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  • Profs. LeVine and Zunes Plot to Globalize BDS

    09/12/2012 9:57:55 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 9/12/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    What do Middle East studies professors do when they're not in the classroom? Write books? Engage in research? Advance important scholarship? Conduct outreach to students? In the case of two anti-Israel activist professors—Mark LeVine, University of California, Irvine history professor, and Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies and director of the Middle East studies program at the University of San Francisco—plotting strategies for furthering the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is the unfortunate answer. In his latest Al-Jazeera op-ed, LeVine conducts an interview with Zunes on the all-important question, "Can the BDS Movement Go Global?"...
  • USF Prof Stephen Zunes Still Shilling for Iran

    08/23/2012 11:37:05 AM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 8/23/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
    On August 5, 2012, Stephen Zunes—professor of politics and international studies and director of the Middle East studies program at the University of San Francisco—made his seventh appearance at the hilltop Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley (UUCB) in the northern enclave of Kensington. Zunes is a regular at UUCB, no doubt because his views are in line with the church's "Social Justice Council," which, according to their website, "sponsors forums focussing [sic] on social justice topics" in pursuit of the quixotic goal of "working towards a better, more just world." Accordingly, there were copies of the British-based newspaper Positive News...
  • Will Muslim Girl Power Win ‘The Glee Project’?

    08/14/2012 12:09:07 PM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies
    PJ Tatler ^ | 8/14/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Capitalizing on the success of “Glee,” the Oxygen Channel has come up with “The Glee Project,” a reality TV talent competition in which contestants vie for a coveted spot on the show’s namesake. Currently about to conclude its second season, “The Glee Project”—in keeping with the high school-era outcasts that inhabit “Glee”—put out a call for the awkward, the overweight, the disabled, the curiously little, the racially ambiguous, the sexually confused, the openly gay, the transitioning transgenders, and, of course, some plain old cute guys, no doubt to corner the teenage girl market.Notable among this season’s contestants is 19-year-old Aylin...
  • When Television and Politics Collide

    08/08/2012 6:49:38 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies
    PJ Media ^ | 8/8/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    I have a confession to make: I watch a lot of TV, and I’m not going to pretend that all or even most of it is educational. This would hardly be considered unusual except that I’m a serious political person who does serious political work and people like us aren’t supposed to admit that we watch a good amount of—let’s face it—trashy TV. The way I look at it, we all need a little fluff in our lives, especially after a day spent reading and writing about the decline of Western civilization. And as the cliché goes: if you can’t...
  • Professors and Politicos Fooled by the Muslim Brotherhood

    07/27/2012 5:36:25 PM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 7/27/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Engagement with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is the consensus among elite opinion and certainly among the ranks of North American Middle East studies academics, the "experts" tasked with informing the public and, often, policy-makers on foreign policy in the region. Since the Egyptian revolution, these academics have whitewashed the Muslim Brotherhood, downplayed its Islamist agenda, and urged U.S. cooperation—a policy suggestion the Obama administration has clearly taken to heart. Many have been shocked by the speed with which the Obama administration has pursued this policy of outreach. The current debate within Congress about the potential influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on...
  • UC Berkeley and the 'Islamophobia' Lobby

    05/26/2012 10:14:37 AM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 5/25/2012 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    The Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP)—a program of the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender (CRG)—recently held its third annual conference, "Critical Discourses on Islamophobia: Symbols, Images, & Representations." As in previous years, speaker after speaker decried an imaginary racist, imperialist, Orientalist Western juggernaut, while disregarding the very real predations of Islamism. The first day of the conference brought in approximately eighty people at its peak, including a number of women in hijab (head scarf), typing furiously on laptops. Others sported keffiyehs and dreadlocks; a smattering of Arabic and French could be heard; and a scruffy,...
  • UCLA Honors Sharia Apologist Khaled Abou El Fadl

    04/05/2012 1:39:09 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 4/5/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell and Judith Greblya
    Academic self-congratulation reached new heights at the University of California, Los Angeles on March 21, 2012, with "An Event Honoring Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl." Abou El Fadl—Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law and chair of the Islamic Studies Interdepartmental Program at UCLA—was feted by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, the UCLA School of Law Journal of Near Eastern and Islamic Law, the UCLA School of Law Muslim Law Students Association, and the UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies Program. Eighty students, professors, and community members gathered to commemorate "the world's leading authority on...
  • UCLA 'Conflict Resolution' Program Features Anti-Israel Profs. on Both Sides

    02/28/2012 7:39:16 PM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 2/27/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    This just in from the UCLA Newsroom: UCLA is launching a series of public lectures, academic courses and programs aimed at fostering civil discourse and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.UCLA Chancellor Gene Block will be among those teaching courses, along with experts on mediation and professors who have opposing viewpoints on politically charged issues.'It is our obligation to equip students for success in a complicated and interconnected world,' Block said in an email announcing the effort to the campus community. 'From UCLA alumnus Ralph Bunche, who won the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts as a mediator in the...
  • The 'Angry Arab' Slams Finkelstein; Wants to Eliminate Israel

    02/20/2012 3:42:17 PM PST · by SmithL · 11 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 2/20/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    As we, and many others, noted last week, there's a video circulating around the internet of infamous Israel-defamer and former DePaul professor Norman Finkelstein slamming the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling it a "cult" whose goal is the elimination of Israel. As one would expect, Finkelstein's--perhaps former--comrades in the anti-Israel world are none too pleased with his break from the party line. One of them, As'ad AbuKhalil--California State University, Stanislaus political science professor and purveyor of the "Angry Arab News Service"--provides a "critique" at al-Akhbar in which he makes the following admission: Finkelstein rightly asks whether the real...
  • Farewell to UCLA's Sondra Hale

    01/10/2012 7:14:00 PM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 1/10/12 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    The rabidly anti-Israel University of California, Los Angeles anthropology and women's studies professor Sondra Hale has retired. Her list of dubious achievements is long and, over the years, Campus Watch has chronicled a good number: Hale was one of the founding members of the organizing committee for the Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel. At the time of its inception, she touted her prominent involvement, telling the Daily Bruin in February, 2009 that, were it to go into effect, "foreign exchange and cooperative programs with Israel would cease."At an October, 2009 conference at the Center for Near...
  • The 'Angry Arab' Goes Mad

    12/08/2011 1:04:30 PM PST · by SmithL · 19 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 12/8/11 | Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
    As'ad AbuKahlil—a political science professor at California State University, Stanislaus—spoke last month at a day-long "teach-in" at the University of California, Berkeley titled, "Building Solidarity with the Arab Spring." It consisted of a number of "workshop sessions" at the Valley Life Sciences Building, followed by a "plenary session" at the Multicultural Center, and was co-sponsored by the Arab Resource Organizing Committee, the Berkeley Muslim Students Association PAC, the International Socialist Organization, and the Syrian American Council. AbuKhalil's workshop on "The U.S. and the Arab Uprising" was held in a tiny, hot, windowless room filled with students wearing hijabs and keffiyehs....
  • OPINION: The Making Of A 9/11 Republican

    09/11/2011 10:55:00 AM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | February 24, 2005 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    As one of a handful of Bay Area conservative columnists, I'm no stranger to pushing buttons. Indeed, I welcome feedback from readers, whether positive or negative. I find the interplay stimulating, but I am often bemused by the stereotypical assumptions made by my critics on the left. It's not enough to simply disagree with my views; I have to be twisted into a conservative caricature that apparently makes opponents feel superior. They seem not to have considered that it's possible to put forward different approaches to various societal problems and not be the devil incarnate. But in some ways I...
  • USA: Anti-Israel Jewish Studies

    04/26/2011 8:57:14 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    Arutz Sheva - IsraelNationalNews ^ | 4/26/11 | Cinnamon Stillwell & Judith Greblya
    Faculty members at departments of Jewish Studies in the USA are evidencing anti-Israel (anti-Semitic) tendencies as do their colleagues in Middle East Studies. The field of Middle East studies is notorious for producing apologias for radical Islam, particularly where anti-Israel and, at times, anti-Semitic sentiment is concerned. These same tendencies are also increasingly common in an unexpected sector of university life: Jewish studies. An open letter dated March 3, 2011, and signed by 30 University of California Jewish studies faculty members, is a case in point. The letter to the Orange County District Attorney concerns the orchestrated disruption of a...
  • Hatem Bazian's Pernicious Misuse of 'Never Again'

    03/24/2011 12:31:07 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 3/24/11 | Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
    Just when it seemed as though the misuse of language and imagery associated with the Holocaust could get no worse, along came "Never Again for Anyone." A national speaking tour designed to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, "Never Again for Anyone" traveled the U.S. from January 25 through February 19, 2011, landing at the First Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California on February 17. The event was a benefit for the virulently anti-Israel organization, the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA). The purpose of the tour was pernicious: to draw a connection between the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli conflict, with Israelis cast as the new...
  • How Does It Feel To Be a Victim? Ask Prof. Bayoumi

    03/15/2011 1:30:40 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 3/15/11 | Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
    Moustafa Bayoumi, associate professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, gave a lecture at the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Middle East Studies (CMES) last month titled, "How Does It Feel To Be a Problem: Why Arabs and Muslim Americans Are at the Heart of Today's Culture Wars." Bayoumi is the editor of How Does it Feel To Be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America, a collection of biographical stories about young, Brooklyn-based Arab-Americans that the CMES website describes, among other things, as "a catalog of mistreatment and discrimination."Baymoui's narrative of Arab victimhood...
  • UCLA's Professor of Fantasy [on Khaled Abou El Fadl]

    12/24/2010 1:35:26 PM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 12/24/10 | Innamon Stillwell
    The Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) at the University of California, Los Angeles and the UCLA School of Law's Journal for Islamic and Near Eastern Law co-sponsored a lecture (podcast available here) last month by Khaled Abou El Fadl, chair of the Islamic Studies Interdepartmental Program, with the vague title "Shari'ah Watch: A View from the Inside." The flyer for the lecture promised "an informed discussion about Shariah and its role and impact in the West," yet Abou El Fadl delivered neither. Instead, his audience of 35 -- comprising mostly seniors and left-wing students -- witnessed a meandering, repetitive...
  • Hatem Bazian: Berkeley's Israel Boycott Advocate

    11/10/2010 1:33:28 PM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies
    Campus Watch ^ | 11/10/10 | Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
    Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer in the department of Near Eastern studies at the University of California at Berkeley, provided the introduction at a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) event at Berkeley on October 26, 2010, called "What Can American Academia Do to Realize Justice for Palestinians?" Bazian is an endorser of the Israel Divestment Campaign and a signatory to the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. He is a committed anti-Israel propagandist and activist.
  • Juan Williams: Politically-Incorrect in 2006, Politically-Incorrect in 2010

    10/22/2010 3:44:30 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies
    Cinnamon Stillwell's Blog ^ | 10/22/10 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    The unceremonious and unjust firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this week came as no surprise to me. I had long been aware of Williams's admirable propensity for espousing politically-incorrect truths on certain subjects, even as he remained a staunch liberal overall. Watching Williams on Fox News and reading his columns over the years, I've disagreed vehemently with him many times on matters of foreign policy, but when the subject has turned to race and ethnicity, I've found him to be refreshingly honest. In fact, I was moved to take note of Williams's excellent book on...
  • Campus Watch "Setting The Record Straight" 2010 Update

    07/29/2010 1:14:40 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 1+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 7/29/10 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Since our last update, the number of corrections in Campus Watch's "Setting The Record Straight" section has grown exponentially. Hardly a day goes by when Campus Watch (CW)'s opponents aren't hard at work hurling false accusations, smears, and paranoia in our direction. The nature of the fabrications generated by CW's critics over the years has remained predictably static, and they tend to fall into just a few categories. The most ubiquitous are the histrionic allegations that we "silence," "censor," "harass," or "intimidate" academics; that we engage in "blacklisting"; that we interfere in tenure decisions; that we represent a threat to...
  • When Jerry Brown Rejected Vietnamese Refugees

    06/10/2010 7:54:57 PM PDT · by SmithL · 18 replies · 271+ views
    Cinnamon Stillwell's Blog ^ | 6/10/10 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    As if we needed another reason not to vote for retread California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, I just learned via a BookTV talk by former South Vietnamese, and now American, U.S. Marine veteran and author Quang Pham that Brown tried to block Vietnamese refugees from settling in California when he was governor in the 1970s. At the same time, he's always been soft on illegal immigration from Mexico and South America and friendly to Castro and Cuba. So one can surmise that the left-leaning Brown didn't want the Vietnamese refugees to settle in California because they were anti-Communists (and with...
  • The Illogic of Campus Watch's Critics

    04/06/2010 9:10:39 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies · 128+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 4/6/10 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Teaching Middle Eastern Affairs is certainly more problematic than other regions. Due to the geopolitical realities of the ME, it is more politicized as an academic subject than any other region. As a result, academics dealing with the Middle East have the tendency to espouse political views that might affect both what topics will be covered and how. Subsequently, the study of the Middle East suffers from high levels of politicization and the academic content subordinating political views or ideologies.Who wrote the above passage?1) Campus Watch2) A Campus Watch basher Based on Campus Watch (CW)'s long record of combating the...
  • The Professor's Islamist Call to Battle [on Sherman Jackson]

    03/22/2010 3:23:14 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 203+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 3/22/10 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Sherman Jackson, also known as Abdal Hakim Jackson, is a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. Jackson specializes in Islamic law and has written and spoken extensively on the subject. Soon after the September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist attacks, Jackson took the line popular among apologists, stating at a September 2001 University of Michigan Teach-in titled, "Terrorism: A Perversion of Islam," that "the killing of innocent peoples is forbidden by the law of Islam and it has been from the beginning of Islam."But it turns out that not...
  • Mogahed's Excuses Don't Add Up [incl. John Esposito]

    10/30/2009 7:46:44 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies · 224+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 10/30/9 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    As reported last week by Campus Watch, Dalia Mogahed, appointee to President Obama's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, executive director and senior analyst of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, and co-author, along with Georgetown University's John Esposito, of Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, appeared (by phone) earlier this month on the UK-based Islam Channel television program "Muslimah Dilemma" (view here and read the complete transcript here.) Ibtihal Bsis, the show's host, is a member of the Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir; Mogahed's fellow guest, Nazreen Nawaz, is the group's national women's media representative....
  • Does Sharia Law Promote Women's Rights?

    10/20/2009 12:07:11 PM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 600+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 10/20/9 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    In thinking about women's rights, sharia law, or Islamic law, doesn't typically come to mind.Yet, according to a survey conducted by Dalia Mogahed, executive director and senior analyst of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and appointee to President Obama's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the two are closely intertwined. Her survey alleges that a majority of Muslim women believe sharia law should either be the primary source or one source of legislation in their countries, while viewing Western personal freedoms as harmful to women.The survey's findings appear in the book, Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims...
  • Exclusive: FSM Reader Extra: FSM Contributing Editors Remember 9/11, Eight Years Later

    09/12/2009 4:30:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies · 144+ views
    Family Security Matters ^ | 9/11/9 | FSM National Security Team
    CINNAMON STILLWELL  Eight years after the Islamic terrorist attacks of 9/11, it appears that America has largely drifted back into complacency. Certainly, many Americans still understand that the threat of repeated attacks remains real, but the sense of urgency has faded with time. Meanwhile, the country's current leadership and its supporters are inhabiting the willful blindness of a pre-9/11 mindset, if not acting as apologists for and, in some cases, active supporters of America's enemies. Misconceptions that began with the Bush administration continue unabated. There is an inability to grasp that, to quote Robert Spencer, the "stealth jihad," being visited...
  • Whitman's Shampa Biswas: Instigator or Educator?

    04/23/2009 1:09:08 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 204+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 4/22/9 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Writing at his new blog, The Rubin Report, GLORIA Center Director Barry Rubin points to Shampa Biswas, Whitman College Director of Global Studies and associate professor of politics, as an example of the "terrible, anti-democratic, and anti-American ideas" pervading higher education. As demonstrated in a glowing profile at the Whitman College web site and a 2007 convocation address, Biswas is yet another Edward Said acolyte helping to turn the field of Middle East studies (in which she specializes) into a forum for political activism and moral relativism. Rubin elaborates: Professor of politics Shampa Biswas explains that Edward Said's Orientalism is...
  • Rashid Khalidi Gets Caught in a Lie

    02/05/2009 3:25:21 PM PST · by SmithL · 4 replies · 275+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 2/5/9 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, has been caught in a lie. Khalidi concluded a January 8, 2009, op-ed that appeared in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune with the following quote ascribed to former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon: The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people. The problem is Ya'alon never made this statement and both publications have since had to excise it from the op-ed and issue corrections. Here's the New York Times: An Op-Ed...
  • Qaddafi Goes to Georgetown

    01/23/2009 3:29:11 PM PST · by SmithL · 1 replies · 151+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 1/23/9 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    In yesterday's "Best of the Web" (, James Taranto took the New York Times to task for providing Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi an op-ed platform upon which to wax poetic about his supposed solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Qaddafi is a proponent of the "one-state solution," whereby Israelis and Palestinians are to live together in a single, secular, democratic state he terms "Isratine." He's even written something called the "White Book" outlining his proposal. The problem is, as Taranto put it: Whatever appeal this idea may have in theory, in practice it is even more fanciful than the two-state solution....
  • Hamas's Academic Cheerleaders

    01/20/2009 12:58:18 PM PST · by SmithL · 4 replies · 313+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 1/20/9 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Hamas's Academic Cheerleaders [incl. Hamid Dabashi, Rashid Khalidi, Fawaz Gerges, Joseph Massad, Muqtedar Khan, Mark LeVine, et al.] If further proof was needed that the field of Middle East studies is marred by a politicized, morally vacuous approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the reaction of many of its leading lights to the current war in Gaza should suffice.According to these self-appointed arbiters of international law, Israel's military campaign against Hamas following the firing of over 6,000 rockets at Israeli civilian targets since 2005 is unjustified. Hamas, they tell us, is not a terrorist organization bent on Israel's destruction, but rather...
  • Arab-Israeli Conflict Plays Out in the West

    01/02/2009 10:47:21 AM PST · by SmithL · 5 replies · 348+ views
    Cinnamon Stillwell's Blog ^ | 12/31/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Israel's long overdue military response to the daily barrage of Gaza rockets aimed at its citizens has led to the usual round of protest/counter-protest confrontations in the West. Whether it's here in the San Francisco Bay Area or across the United States and Europe, Arab protesters and those on the left who have bought into their false victimhood narrative are enraged. They have directed their hatred and vitriol towards the few pro-Israel counter-protesters who have shown up to counter their monolithic message, and in some cases rioting and violence has ensued. For the most part, the mainstream media continues to...
  • "Setting The Record Straight" Annual Update

    12/23/2008 8:41:43 AM PST · by SmithL · 1 replies · 179+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 12/23/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    In December 2007, we alerted readers to a new feature called Setting The Record Straight. The section (which can be accessed by passing one's mouse over the "About Campus Watch" category in the left-hand tab and clicking on "Setting The Record Straight") is designed to correct false accusations made against Campus Watch. As we explained at the time: Campus Watch readers are no doubt familiar with the numerous smears, false allegations, and hysterical accusations leveled against us by our opponents. Frequent charges of "McCarthyism," "censorship," "silencing professors," and "threats to academic freedom" are hurled at Campus Watch by those...
  • Joel Brinkley: Right on Falk, Wrong on Academia

    12/18/2008 4:27:47 PM PST · by SmithL · 1 replies · 140+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 12/18/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Stanford University journalism professor and former New York Times foreign policy correspondent Joel Brinkley has written a commendable article in the San Francisco Chronicle questioning Princeton University professor emeritus of international law Richard Falk's role as special representative of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Falk is charged with investigating alleged Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians or, in other words, drumming up false charges against Israel on behalf of a "human rights council" that includes the Organization of the Islamic Conference, among other unsavory participants. As Brinkley puts it: The Human Rights Council is already an embarrassment to the...
  • The Mumbai Atrocities: Where is the Outrage?

    12/17/2008 11:37:54 AM PST · by SmithL · 25 replies · 1,014+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 12/17/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    It was often said after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that everything had changed. And for a few years afterwards, indeed it had. After decades of denial, America and its allies went on the offensive against Islamic terrorism, both militarily and morally. Most importantly, there was no hesitancy to name the enemy or to condemn his inhumanity. But if the lack of outrage over the Islamic terrorist assault on Mumbai, India last month was any indication, everything has changed back. The obfuscation that characterized much of the early reporting on Mumbai is partially to blame. Watching a number...
  • Vassar's Joshua Schreier Promises Zero Objectivity

    12/12/2008 5:59:03 PM PST · by SmithL · 4 replies · 452+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 12/12/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Biased Middle East studies professors are nothing new, but what about a professor who actually states in his course syllabus that he has no intention of presenting a scholarly, balanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict? This is how Vassar College history professor Joshua Schreier introduces the syllabus for his fall 2008 course, "The Roots of the Palestine-Israel Conflict": Students should keep in mind that this course is NOT designed to present "an objective" account of a "two-sided" conflict. The fact that there are supposedly two sides does not obligate us to portray each as equally right and/or equally wrong. The...
  • R.I.P. Dan Kliman

    12/05/2008 1:08:49 PM PST · by SmithL · 5 replies · 492+ views
    Cinnamon Stillwell's Blog ^ | 12/5/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Earlier this week, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Dan Kliman, 38, who was a founding member of San Francisco Voice for Israel (SFV4I). I knew Dan from my days as a Bay Area pro-America, pro-Israel grassroots activist, which included a year-long stint with SFV4I. Alongside Dan, other SFV4I members, and members of Protest Warrior, I counter-protested the local Israel-haters on many an occasion and it became an integral part of my political education. (Read some of my after-reports here, here, and here). Dan was dedicated, passionate, and very in-your-face, both as an outspoken Zionist...
  • Rashid Khalidi, Campus Watch & Middle East Studies

    12/04/2008 2:49:12 PM PST · by SmithL · 6 replies · 245+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 12/4/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    For a brief time during the 2008 presidential campaign, Columbia University's Edward Said professor of Arab studies Rashid Khalidi was the most famous Middle East studies academic in the country. Khalidi's relationship with now president-elect Barack Obama brought him national attention and unprecedented media scrutiny. At the heart of the controversy was Khalidi's role as a spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) when he lived in Beirut in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During those years, the PLO was listed by the State Department as a designated foreign terrorist organization. But this was not the first time that...
  • Confessions of a McCain Voter

    11/12/2008 8:30:07 PM PST · by SmithL · 20 replies · 1,230+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 11/12/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    I have a confession to make. I voted for John McCain, and yet I'm incredibly relieved that Barack Obama won the presidential election. Let me explain. The past eight years have been defined largely by Democratic and leftist opposition to George W. Bush and to all things deemed Republican. As someone who rallied to Bush's side after 9/11 and supported him in the 2004 election, only to find myself deeply disappointed both in his second term and in the arrogance and complacency of the GOP, I've grown quite weary of the partisan culture wars. So it's with great relief that...
  • Proselytizing Islam at Penn

    10/24/2008 3:10:54 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 250+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 10/24/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Islam Awareness Week 2008 is underway at the University of Pennsylvania. Organized by the Muslim Students Association, Islam Awareness Week also has academic sponsors, including the university's Middle East Center. While "awareness" may be a laudable goal, blatant proselytizing is another matter entirely. Yet today's event, "State and Need for Dawah in the West," promises just that. Here is the description (received by e-mail; emphasis added): Harvard Chaplain and well-studied individual of Islam, Taha Abdul-Basser will deliver the Friday sermon on the lack of Dawah (invitation) on the part of Muslims in North America, not only to convey a message...
  • Palin Derangement Syndrome 2: Attack of the Hatemail

    10/03/2008 3:31:01 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies · 804+ views
    Cinnamon Stillwell's Blog ^ | 10/3/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    As much as we like to think otherwise, human behavior is fairly predictable, and sometimes ironically so. Muslims reacting to depictions of violence within the Muslim world (during the Danish cartoon controversy) with, well, violence, comes to mind. This time around, it's been Obama supporters responding to my SFGate column on Palin Derangement Syndrome with, well, Palin Derangement Syndrome. The avalanche of e-mails I received (not to mention the 913 comments at SFGate) was evidence of the collective nervous breakdown that has met Sarah Palin's arrival on the political scene. It was all there: the condescension, elitisim, sexism, paranoia, personal...
  • Ingrid Mattson and the "U.S. Muslim Engagement Project"

    10/01/2008 4:18:33 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 316+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 10/1/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Ingrid Mattson, director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary and president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), has been all over the news lately. Mattson was one of the speakers at an interfaith gathering at the Democratic National Convention in August, and now word comes that she's a member of the "leadership group" for the U.S. Muslim Engagement Project. The latter consists of a bipartisan coalition of American leaders from a variety of backgrounds, which, as described at its website, seeks to form "a clear and strong consensus on...
  • Sharia Law: Coming to a Western Nation Near You? [incl. John Esposito]

    09/25/2008 10:31:20 AM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 342+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 9/25/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) will be hosting a conference on October 23 that asks the loaded question: "Is There a Role for Shari'ah in Modern States?" The Saudi-funded ACMCU and its founding director, John Esposito, one of the foremost apologists for radical Islam in the academic field of Middle East studies, have certainly been doing their bit to make the idea more palatable. The Saudi prince for whom ACMCU was named has been pumping millions of dollars into Middle East studies at Georgetown, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and beyond, and as the case of Esposito demonstrates,...
  • Palin Derangement Syndrome: Obama's Worst Enemy?

    09/18/2008 7:38:50 AM PDT · by SmithL · 53 replies · 175+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 9/18/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    There's a new affliction sweeping the nation, and it's known as Palin Derangement Syndrome. The phenomenon is similar to Bush Derangement Syndrome, a term coined by political columnist Charles Krauthammer to describe the personal animosity and irrational hatred directed at President Bush by his leftist opponents. But this time, Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is the object of wrath. The feeding frenzy began with the news of Palin's selection, but it was her electrifying speech at the Republic National Convention last month that really set it off. In one fell swoop, Palin managed to energize the...
  • Democrats No Longer

    09/02/2008 10:23:51 AM PDT · by shamblysham · 118 replies · 232+ views
    Hello Free Republic. Add 6 votes to the McCain/Palin vote tally from Connecticut from this disgruntled family of traditional Democrats. I'll spare you the details on our politics, suffice to say we are, generally, left leaning libertarians. We disagree on probably 55% of issues with you, and agree the rest of the time, but we have made a decision as a family to vote Republican this election. If you're curious, this is my personal reasoning(here I speak for myself, not for the clan) 1) Obama is the emptiest candidate I've seen in my lifetime (I'm only 25 so that isn't...
  • ‘Popular Palestinian Conference' Peddles Propaganda [incl. Hatem Bazian, Thomas Abowd, John Esposito

    08/08/2008 10:26:35 AM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 130+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 8/8/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    This weekend, the "Popular Palestinian Conference 2008" will be held in Chicago, and if past is prologue, a slew of anti-Israel propaganda will be part of the repertoire. The organizers make no effort to conceal their nefarious intentions, titling one of the workshops [emphasis added], "Inserting Palestine into High School Curricula in the US & Empowering Students to Challenge Dominant Narratives" and subtitling the conference, "Palestinians in the US: Reclaiming Our Voice, Asserting Our Narrative." Unfortunately, this "narrative" is a false one in which Israel is the oppressor, the Palestinians its perpetual victims, and the United States an accomplice in...
  • San Francisco: Sanctuary City Gone Awry

    07/16/2008 7:53:10 AM PDT · by SmithL · 24 replies · 128+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 7/16/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    San Francisco's political establishment has long prided itself on providing a haven for illegal immigrants. Mayor Gavin Newsom even launched a taxpayer-funded $83,000 "public awareness campaign" earlier this year assuring illegal immigrants that the "sanctuary city" by the bay was in their court. And indeed it is. Under the city's 1989 voter-approved sanctuary ordinance, police officers and other city employees are prohibited from inquiring into immigration status. In addition, the city will not direct municipal funds or employees towards assisting federal immigration enforcement, unless such assistance is required by federal or state law or a warrant. No doubt such protections...
  • Truth About Islam in Academia?

    07/03/2008 9:23:12 AM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 127+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 7/3/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    While the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has long dominated the field, its highly politicized leadership's inability to withstand criticism, inattention to radical Islam, and apologetic approach towards the West's foes has left many Middle East studies scholars feeling unwelcome by their umbrella professional organization. Enter the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). Founded last year by Professors Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, ASMEA offers an alternative to MESA's post-colonialist biases and a venue for studying those elements of Islam and the Middle East that MESA's leaders ignore or downplay.ASMEA's emergence is cause for optimism....
  • Panel Findings: Islamic Saudi Academy Textbooks Promote Hatred, Intolerance, and Violence

    06/12/2008 1:20:55 PM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies · 131+ views
    Cinnamon Stillwell's Blog ^ | 6/12/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    Hot on the heels of my column yesterday, "Islam in America's Public Schools: Education or Indoctrination?," which included mention of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) in Fairfax, Virginia, comes news that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has released its findings from a review of the school's textbooks and found that they promote hatred, intolerance, and violence. As reported by the Associated Press: -The authors of a 12th-grade text on Koranic interpretation state that apostates (those who convert from Islam), adulterers and people who murder Muslims can be permissibly killed. -The authors of a 12th-grade text on monotheism write...
  • Islam in America's public schools: Education or indoctrination?

    06/11/2008 10:12:17 AM PDT · by SmithL · 20 replies · 270+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/11/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    With fatal terrorist attacks on the decline worldwide and al Qaeda apparently in disarray, it would seem a time for optimism in the global war on terrorism. But the war has simply shifted to a different arena. Islamists, or those who believe that Islam is a political and religious system that must dominate all others, are focusing less on the military and more on the ideological. It turns out that Western liberal democracies can be subverted without firing a shot. Nowhere is this more evident than in the educational realm. Islamists have taken what's come to be known as the...
  • "How Free is the University?" Conference Features Campus Watch

    06/02/2008 1:12:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 72+ views
    Campus Watch ^ | 6/2/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    On June 15-16, a conference will take place at the University of Southern California titled, "How Free is the University?" Sponsored by the American Freedom Alliance, the conference features an impressive lineup of speakers, all addressing the subject of academic freedom in higher education. As Northern California Representative for Campus Watch - a conference co-sponsor - I will be speaking on a panel titled, "Middle East Studies Departments: Who influences and controls them?" In doing so, I hope to shed light on the crucial part played by Middle East studies in the ongoing politicization of the classroom. On a related...
  • A Jihadi on My Doorstep?

    05/28/2008 2:29:20 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies · 104+ views
    Cinnamon Stillwell's Blog ^ | 5/28/8 | Cinnamon Stillwell
    I returned to my apartment building last Saturday night to an unsettling sight. A young, seemingly Arab-American man was sitting smack dab in the middle of the doorstep, accompanied by a bulky backpack and all the while talking to himself and gazing at the cover of the large, leather-bound Koran on his lap. He appeared to be drunk or under the influence of something and when I tried to get past him with a careful, "excuse me," he merely mumbled incoherently. Keeping a watchful eye on him and making sure he wasn't watching back, I managed to get into my...