Campus Watch and Islamism: A Guide for the Perpetually Perplexed Elyse Semerdjian
by Winfield Myers • Feb 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm
If scholars of her ilk bothered to offer a "scholarly view of Islam," CW wouldn't exist. Our future is assured, however, thanks to Semerdjian and her colleagues nationwide, whose displays of vitriol and willful ignorance over the decades have left Middle East studies in ruins.
Far from smearing anyone, CW works to reform the discipline through critiques of professors whose claims can be so hyperbolic and convoluted as to appear delusional. Like this:
That's Semerdjian again, bizarrely trying to tie CW, which opposes Islamism in Middle East studies, to the murder of scholars by Islamists in the Middle East and to the harassment and imprisonment of pro-Western, secular liberals by Turkey's Islamist dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan (which we condemned) and Iran's Islamist mullahs. Connecting CW with Sami al-Arian or events in Gaza (controlled by Islamists) and Aleppo (bombed by Islamists) is equally far-fetched.
In other words: Semerdjian believes making MESA overtly political is necessary because CW and others not only smear professors (which is false) for doing their job (which they don't do), but that CW's critiques are in some way analogous to the assassination and imprisonment of scholars in the Middle East by regimes practicing the kind of Islamism that CW exists to combat in academe (which is crazy).
Semerdjian's claims exemplify the level of unreality in Middle East studies, where victimology is king, politics trumps scholarship, and logic is dead. So long MESA. We'll hardly miss ya.
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