Skip to comments.Campus Watch - New website monitors Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies
Posted on 09/22/2002 9:29:19 PM PDT by Stultis
Here is their "About Us" page:
American scholars of the Middle East, to varying degrees, reject the views of most Americans and the enduring policies of the U.S. government about the Middle East.
There may be a war on terrorism underway, but the scholars downplay the dangers posed by militant Islam, seeing it as a benign and even democratizing force.
With only one exception, every American president since 1948 has spoken forcefully about the benefits to the United States from strong and deep relations with Israel. In contrast, American scholars often propagate a view of Middle Eastern affairs that sees Zionism as a racist offshoot of imperialism and blames Israel alone for the origin and persistence of the Palestinian problem.
While Americans overwhelmingly supported the war to liberate Kuwait in 1991, the Middle East specialists just as overwhelmingly rejected that use of force; and the same divide has recurred in 2002 with the prospect of a military campaign against Iraq.
Scholarly offerings frequently present in a benign light such hostile actors as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Ba'th regime, and other Middle East despotisms. In contrast, they emphasize and often exaggerate the faults of Israel, Turkey, Egypt, and Kuwait. They blame Washington, not Tehran, for the hostile relations between these two states.
Here are some choice but typical quotations:
This bias results from two main causes. First, academics seem generally to dislike their own country and think even less of American allies abroad. They portray U.S. policy in an unfriendly light and disparage allies. The closer those allies are (first Israel, followed by Turkey, then at some distance Egypt and Saudi Arabia), the more hostile their analysis. In contrast, they apologize for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Ba'th regime, and other rogue states. Likewise, the academics downplay the dangers of militant Islam and terrorism. Revealingly, while Americans overwhelmingly supported the war to liberate Kuwait in 1991 and the war on terrorism today, academic specialists just as overwhelmingly rejected the use of force on both occasions.
Second, Middle East studies in the United States has become the preserve of Middle Eastern Arabs, who have brought their views with them. Membership in the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the main scholarly association, is now 50 percent of Middle Eastern origin. Though American citizens, many of these scholars actively disassociate themselves from the United States, sometimes even in public. Rashid Khalidi, a historian at the University of Chicago (and former president of MESA) said in the preface of his study of the PLO that he owes "the greatest debt of gratitude to those who gave their lives during the summer of 1982... in defense of the cause of Palestine and the independence of Lebanon." When Edward Said of Columbia University wrote, "Palestinians today are separated by geography and by Israel's designs to keep us fragmented and isolated from one another," he wrote "us" as a Palestinian, not as an American.
In fact, Edward Said can be held responsible for a large portion of the morass of today's Middle East Studies departments. His 1978 book, Orientalism, was a watershed polemic that equated modern Middle East scholarship to racism, imperialism and ethnocentricity. As Martin Kramer notes in Ivory Towers on Sand, "In the more than twenty years since the publication of Orientalism, its impact on the broad intellectual climate in American Middle East studies has been far-reaching. Orientalism made it acceptable, even expected, for scholars to spell out their own political commitments as a preface to anything they wrote or did. More than that, it also enshrined an acceptable hierarchy of political commitments, with Palestine at the top, followed by the Arab nation and the Islamic world."
Scholars have an extensive but subtle influence on the way Americans see the Middle East, and set the tone for much of what is taught and learned across America on nearly every level. College students learn from them in the classroom and are influenced by the tone they set for the debate of Middle East politics on over two thousand campuses. High school and elementary teachers take their cue from them. Scholars write newspaper opinion pieces, are quoted in magazine articles, and appear on television. They serve as expert witnesses in court cases. They influence government officials in a variety of ways - a candidate formulating his positions, the CIA seeking outside advice, a congressional staffer preparing legislation, or a speechwriter for the secretary of state.
Campus Watch seeks to reverse the damage already caused by the activist/scholars on American campuses. We see this as an ongoing effort, one that should continue so long as the problem exists.
Campus Watch consists of American academics concerned about US interests and their frequent denigration on campus. Those interests include strong ties with Israel, Turkey, and other democracies as they emerge; human rights throughout the region; a stable supply and a low price of oil; and the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes.
Campus Watch will henceforth monitor and gather information on professors who fan the flames of disinformation, incitement and ignorance. Campus Watch will critique these specialists, and make available its findings on the internet and in the media. Our main goals are to:
Campus Watch contact email: email@example.com
Name one, just one Democratic country in which the majority pratcice Islam.
Islam is more dangerous than an atom bomb filled with anthrax.
Chirsitianity grew beyond the dictatorships which resulted in the crusades while Islam remains stagnent in it's need for repressive dictaorships.
Turkey. That said, the rest of the Islamic world is bassackwards....
I do know that this man's own mother has not spoken to him in a number of years because she is so upset with him over his views.
And I hope the university where he teaches doesn't expect any large donations from us, because they will not be forthcoming, due to my own vexation about this.
Yeah, yeah, academic freedom, blah, blah, blah.
So what's your point? The inhabitants of ivory towers and ivy covered walls should not be subjected to public scrutiny? Academics dissenting from a dominant paradigm should not have a website?
There is a website. Just click on the source link "Campus Watch" at the top left of the page, just above where the article starts. I've copied it below:
Campus Watch - New website monitors Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies
Campus Watch ^ | 22 September 2002 | Self
Just earlier, I posted an article describing a swastika painting on the CU campus.
< snip >
One of the more ridiculous incidents in the 21st century history of the treason of the intellectuals in America we might better say, of the academics occurred on July 16 when Stanford professor Joel Beinin, the current president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) delivered himself of a panicked e-mail warning that MESA members programs are under public attack. Beinin, whose pose is that of a socialist intellectual, and whose academic work is frequently neo-Leninist, seems to have forgotten the first rule of the Bolshevik: keep a cool head in battle.
< snip >
In MESA, powerful but varied interests, from the left and right, but equally inimical to America, come together. Beinin dreams about the red flag on the Nile while Esposito fronts for the Saudi monarchy. In this sense, the area is even more rotten than Soviet or Latin American studies were in their time. Frankly, Sheriff Beinin needs to turn in his star and let Pipes, Kramer, and Kurtz clean the town up for good.
< snip >
The leftists at the Middle Eastern Studies Association are at it again. This time they are boycotting the National Security Education Program of the Defense Department which is seeking to recruit Middle Eastern language scholars to help their country defend itself.
The saboteurs are led by the head of the Association, the radical leftist Stanford professor Joel Beinin. (Beinin is a red diaper baby. His parents and he were members of Hashomer Hatzair, a Marxist party in Israel, and he is currently a contributing editor of MERIP a magazine devoted to pro-PLO apologetics.)
It's time that Stanford retired anti-American ideologues like Beinin, who abuse academic freedom and scholarship in the service of their political agendas. But that isn't about to happen soon. Short of that, then, how about the Defense Department withdrawing its contracts from Stanford pending the adoption of a scholarly standard under which professors would conduct their partisan political projects off campus and not abuse the resources of the school to advance them?