As director of UC Berkeley's Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, Bazian displayed the usual fear-mongering, complete with divisive, politicized rhetoric. He blamed the alleged rise of "Islamophobia" in America--a claim that FBI hate crime statistics for 2014 continue to contradict--on "a massive demographic change . . . that has made individuals still living in the 1950s uncomfortable" and to "shrinking middle class" induced "resentment."
Perhaps what's fueling resentment, if indeed it exists, are Middle East studies academics like Bazian who insist on assigning victimhood to Muslim-Americans and villainy to the West, while accusing anyone who encourages introspection and reform within Islam of being a bigot.
Kudos to Randy L. Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UT-Austin, who is defending Prof. Ami Pedahzur, of the Inst. for Israel Studies, and the principle of free speech. Members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee disrupted a Nov. 13 lecture by guest speaker Gil-li Vardi, who was to speak on the culture of the IDF. The students are shamelessly attempting to portray themselves as victims and have filed a "civil rights" complaint with the university.
Recent comments by Jens Hanssen of the U. Toronto exemplify the type of circular reasoning employed by student protesters at Yale, Mizzou, et al. Arguing for a MESA resolution in favor of BDS, he said: "We are political by being non-political. And we are political by being political." Try this instead, Jens: We demonstrate our contempt for scholarly integrity by lying about Israel; we are an example of what's wrong with Middle East studies and, indeed, higher education in general.
We won't hold our breath waiting for Saudi-funded professors like Georgetown's John Esposito, who never tires of calling Americans "Islamophobic," to call for the release of Ashraf Fayadh or condemn their barbaric criminal justice system (much less the religious beliefs behind it).
Ira Glunts asked Finkelstein to comment on Salaita's settlement for the left-wing, anti-Israel website Dissident Voice, given that they are both, as he conspiratorially described it, "victim[s] of Jewish lobby pressure." After declaring at the outset, "I am not a party-liner," Finkelstein let loose:
Two of the protesters who disrupted a public lecture directed by Ami Pedahzur at UT-Austin have used the online aliases of terrorists. Pedahzur himself reported, and Legal Insurrection confirms, that protest ringleader Mohammed Nabulsi has used the online alias "Georges Abdallah," a notorious member of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions who murdered American Lt. Col. Charles R. Ray and Israeli diplomat Yaakov Bar-Simantov in Paris in the summer of 1982; he's serving a life sentence in France. Another member of the group, Patrick Higgins, refers to himself as Edward Despard, a British officer who became radicalized and plotted to kill King George III because of the Irish troubles and was executed for high treason in 1803.
Anti-Israel student activists have disrupted yet another academic lecture, this time from Ami Pedahzur, founding director of the University of Texas-Austin's Institute for Israeli Studies. And once again the mob is claiming to be the victim. Legal Insurrection has the details.
To read the rest of this article, please click here.
A settlement between the University of Illinois (UI) and former Virginia Tech University professor Steven Salaita was approved by UI's Board of Trustees Thursday. He will receive a lump sum payment of $600,000 and $275,000 in legal costs. In return, he will not seek or accept future employment by the university.
Thus concludes a saga that began in the summer of 2014 when the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) withdrew an offered position in its American Indian Studies Program due to Salaita's vulgar, Israel-bashing, anti-Semitic tweets. He sued the university and unnamed donors, alleging breach of contract and violation of free speech.
Fashioning himself a victim of the "Zionist lobby" and a martyr to "academic freedom," Salaita soon became a cause célèbre, with speaking engagements and a standing ovation at the 2014 annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). His recently released apologia, Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom, extends this theme.
A proposed settlement between the U. of Illinois and Steven Salaita is expected to be approved by UI's board today. He will receive a lump sum payment of $600,000 and legal costs. In return, he will not seek or accept future employment by the university. The cheaper route for universities: don't hire bigoted charlatans.
© 2002 - 2015 The Middle East Forum. Campus Watch contact e-mail: email@example.com