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Campus Watch

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Are college campuses tainted by anti-Israeli, blame-America-first rhetoric?

    Daniel Pipes, the director of the <a href="http://www.meforum.org/">Middle East Forum</a>, believes that much of what passes for 'education' on the current Middle East situation is really disinformation, incitement, and ignorance.

    To counter this trend, he has just launched <a href="http://www.campus-watch.org/">Campus Watch</a>, a website devoted to reversing the damage by keeping dossiers on offending professors and institutions and posting relevant news articles. He has cited eight professors and 14 universities -- including Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford -- for their views on Palestinian rights or political Islam. Those named have been flooded with negative e-mails.

    Within days, almost 100 outraged professors from across the country have responded to the site, asking to be added to the list. Some wanted to show solidarity in opposing what they deem is a chilling attack on academic freedom; others felt it important to show that mainstream Middle Eastern scholars share the criticized views. Many academics are particularly troubled by the site's 'Keep Us Informed' section, saying that it invites students to "turn in" their professors.

    Judith Butler, a comparative literature professor at Berkeley, wrote:

    'I have recently learned that your organization is compiling dossiers on professors at U.S. academic institutions who oppose Israeli occupation and its brutality, actively support Palestinian right of self-determination as well as a more informed and intelligent view of Islam than is currently represented in the U.S. media. I would be enormously honored to be counted among those who actively hold these positions and would like to be included in the list of those who are struggling for peace.'

    Daniel Pipes, who has long argued that Americans are not cognizant enough of political Islam's dangers, said he had hoped the site would bring about new dialogue on Middle Eastern policy. 'We weren't trying to rile people...for me, dossier was just a French word for file.'

    On it's heels, there is yet another web site that wants to keep people aware.
  2. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    History and politics, especially with regards to the Middle East, are so open to individual interpretation I am not surprised by those with certain idelologies taking exception to what is taught. Universities and therfore academics are notoriously left wing, atleast in this counrty [Oz], and are criticised for being so. To toe the centre line on such a hot issue as this must be extremely difficult.
    During the Gulf war an academic Dr Daniel Springborg, was commenting daily on national TV at the invitation of the broadcaster. Our PM at the time, Bob Hawke, jumped on this guy for his supposed left wing bias. At the same time he was being praised in other quarters for his even handed assessments.
    Free speech and the right to criticise what is said are of course two fundamental principles of a democracy and ones we fight to protect. May it never change.

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