate university officials from continuing to support academic freedom and freedom of speech on campus." She later railed about a "Zionist smear campaign!" and warned, "Zionists: Hands off our San Francisco State University students!"
  • Is a founding member of the organizing committee for the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
  • Justified teaching SFSU's first course focusing solely on the Palestinian people in 2008, two years before the onset of the "Arab Spring," by claiming that, "Palestine is at the heart of the Arab world."
  • Was a keynote speaker at an Al-Awda (Palestine Right to Return Coalition) conference at SFSU in August, 2006 and spoke for Toronto's "Israeli Apartheid Week" at York University in 2010.
  • Is an editorial board member for the University of California, Berkeley's politically correct, anti-Western Islamophobia Studies Journal.

Abdulhadi's extremism is displayed at her profile page, which features a graphic calling for a "Third Palestinian Intifada" (a threat that has already resulted in violence) and a raised fist.

Abdulhadi's advocation of violence is morally repugnant, intellectually flaccid, and has no place on a public university campus.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm  |  Permalink

Former Suffolk U. Professor* Claims U.S. Plans to Sterilize "Women of the Entire World"

Munir Akash

Today at American Thinker I examine an anti-Semitic conspiracy monger formerly at Suffolk University:

Munir Akash,* a Syrian-born former visiting professor in the department of world languages and cultural studies at Suffolk University in Boston, claimed in a recent Arabic-language interview with Lebanon's ANB TV that the U.S. government has a secret plan to sterilize women in thirteen Third World countries and even in "the entire world." This marks yet another bizarre assertion made by Akash, who is successfully bringing the Middle East's stultifying culture of conspiracy theories to America.

*Update: The original version of this article identified Munir Akash as a visiting professor at Suffolk University because, at the time of publication, his web page at Suffolk was active; a cache of it is available here. Greg Gatlin, vice president of marketing and communications at Suffolk, has stated that Akash taught at Suffolk from 2007 until December, 2011, that the university left his web page up in error, and that it was removed after this article appeared. Gatlin adds that Akash does not have permission to claim any affiliation with Suffolk. During his October 23, 2013 interview on Lebanon's ANB TV, conducted in Arabic, the script below his image stated that he was "Historian D. Munir Akash - Professor of Humanities and head of the Arabic Studies at Suffolk University/Boston." The host presented him as such and stated that, "his research focused on the history of the first settlers who invaded the new world and annihilated 400 nations, using all methods of violence and killing." Translation courtesy of MEMRI.

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

By Winfield Myers  |  December 3, 2013 at 9:33 am  |  Permalink

Spies in the Classroom: CAIR vs. Campus Watch

CAIR's Samantha Bowden

In an article posted today at Frontpage Magazine, I juxtapose the case of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) employee caught recently snooping on a professor's class with the numerous false allegations over the years against Campus Watch for "spying" and "informing" on professors:

When on October 1, 2013, Samantha Bowden crept unannounced into the classroom of University of Central Florida communications professor Jonathan Matusitz, she wasn't hoping to advance her education on the sly. Rather, Bowden, the communication and outreach director for the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), was doing something of which Campus Watch has been frequently accused, but has never done: spying on a professor in an effort to embarrass him and, with luck, even harm his career.

Since its inception in 2002, Campus Watch (CW)—a project of the Middle East Forum that reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them—has been charged with an array of outrageous calumnies. They include paying students to infiltrate classrooms as "spies" or "informers"; targeting "pro-Palestinian" professors; and tracking "anti-Israel" comments." (Click here for a full collection of examples.)

Please click here to read the entire article.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  October 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm  |  Permalink

Reza Aslan: Authority on Islam and the Middle East?

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan's recent biography of Jesus, Zealot, was celebrated by many in the media. But what does his earlier work on Islam reveal about his motive for penning such a work? Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, addressed these issues for Campus Watch in "Reza Aslan: Authority on Islam and the Middle East?," published today at FrontPage Magazine:

An author who came to widespread attention during the past couple of months over the release of his book Zealot (July 2013) on the life Jesus, Reza Aslan has been known primarily as an authority on Islam and the Middle East. He has been hailed by an array of commentators, most notably the celebrity comedian Jon Stewart, who described him as "the fantastic Reza Aslan." But where did this reputation come from? More importantly, does it hold up to critical scrutiny?

To understand the rise of Aslan, one must turn to his 2005 book No God but God. Aslan was alarmed by what he saw as a supposed "clash of monotheisms" through polarizing rhetoric in both the West and Middle East. Denouncing "rising anti-Muslim vehemence that has become so much a part of the [Western] mainstream media's discourse about the Middle East," Aslan purported to demonstrate continuity between Islam and its predecessors, Christianity and Judaism. In other words, to demonstrate that there is no need for a "clash of monotheisms."

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

By Winfield Myers  |  October 11, 2013 at 11:44 am  |  Permalink

'Islamophobia' in the Bay Area?

Hatem Bazian

Is the San Francisco Bay area a hotbed of "Islamophobia"? According to a new study by UC-Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian and his co-author, the counterintuitive answer is yes. But as journalist Stephen Schwartz demonstrates in "'Islamophobia' in the Bay Area?," commissioned by Campus Watch and published today at American Thinker, the study, "is fatally flawed in its methodology, the evidence it musters does not support its conclusions, and it is little more than propaganda to use as a political bludgeon against anyone who objects to radical Islam."

According to 'The Bay Area Muslim Study: Establishing Identity and Community,' (BAMS) the San Francisco Bay Area, long known for its tolerance towards minorities and adherence to multiculturalism, is a hotbed of 'Islamophobia.'

Its principal author is Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley's Near Eastern Studies Department, director of Berkeley's Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, which advertises BAMS at its website, and 'Academic Affairs Chair' at Zaytuna College in Berkeley. Bazian's co-author is Farid Senzai, an assistant professor of political science at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school, and a faculty member (subject undisclosed) at Zaytuna. Senzai is also director of research at a little-known entity originating in Detroit, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which co-commissioned the May, 2013 Bay Area study.

To read the rest of Schwartz's article, please click here.

By Winfield Myers  |  August 13, 2013 at 11:57 am  |  Permalink

Columbia's Hamid Dabashi Uses BDS to Condemn Iranian Filmmaker's Trip to Israel

Hamid Dabashi

Middle East studies scholars of Iranian descent, including Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, are among the signers of an open letter to exiled Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf objecting to his attendance at this month's Jerusalem International Film Festival where he received a "Lifetime Achievement Award for Peace and Freedom." According to Makhmalbaf's detractors:

His participation directly violates the International call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of the State of Israel issued by Palestinian civil society in 2005, as well as the specific call for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel issued in July 2004. . . . We cannot in good conscience stand by Mr. Makhmalbaf and his decision which will inevitably validate the Israeli occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. We ask not only that Mr. Makhmalbaf stand with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, but that he be a messenger of liberation for everyone, including both Palestinians and Iranians.

Continue to full text of posting...

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm  |  Permalink

Academia's Love Letter to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Georgetown Panel Discussion Feat. the Political Wing of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (2012)

In a Campus Watch article that's posted today at Frontpage Magazine, I take a look at the reaction of Middle East studies scholars to the overthrow of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and find that, by and large, the Islamist party will be missed:

Now that Egyptians have overthrown the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government of former president Mohammed Morsi, how have scholars of the Middle East responded? With encomia, nostalgia, and conspiracy theories. (Click here for a full collection of quotes.)

Instead of acknowledging the ineptitude and dictatorial behavior that led to the Muslim Brotherhood's ouster, some alluded to shadowy conspiracies involving the U.S.

. . . Other scholars, reiterating their long-standing affection for so-called "moderate Islamist" parties across the region, from the MB in Egypt to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey and Ennahda in Tunisa, continued to hold out hope for Islamist rule.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  July 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm  |  Permalink

Why Saudis Send Their Kids to the Islamic Saudi Academy

For some time Campus Watch has followed the dubious goings-on of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), a Saudi government-funded private pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade school in Fairfax County, Virginia geared towards the children of Saudi citizens. A June 3, 2013, Arab News op-ed is the latest addition to our archive.

Predictably, the author, retired Saudi Navy Commodore Abdulateef Al-Mulhim--who, to be fair, once wrote an excellent article on anti-Israelism in the Arab world--has nothing but praise for ISA, even though it is the subject of an ongoing U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) investigation into its Islamist curriculum. His glowing description provides an inadvertent glimpse into ISA's true purpose [emphasis added]:

In my opinion, this academy is . . . much needed by the Saudi citizens living abroad who want . . . their kids to receive a well-rounded education that includes parts of the curriculum they are used to back in Saudi Arabia.

What does such a curriculum include? According to a 2006 study cited by Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom and a USCIRF Commissioner, Saudi government textbooks used at ISA:

[A]ssert that it is permissible for a Muslim to kill an 'apostate,' an 'adulterer,' those practicing 'major polytheism,' and homosexuals. They promote global jihad as an 'effort to wage war against the unbelievers,' including for the purpose of 'calling [infidels] to the faith.' They continue to teach that 'the hour [of judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them,' that Shiite practices amount to 'polytheism' (see above), that the Christian Crusades never ended, and that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are historical fact.

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By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  June 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm  |  Permalink

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