Setting The Record Straight
Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.
The Danish Middle East studies scholar Sune Haugbolle has written two blog posts on Mervat Hatem's presidential address at the Middle East Studies Association's (MESA) annual meeting, held recently in Washington, DC.
In the first post, dated December 1, "Put Said on the Backburner," he expressed concern that the Middle East studies establishment is too enthralled by Edward Said's Orientalism—a concern CW shares.
The second post, titled, "Orientalism: Something Like a Disclaimer" and dated December 17, he mistakenly claimed that CW is the creation of Martin Kramer:
Thanks to a correction posted on CUMNet by Martin Kramer, this error has now been corrected: Martin Kramer did not found Campus Watch and has no connection with it.
But Haugbolle commits several more errors regarding Campus Watch. The above paragraph continues:
CW is not a "McCarthyist project"--an insult that is as groundless as it is tiresome. We have no ability to censor anyone or call professors before Senatorial committees, nor do we seek such powers. One hopes that, sooner or later, the academic left will itself tire of this trite stereotype.
Nor do we define as "good" scholarship that is "patriotic, anti-Islamic and pro-Israel." We critique Middle East studies without regard to the religion or nationality of the professors we critique.
Haugbolle is also mistaken on the reasons behind our decision to add his December 1 post to our archives. A disclaimer at the bottom of each archived piece notes, "These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique."
Then comes this, from his concluding paragraph:
CW does not engage in stereotyping, nor are we part of any lobby (please show me the source of my ostensible marching orders if I am part of such a conspiracy). We in no way push a negative image of the Middle East, as Haugbolle's unnamed friend claimed.
Haugbolle understands that Said's disciples have damaged the intellectual integrity of Middle East studies by, among other things, diverting attention from real problems in the region. Given this, one hopes that he and his colleagues will take seriously his closing admonition, which he calls "our real job":
(Posted by Winfield Myers)
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