Criticizing Islam taboo in academia, says ex-Yale expert

Apart from the “radical” puffery, this is dead-on. “Criticizing Islam taboo in academia: ex-Yale expert says,” by Janice Arnold for Canadian Jewish News, October 2 (thanks to Lachlan):

MONTREAL “” Academics who study Islamic antisemitism are risking career advancement and younger scholars are shying away from the subject as a result, said Montreal native Charles A. Small, who headed a Yale University program in antisemitism until it was shut down last year amid controversy.

The Oxford-educated Small is currently the Koret Distinguished Scholar at Stanford University”s Hoover Institution in California and director of the New York-based Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, which he founded.

While in Montreal to visit family for the holidays, Small gave a talk at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. The title summed up the dire situation that Small believes faces Israel, the Jewish community and anyone concerned with the preservation of democracy and human rights: “Incitement to Genocidal Antisemitism: Radical Islam and the Acquiescence of the Western Intellectuals and Policy Makers.”

“If you are critical of a reactionary social movement, somehow you are a racist, a neo-con fascist,” said Small. “The academy in the West is permeated [with this attitude.]”

Regrettably, he added, that view is also found among some Jewish intellectuals.

“Those scholars who have the courage to deal with this issue fear that they will not get jobs, or get promoted, or get published in the right journals”¦ If you go against the grain, you”re out.”

Small blamed a prevailing “liberal, post-colonial” mindset among those running universities, and in some cases, because of funding from Muslim countries, such as the Gulf States.

Small portrayed himself as one of the few western intellectuals today who are saying clearly and publicly that radical Islam — and he includes the Muslim Brotherhood in that term — espouses an antisemitism that ultimately seeks to kill Jews.

“Pernicious antisemitism is at the core of radical Islam”¦ It’s fueling the movement”¦ whether its Sunni or Shiite,” he said. “The Iranian regime is theologically obligated to destroy Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood wants to obliterate Israel.”

The hatred is not only directed at a state — calls for the death of Jews can be heard in the mosques, he added.

Small believes that it was his outspokenness that cost him his post last year as director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, which he founded five years earlier.

He recalled an associate provost at Yale telling him “we have to engage with Islam,” and appearing offended when Small replied that scholars must “scientifically and dispassionately” study any social movement and describe it as they find it.

Small deplored that U.S. President Barack Obama would meet with the new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, and that the Obama administration has been supporting them in Egypt on the grounds that it is moderate.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as far as Small is concerned. Not only is the movement antisemitic, but it’s “diametrically” opposed to democratic principles, such as equality.

“The Obama administration invited and aided the Muslim Brotherhood to take power in Egypt,” he said. “If you are going to support such a movement, at least draw a red line [on what’s acceptable.]”

Small also lamented the inaction by Jewish leaders on the threat of radical Islam. “We are asleep. We have to educate our students, our community, speak to our governments, march in the streets like we did for Soviet Jewry.”


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  1. says

    “If you are critical of a reactionary social movement, somehow you are a racist, a neo-con fascist,” said Small. “The academy in the West is permeated [with this attitude.]”

    Not if that reactionary social movement is composed of white power racists. Then the whole West — academe, news media, politicians and celebrities — would unite in condemning that reactionary social movement and would never dream of censuring each other for such a righteous stance as they take.

    I.e., because Muslims are perceived by the dominant and mainstream PC MC in the West, they are given a free pass, because the #1 Commandment of PC MC is Thou Shalt Bend Over Backward to Respect Ethnic Minorities and Blame All Ills of the World on the White West.

    And since Muslims have become, especially post-911, the #1 Ethnic Minority To Be Respected, that’s why we see the irrational myopia to the problem of Islam which we see throughout the West.

  2. says

    Allahdamn it, I hit “Publish” too quickly.

    In my second paragraph —

    “I.e., because Muslims are perceived by the dominant and mainstream PC MC in the West, they are given a free pass…”

    should be:

    “I.e., because Muslims are perceived to be an ethnic people by the dominant and mainstream PC MC in the West, they are given a free pass…”

  3. says

    Criticize it? It is forbidden to even be objectively, factually taught. It is the one subject on Earth that you cannot study in a US university. The number of programs that even pretend to be “Islamic Studies’ programs are few, and if you actually examine the curriculums, you will see that they largely have almost nothing to do with studying Islam. They are merely propaganda programs (often Saudi financed) aimed only at brainwashing and confusing non-Muslim students into the belief that any factual discussion (much less criticism) of Islam is bigoted.

    Check out, for example, Harvard Divinity School’s “Islamic Studies” curriculum (below). It’s a freaking joke. It’s a PC monstrosity. 99% of it has nothing whatsoever to do with Islamic theology and law. Who believes that students attending madrassas in, for example, Afghanistan studying Islam are taking courses with absurd names like “Women, Spirituality and Peace”? They’re not. They’re studying the Quran, the Hadiths and Sharia. If you’re not studying those things, you’re not studying Islam, period. It’s an absolute disgrace.

    Islamic Studies

    Women, Justice, and Sharia in Nigeria
    Hauwa Ibrahim
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Thurs 2pm-4pm.

    Women, Spirituality, and Peace
    Zilka Spahic Siljak
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Mon 12pm-2pm.

    Religion, Gender, and Politics in Transnational Perspective
    Leila Ahmed and Ann D. Braude
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Wed 1pm-4pm.

    Science and Religion: Debates, Approaches, and Controversies
    Ahmed Ragab
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Wed 4pm-6pm. Andover Hall, Room 102.

    Political Islam in the 20th and 21st Centuries
    Malika Zeghal
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Tue Thu 10am-11:30am. FAS.

    Islam in African History
    Ousmane Oumar Kane
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Wed Fri 2pm-3:30pm.

    The Word(s) of the Prophet: Prophetic Traditions through History
    Ahmed Ragab
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Wed 4pm-6pm.

    Islam, Modernity and Politics
    Ousmane Oumar Kane
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Tues 2pm-4pm.

    South Asian Literary Cultures: An Introduction
    Harpreet Singh
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Tue Thu 10am-11:30am. FAS.

    Religious Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and State Terror in Modern India: Cases from Kashmir, Panjab, Gujarat and Nagaland
    Harpreet Singh
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Tue Thu 10am-11:30am. FAS, Emerson Hall, Room 307.

    Contemporary Politics of South Asia’s Past
    Harpreet Singh
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013.

    Contemporary Muslim and Diasporic Memoirs and Autobiographies in the West
    Leila Ahmed
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Tues 4pm-6pm. Andover Hall, Room 117.

    The Islamic Ritual’s Influence on the Legal Reasoning of the Fiqh
    Baber Johansen
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Mon 4pm-6pm. Andover Hall, Room 118.

    Bodies and Sexualities in the Medieval Middle East: Medical, Cultural, and Religious Views
    Ahmed Ragab
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Mon Wed 11am-12pm. FAS, Emerson Hall, Room 305.

    The Spring of 2011 in the Middle East
    Baber Johansen
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Wed 4pm-6pm.

    Crusades, Plagues and Hospitals: Medicine, Religion and Society in the Medieval Mediterranean
    Ahmed Ragab
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. M W F 11am-12pm.

    Does the Fiqh Know a Concept of Natural Law?
    Baber Johansen
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Mon 4pm-6pm.

    History of the Near East 600-1055
    Roy Mottahedeh
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Tue Thu 1pm-2:30pm. FAS, Sever Hall, Room 306.

    Contemporary Voices in Western Islam
    Leila Ahmed
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Wed 1pm-4pm. Andover Hall, Room 103.

    Introduction to Islamic Philosophy and Theology
    Khaled El-Rouayheb
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Thurs 3pm-5pm. FAS, CGIS South, Room S003.

    Introduction to the Modern Arab World I
    William E. Granara
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Mon Wed 10am-11am. FAS, Sever Hall, Room 215.

    Introduction to the Arab World II
    William E. Granara
    0.50 credits. Spring 2013. Mon Wed 10am-11am. FAS.

    Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies
    Ali S. Asani
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Tues 7:40pm-9:40pm. FAS, Maxwell-Dworkin, Room G-115.

    Religion and Democratization in the Context of the Arab Spring
    Jocelyne Cesari
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Fri 12pm-2pm. Divinity Hall, Room 211.

    Sufi Traditions in Persian Literature
    Chad Kia
    0.50 credits. Fall 2012. Mon Wed 2pm-3:30pm. FAS, Grays Hall, Room 1.

  4. says

    Re: “miriam”

    I think a couple of you took Miriam’s original statement of frustration with islam the wrong way, then his attempt to defend himself from an attack.

    He’s simply frustrated with islam and resents being lectured on it, because he lived it.

    Now you can attack me, I’m used to it on this blog:)

  5. says

    Useful contribution- NOT; morbid yes but more importantly the most deadly belief system known. As the man said and you apparently find too hard to grasp, WAKE UP! Islam 101 is an excellent primer, try it.

  6. says

       [mawr-bid] Show IPA

    suggesting an unhealthy mental state or attitude; unwholesomely gloomy, sensitive, extreme, etc.: a morbid interest in death.

    affected by, caused by, causing, or characteristic of disease.

    pertaining to diseased parts: morbid anatomy.

    gruesome; grisly.

    Spot on, mate !

  7. says

    listen to me. you do not need to be degrading and condescending. what i forgot about Islam you don’t even know.
    I lived it. I practiced it. I went to more mosques in one week than you have ever seen mosques…..

    how the f… you know that I do not grasp it?


  8. says

    We don’t have to know the tiring rituals of islam to know the ideology of islam. Just like we don’t have to be Nazis to know that ideology, etc. To think we have to be a moslem in order to know islam is just a way to try to shut people us – and you gave us a good example of what people face when they criticize islam.

    Too bad, it doesn’t work with me.

  9. says

    You probably know about these but I’m going to go ahead and put them up anyway:

    The Professors: The 101 most dangerous academis in America by Horowitz and Ivory Towers On Sand: The failure of middle eastern studies in American by Martin Kramer. GREAT GREAT F-ing books. These books blow the lid off Islam in our Universities. I can’t wait to read “One Party Classroom”.

  10. says

    no one here tried to shut you up. yes you may know it about Islam and the Nazis. here is another way to look it:
    Chemotherapy: you can see the devastating effect of on a cancer patien. but that paitents feels much more that what you see and that is the difference between you and I. you see it. I felt!! huge difference.

  11. says

    Actually, what is more pertinently morbid is the Western PC MC cultivation of self-criticism of the West — and, welded to that on the other side of its coin, the Western PC MC infatuation with the ethnic Other (with Muslims having become the Mother of all Others after 911, and the more so the more they do violence, in this S&M relationship they have with the West, this perverse St. Vitus Dance, a civilizational Itchy & Scratchy show, only with real violence).

    Were this double morbidity of the Western Body Geopolitic cured, we could deal with the problem of Muslims in a New York minute.

    Luckily, PC MC is just a sociopolitical fashion; and fashions always come — and go. Let’s just hope we don’t have to lose too many of the irreplaceable lives of our men, women and children in the decades ahead to Muslim mass-murderers before our West decides, in its sweet time, that Muslims are no longer prêt-à-porter.