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Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

Freedom and Justice for Some, Division for the Most Part
by Hina Ahmed
Pipe Dream (SUNY Binghamton)
September 11, 2007

Categories:
Misc. Corrections

Campus Watch Responds:

[Ed: The following entry was adapted from the Campus Watch blog post, "Pipe Dream at Binghamton, Badger Herald at Wisconsin Misrepresent Campus Watch"]

Hina Ahmed, a columnist for the student newspaper, Pipe Dream, at SUNY Binghamton, seems to think that Campus Watch possesses police powers.

In a column published today, titled "Freedom and Justice for Some, Division for the Most Part," she defends Khalil Gibran International Academy in New York City. Part of that defense involves an awkward attempt to tie opposition to the school to the Bush administration, which in turn leads Ahmed to make a statement that is uninformed on several levels:

What is this strong opposition to the school saying about freedom of speech and race in our country? If our education is being controlled, how can we stand for a democracy?

This is not the first time that education on the Middle East has been scrutinized. Programs such as Campus Watch, founded in 2002 by Daniel Pipes, is a perfect example of the control the government is executing over our education system.

To begin with the obvious: KGIA is a public school, and public schools are, by definition, controlled by the government. How does Ahmed think they are funded? Why does she think school boards are elected by voters? (Hint: those voters pay the taxes that support public schools.) And surely scrutiny, per se, is a good thing when directed at the use of public funds, whether for education or other purposes.

Beyond that, however, she grossly mischaracterizes Campus Watch by calling it a "perfect example of the control the government is executing over our education system."

Come again? Campus Watch is not a government entity. It has no legal power, cannot issue subpoenas, collect taxes, censor anyone in any way, or in any form or fashion act as an agent of the government. Rather, it is a program of the Middle East Forum, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization recognized as such by the IRS under section 501 (c)(3) of the tax code. So is the American Heart Association, the Brookings Institution, and thousands of other organizations nationwide. It accepts no government funds, seeks no governmental power, and couldn't obtain any if it tried.

(Posted by Winfield Myers)

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