Professor Carl Ernst of the University of North Carolina recently saw fit to include a trip to Jihad Watch -- in a disparaging context, of course -- in his "Introduction to Islamic Civilization" course. Ernst thus demonstrates how threatened he is by the challenge we represent to the Middle East Studies academic establishment and the propaganda it purveys in our nation's universities.
And threatened he should feel, intellectually, because at Jihad Watch we are revealing the truths about Islam that he leaves out of his courses or glosses over, and are thereby challenging his academic integrity -- and not just Ernst's, but that of the entire Middle East Studies establishment. Six years after the United States was attacked by Islamic jihadists, there are few courses in colleges anywhere in the country on the jihad ideology, on Islamic supremacism, on dhimmitude, or on any related topic.
Instead, syllabi are filled with soothing apologetics that do not equip students to understand why the jihadists attacked us, what they hope to accomplish, or the many ways both violent and nonviolent that they are going about accomplishing it. Syllabi feature sentimental, hagiographic fictionalizations of aspects of Islamic history (Maria Rosa Menocal's The Ornament of the World about Muslim Spain), propagandistic smears on honest scholars and genuine scholarship (Edward Said's Orientalism), and worse.
Hugh Fitzgerald offers an alternative reading list here for students who want the truth rather than propaganda, and want to equip themselves to understand the jihad threat realistically. There are many other books we can recommend to students in particular courses as antidotes to the politically-motivated and highly biased perspective being offered by the professor. We understand, of course, that many professors in today's academically impoverished age will mark students down for disagreement, and so students often must play along, at least on papers and exams, by parroting the propaganda line being pushed by the professor.
But that shouldn't stop you from getting an education.
Hugh suggested this to me yesterday, and I think it's a terrific idea: college students, send us your syllabi. Without naming you, we will post them here and Hugh or I or both will discuss them, laying bare the conclusions your professor wants you to come to as betrayed by his choice of reading material. And we will offer alternative reading for you to take up by flashlight under the covers, not so as to affect your grade, but to give you an informed perspective. A sober knowledge of reality is always more useful than canned propaganda, and this alternative reading will stand you in good stead for the future: Islamic jihad is not going to go away, no matter how strenuously the Carl Ernsts of the world play pretend that it doesn't exist.
Send us your syllabi. It will provide observers insight into what they're calling education in Islamic Studies these days, and give us a chance to recommend readings that many others might find useful as well.
Jihad Watch: Take Us To College.