From the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (thanks to RB) comes “Environments of Hate: Indoctrination in the Arab World and Propaganda Advocacy in Americas University Classrooms,” a wonderful article from the courageous Lebanese speaker and writer Brigitte Gabriel:
I’m honored to bring Columbia a unique perspective concerning the academic freedom issue. I see similarities between the issue and my personal experiences growing up. I was raised in an Arab society in Lebanon that took impressionable young minds and filled them with propaganda — minds that were young and didn’t know any better. I am an eyewitness and a victim of the indoctrination of hate education, racism, intolerance, intimidation and fabricated lies by my government and religious influences.
This indoctrination was for one purpose: to eradicate the newborn state of Israel — to foment hatred and wipe out Jewish presence in an Arab-dominated world. For Arabs, the simple existence of Israel was viewed as a catastrophe: “al nakbah!” This pan-Arab hate indoctrination was a reaction to Jews returning to their homeland, after Arabic and Islamic belief for 1400 years that the “Yahud” were vanquished and subjugated as Dhimmi.
I believe hate-motivated indoctrination fosters irrational thinking and faulty reasoning, whether it influenced my education as a child in Lebanon or the advocacy education that roils the classrooms here at Columbia. This is the root cause of the controversy swirling around several members of the Middle East Asia Languages Arts and Culture (MEALAC) faculty and their alleged intimidation of students and other faculty!
What is at stake is our future, the students of today who will become tomorrow’s leaders. If their minds are poisoned with irrational hatred, and this hatred is not combated and eliminated, then academic freedom and free speech in an open marketplace of competitive ideas is dead.
But let me begin by talking about my experience growing up in Lebanon where doctrinal hatred of Jews and Israel was ever present.
From television programs, to national songs, hourly radio newscasts and newspapers, our citizens were fed a steady diet of lies poisoning our attitudes towards the Jews. Israel (“Aaesrael”) is the devil. Al-Yahud shayateen, The Jews are evil. Sarakou Al-Ard Al Arabiyah. They stole Arab land. Al Wakt al wahid allazi yassir endana salam huwa lamma naqtul kul al yahud wa narmihum bil bahr, The only time we’ll have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea. Every time Israel was mentioned, “Al adew al Israeli” was attached to the phrase: the Israeli enemy.
My country and others saw nothing wrong with practicing this form of mind abuse, of taking a generation hostage and molding them into misguided weapons — some willing to be martyred in the name of Islam or Palestinian nationalism. It’s a form of mental child abuse taking place in every Arab country….
Read it all.