Anti-Dhimmitude at Harvard: Sheikh Zayad’s Gift to Be Returned

A bit of common sense somehow lodges at Harvard. From the New York Times, with thanks to Seymour Payne:

Harvard University is returning a controversial $2.5 million gift to its donor, the president of the United Arab Emirates.

Harvard said in a statement Monday that the president, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, recently asked to withdraw the gift, which was to endow a chair in Islamic religious studies, before it was subjected to a formal deliberation this summer by the university.

Abdulla Alsaboosi, a spokesman at the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington, said negotiations between the university and Sheik Zayed’s representatives had been going on for several months. “The negotiations were conducted in an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual respect,” Mr. Alsaboosi said, “but in the end, since no decision was taken by the university, we felt regretfully that we had no option but to retract the gift.”

Students and Jewish organizations had criticized the Harvard Divinity School for accepting the donation, which was made in 2000, because they objected to the sheik’s support for a policy research organization, the Zayed International Center for Coordination and Follow-Up in Abu Dhabi, one of the seven states in the United Arab Emirates.

Speakers at the center had included an Arab scholar who has written that Jews use human blood to make pastries and a French author who claims that Israel masterminded the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 as well as American officials like former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Vice President Al Gore. It was closed last summer by the government of the United Arab Emirates, which said that the center had engaged in a discourse that “contradicted the principles of interfaith tolerance” espoused by Sheik Zayed.

You can say that again.

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  1. says

    This bit of common sense was not brought about by reflection on the part of the university. Pressure was brought to bear by “students and Jewish organizations” that well understood the implications of accepting this gift as seen in the experiences of other major and minor universities that have opted to partake of Muslim largesse.

    Accepting universities have become an arm of Islam in that their Middle Eastern Studies programs are parroting political policies that favor other countries. Course work, reading materials, and lecturers are carefully policed for political correctness, and student campus groups that favor and promote Middle Eastern points of view are go unhampered, whereas those that don’t, or oppose those points of view are discouraged or even villified.

    Universities funded by the Middle East are becoming less centers of open inquiry. Instead they are promoting the closedmindedness of radical Islam.

  2. says

    More than that, the guy asked for his money back. Harvard was still pondering whether to return his blood and jihad money when he played asked for his check back.

  3. says

    This is closing the door after the house has bolted, yet still a step forward , which will be hopefully repeated in the USA, before the graduation of the first American university educated Jihadist terrorists.

  4. says

    This is only a start. Larry Summers needs to investigate how Islam is taught, or not taught, both to undergraduates, and at the Divinity School, and for that matter at another hotbed of apologetics, the Law School. Too much Arab money has been accepted, and been sloshing around, for too long. Nor is it simply a question of chair-holding hirelings.

    Nonetheless, one can be sure that no apostates from Islam, such as Ibn Warraq, will ever be allowed to lecture, or be invited perhaps to give a course, on Islam and Human Rights, or Islam, Jihad, and Dhimitude — either at the Divinity School under Graham, or for that matter at the Law School, where Islamic matters are firmly in the grip of those who owe their Muslim and Arab donors something, and whose mental set is unlikely to be affected by a sudden desire to really learn about what Islam teaches its adherents, or how , over 1350 years, Muslim conquerors have treated the non-Muslims they conquered. Reality must not be allowed to get in the way of the latest fashionable projects — whether that might be the impossible dream of the “reformation of Islam” (what Qur’anic verse, what hadith will be downgraded, or excised or interpreted away, to cause this reformation to come about?), or the latest version of Why-Can’t-We-All-Get-Along schoolgirl gush (remember, Harvard is the Law School that actually awarded tenure to Roger Fisher, an Ichabod Crane of moral idiocy whose views are reflected in his simpleminded “Getting to Yes” mantra that all conflicts are solvable, that everyone means well, and that it is only a question of finding the right words, and the right compromises and pushing the right buttons. Getting to Yes. Yes, if only Roger Fisher’s “Getting to Yes” had been available to smooth out those little problems with Adolf Hitler, or Admiral Yamamoto, or Joseph Stalin, or any one of a million Muslim groups or groupuscules, absolutely convinced that Islam is “to dominate and not to be dominated,” and that it is absolutely necessary for dar al-Islam to swallow up dar al-Harb, and that the surest way to Paradise is to engage in the Jihad.

    Aside from Graham among the apologists, t the Divinity School contains the Egyptian Leila Ahmed, whose field is “Islam and Women Her views on Israel and the West are notably hostile for one who has had a chance to live in the West, away from the hothouse atmosphere of Cairo, with its culture of hatred whipped up in every newspaper and on every radio and television channel. This hostility, expressions of which come through thinly veiled in both lectures and writings, toward the United States, which provides her with safety, security, economic wellbeing beyond the dreams of all but the corrupt generals and camorra capitalists who run Egypt, is singularly unappealing. Her pretence that what is wrong with the position of Muslim women has almost nothing to do with Islam, which others specializing in the same hot topic – “Islam and Women” – also often share, like the shameful Nobel-Prize winning Shirin Ebadi. One wonders what the real defenders of the rights of women under Islam, such as Azam Kamguian and others who know that the problem lies with Islam, make of such apologetics.

    Still another faculty member at Harvard Divinity School is Diane Eck. It is passing strange that she should have become such an enthusiast promoter of, or defender of, Islam; one wonders if she has investigated some of the reasons why Pim Fortuyn, for example, viewed Muslim immigration with such alarm as a threat to the tolerant moeurs of Holland. Eck, whose book-for-tenure was one of those Patricia-Williams-like narratives that are a substitute forscholarship of the fuddy-duddy old-fashioned sort that our brave new world can apparently do without, a book based on a year she spent living in Benares. Despite that being the holiest of Hindu cities, Eck came away with a profound respect, based one hopes a respect based on ignorance, for it would be far worse if such were to be based on real knowledge, for Islam, its theory and practice. At her recent wedding, it was not surprising that one public wellwisher was Karen Armstrong.

    Eck is involved with, indeed perhaps the prime mover of, the “Pluralism Project.” Apparently she has noticed somethng that had escaped the rest of us: that America is not inhabited just by Christians and Jews anymore. She has made the astounding discovery that, throughout the United States, one can find Hindu temples, and Buddhist temples, and Sikh temples, and Jain temples and — Mosques, mosques, mosques. And as a devout celebrator of diversity she touts this wonderful pluralism, a tribute to — well, a tribute to something. Could it be American wonderfulness? Somehow I doubt that that is what she has in mind. In any case, something with the name “Pluralism Project” no doubt attracts grant money (and just as the Development Office is the beating heart of any American university, so is grant-getting the beatng heart of any academic undertaking), for conducting “studies” or doing “research.” No, let it be given its due.. Make that “in-depth studies” and “in-depth research.”

    What this celebrator(“I-hear-America-praying”)of religious diversity has failed to realize is that there, amidst all this diversity, there is one belief-system whose adherents do not share Eck’s delight in diversity, not for one minute. They are the adherents of Islam, the religion that is “to dominate and not to be dominated.” They do not believe in religious pluralism. If they pay lip service to it now, and that only occasionally, it is because for now, as a distinct and at the moment uneasy minority, Muslims find that promoting pluralism serves their purpose. It helps them deflect criticism, it helps make them seem to share views that others really do share. But Islam is dead set against pluralism, if by pluralism we mean something like equal treatment of those of faiths other than the majority one, and has 1350 years of aggressive or violent history, and immutable Qur’anic passages, and hundreds of hadith, to prove it. No amount of blarney about Islamic “reformation” can get away from the fact that the Qur’an comes immutably from God, that the hadith – having been winnowed down to the “strong” or accepted hadith by such mudadithin as Bukhari and al-Muslim – are almost equally not susceptible to change – and that these canonical texts are not subject, either, to any interpretive give, since the “gates of ijtihad” (interpretation) swung conclusively shut with a bang nearly a millennium ago. No amount of forehead-clutching by the Iranian Sorroush, or by publicity hounds like the Islamo-Canadian Irshad Manji, will change that. Many intelignet and disaffected Muslims have tried, over history, and especially during the last two centuries, to tamper with the texts. Been there. Done that. It has always failed.

    The “Pluralism Project” is absurd because it fails to confront, it pretends not even to see, the greatest challenge to pluralism in the Western world: the direct threat, to all other belief-systems, of the belief-system of Islam. It is not so much a question of what is acted on now, or even discussed. It is a question of how Muslims have behaved wherever they have had the upper hand. If there were a single example, in the 1350-year history of Islam, of any Muslim polty or people practicing genuine pluralism – and dhimmitude, which is the instiutution imposed on non-Muslims after Jihad conquest, could only be called a welcome example of “pluralism” by someone who was both a historical and a moral idiot. The proper test is not what Muslims, out of self-interest and for self-protection, say that their goals are in the United States, or Canada, or Western Eurrope. What is important is what they want in those countries where Islam now predominates, because one can assume that there, where any arrangement favored or promoted by Muslims will prevail, one can see what it is that they would have in the countries that for now are still outside Muslim control, if they were ever to gain such control. Do we see “pluralism” in Saudi Arabia? In Pakistan? In Malaysia or Indonesia, do we see anything like equality for non-Muslims? What about Egypt – how are the Copts doing, lo these many centuries? And how have the Maronites been faring ever since the French lost interest in them, and the Israelis were forced by the outside world to stop supporting them? What about the Muslim attitude toward Buddhists in southern Thailand, or Buddhist statuary in Afghanistan? How do Muslims treat Christians in the Sudan, or northern Nigeria, or anywhere that Muslims and Christians meet – and necessarily collide. And how do the Muslims of Bangladesh treat the Hindus and Christians in that country? One could go one, but why bother? There are no counterexamples, none, to demonstrate that in the great pluralism project that is modern America, Muslims are just as supportive, and just as inoffensive, as all those Hindus and Buddhists and Sikhs and Jains and Confucians who have contributed their ingredients to the religious stew bubbling away in the U.S. A.

    It is too bad that Eck has not been able to take time to read and study, as part of her pluralism project, which naturally grades into comparative religion, more deeply in the area of Islam – and not only what Karen Armstrong briskly impart, with such breathtaking because baseless self-assurance.She might take the time to read some of Ibn Warraq’s writings, beginning with “Why I Am Not a Muslim” and his essay “Islam and the Middle East and Fascism,” and then looking into the testimony of the many piercing analyses of Islam from ex-Muslims – Ali Sina, Azam Kamguian, all the contributors to “Leaving Islam” who offer testimonies as to the real teachings of Islam that are so often hidden from Infidel view, or Infidel understanding. She might read “The Decline of Eastern Christiantiy Under Islam” by Bat Ye’or, or “The Dhimmis” and “Islam and Dhimmitude” by the same author. She might consult all the useful scholarly articles at, or go to the websites that the University of Southern California provides, with different translations of the Qur’an and of the hadith.If she gave it just five or six or seven months, she could learn a lot. She could read K. S. Lal on the legacy of Muslim rule, and on the 60-70 million Hindus killed by Muslims under that rule. She could read the historian of Zoroastrianism Mary Boyce on what happened, under Muslim rule, to the Zoroastrians who were once almost the entire population of Persia. She could find out why it was that in the end, the Muslim rulers decided to treat the Hindus the same as Christians and Jews – permitted to remain alive, but forced to endure the humiliation and degradation and permanent insecurity of dhimmi status so that their required payment of the “jizya” or head tax would support the grand luxury of the Mughal court. She could read the reports about the treatment of Armenians and Jews left in the mid-17th century by Arakel of Tabriz. She could read, perhaps with some amazement, the casual accounts of mass slaughter of Hindus, and of their subsequent enslavement, by the Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta in his “Rihla.” She could begin to read the reports of British and French and Italian travelers and diplomats, reporting from the Ottoman Empire, over the 19th and early 20th centuries. She could read the acute observations of Edward Lane’s “Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians.”. She could read Laurence Loeb’s account of living with Jews in Iran in the 1970s, just before Khomeini arrived on the scene to see Sharia justice done.

    But, of course, why bother with all that silly study and booklearning? Why, one is sure that if the likes of Graham, or Eck, need to find out about Islam, all they have to do is turn to their Muslim colleagues, so as to shoot down a canard about what it says in the Qur’an, or to disbelieve someone’s assertion that the most authentic hadith insist on such and such. No need to bother to check this – would a Muslim colleague lie, or fudge the truth, about what is dearest to him or to her – Islam itself? Why, of course not.

    Summers may not realize that one cannot, at Harvard, as it stands now, either at Harvard Divinity School, or at Harvard Law School, take a course that will teach the real tenets of Islam, and will use the scholarship not of apologists but of serious Orientalists — Margoliouth, Schacht, Snouck Hurgronje, Dufourcq, and a few dozen others. One cannot learn, fully and truthfully, either about Jihad or about dhimmitude. It is not that Harvard is singled out for a campaign of desinformatsiya, or disinformation. The situation is even worse at Columbia. But the situation has to be recognized. Departmental autonomy, or a hands-off policy on those who have acquired that appetizaing thing, a full professorship, does not absolve the administration from looking into the scandal, a scandal with many disparate features, in what Harvard undergraduates, graduate students, and Law and Divinity students, learn, or carefully do not learn, about Islam.

    Until Summers and others begin to make inquiries and begin to take a real interest in this matter, Harvard student who wish to learnabout Islam, are urged to try autodictacism (no, it need not be conducted in private, or only between consenting adults). Ibn Warraq, and Bat Ye’or, Michael Cook’s very short introduction to the Qur’an, Wansbrough and Patricia Crone on the origins of Islam, Christoph Luxenberg once he has been Englished, Majid Khadurri on the Law of War and Peace in Islam, Elie Kedourie, Joseph Schacht, Margoliouth, Bernard Lewis (keeping in mind his reticence — to retain his “effectiveness” with his would-be Muslim audience — about Jihad and dhimmitude), and many others who have written in French, Dutch, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish are all readily available. The Index Islamicus is on CD-Rom. The Encyclopedia of Islam is retrievable from any university computer. . You can learn about Islam better, faster, and far more accurately, without enduring such pabulum as Michael Sells’ sanitized Qur’an, or sly apologetics from instructors, on your own.

    The Zayed Center does, indeed, sponsor those who claim that 9/11 was the work of Jews and those who deny the Holocaust. But however unacceptable that all is, it is tangential to the greater effort – which is to prevent Westerners from really finding out about Islam, its tenets and its history. The Zayed Center is dedicated to making sure, for example, that the real treatment of Mizrahi Jews under Islam (virtual slaves in Yemen, prosperous but constantly under physical threat even in Baghdad, once the second Jewish city of Asia, after Jerusalem).. The whole matter of dhimmitude is angrily denied, and pious assurances about “tolerance” (“tolerance” under Islam has nothing to do with tolerance as that word is understood in the West nowadays) are substituted. The Muslim Arabs hope that the real history of Muslim treatment of non-Muslims (and, for that matter, of Arab Muslim treatment of non-Arab Muslims) will be overlooked, forgotten, simply never to be examined in any systematic and serious fashion.

    Decades of Arab money, and of bullyboy tactics within the profession, so that those who do not toe the apologist line are simply not given jobs, or denied tenure, has ensured that Harvard, and Columbia, and many other schools, are full of “scholars” of Islam or Islamic matters who insist that everything is fine with Islam, it’s just a few extremists, or people with justified grievances against the colonialist West or beastly Israel, and please, Eric-Idle-like, let us all “look on the bright side” and, mixing Rodney King and Roger Fisher and Pollyanna, “focus on what unites us, not what divides us” (in other words, forget about 1350 years of Islamic history, forget about the Jihad, forget about dhimmitude forget about those Internet sites proudly showing the decapitation of Infidels, or praising suicide “martyrs” and just keep in mind we are all fellow montheists, all members of “those abrahamic faiths” that Muslim apologists at mosque Open Houses just love to keep prating on about.

    The members of MESA must be getting just a bit anxious. Too many people, too many highly intelligent and articulate people, are learning about Islam on their own. How dare they? Don’t they know only Muslims can teach about Islam – or a few special someones, like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito and Michael Sells? Sorry. All those people who have so carefully spent their entire academic careers writing about “the construction of Palestinian identity” and other transparently pro-Jihadist political tracts disguised as scholarship, are on their way out. They have had their day. They may keep their jobs, and their undeserved tenure, undeservedly awarded in the first place by other undeserving false scholars. But so what? Their false and hollow scholarship, the worthlessness of their instruction, are now easy to demonstrate. We need not rely only on Infidels, but on the ex-Muslims, well-versed in Islam, who are not about to endure, or let pass, such nonsense. and just remember we “all are all abrahamic faiths”), must be getting a little anxious. Too many people now know too much about Islam, in some cases a good deal more than the Ecks and the Grahams and the Armstrongs and the Espositos.

    One wonders, just off the top of one’s head, how many of them have read Margoliouth or Snouck Hurgronje or Dufourcq or Fagnan or Bat Ye’or – and read them with attention and an attempt to understand. How many of them, perhaps pooh-poohing the centrality of Jihad, know exactly not only what Ibn Taymiyya wrote about it, but what the famous al-Ghazali, or Ibn Khaldun, wrote about Jihad? The information is there; it is coming out; there is no stopping it. Those who continue to insist that not the tenets of Islam, so amply confirmed by the behavior of Muslims over 1350 years, but rather what America or Israel “have done” explains the monstrous behavior of Muslims, looks more ridiculous as a proposition every day. Those who keep on mouthing the same phrases, and attempt the same distractions, and summon up the same hollow indignation, instead of looking steadily and whole at the evidence, are like those Christian theologians who, long after Copernicus, and Kepler, and Tycho Brahe offered the theory that explained all of the observable data, and had predictive value for whatever data would be collected in the future, nonetheless kept insisting that of course that the heliocentric theory had to be wrong because God wanted the Earth to be the center of the universe. The theory that the threat from Islam comes from anything but what Muslims learn, what is inculcated into them, and what has caused them to behave toward all non-Muslims as they have for nearly 1400 years (not to mention the economic, political, intellectual, and moral failures of Islam, which could be briefly disguised by unearned oil revenues, but that disguise is now threadbare – at least to most of the world).

    The cavalry is coming. Its officers and men will not necessily remind you of Cary Grant or Errol Flynn or John Garfield, or anyone who might conceivably play, in another western, The Durango Kid. Holding the reins in one hand, under each rider’s free arm will be, not a rifle, but a book, and that book will contain home truths about Islam. And what’s so great about the truth? Well, plenty. For one thing, The Truth Shall Make You Free.