A blistering exposÃ© of what passes for academic discourse at Columbia University, where the Saidists rule unchallenged (as they do almost everywhere). From the New York Daily News, with thanks to Charles Jacobs:
It’s a capital of “thuggery” – a “ghastly state of racism and apartheid” – and it “must be dismantled.”
A voice from America’s crackpot fringe? Actually, [Hamid] Dabashi is a tenured professor and department chairman at Columbia University. And his views have resonated and been echoed in other areas of the university.
Columbia is at risk of becoming a poison Ivy, some critics claim, and tensions are high.
In classrooms, teach-ins, interviews and published works, dozens of academics are said to be promoting an I-hate-Israel agenda, embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and teaching that Zionism is the root of all evil in the Mideast.
In three weeks of interviews, numerous students told the Daily News they face harassment, threats and ridicule merely for defending the right of Israel to survive.
And the university itself is holding investigations into the alleged intimidation.
Dabashi has achieved academic stardom: professor of Iranian studies; chairman of the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department; past head of a panel that administers Columbia’s core curriculum.
The 53-year-old, Iranian-born scholar has said CNN should be held accountable for “war crimes” for one-sided coverage of Sept. 11, 2001. He doubts the existence of Al Qaeda and questions the role of Osama Bin Laden in the attacks.