Our own Hugh Fitzgerald, Vice President of the Jihad Watch Advisory Board, writes in Campus Watch about the sorry state of Columbia University:
Some years ago the writer Carlo Emilio Gadda published Quer pasticcaccio brutto de via Merulana. The title was Englished as That Awful Mess on Merulana Street. In America that book never received the attention it deserved. But another awful mess, that on Morningside Heights, is receiving, a good deal of attention. A short movie has been made, in which students testify on camera to the humiliating treatment they endured, as Jews or Israelis, from a series of professors. A long study of the “scholarship” of Columbia’s Middle East Studies faculty is in the works. Dozens of newspaper articles have been written about the atmosphere of harassment, intimidation, and indoctrination of students, both in and out of class. A large public now knows that many of the Middle East Studies faculty (and specifically those who reside in the awfully titled Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, and even more awfully shortened ‘MEALAC’) appear to believe in the surpassing perfidy of the mighty empire of Israel, in the sheer nobility and justice of the “Palestinian” cause, in the diabolical imperialist dreams of the American government, and in the crazed hatred for the Arabs and Muslims, and will to dominate, by Israel or America or the West, that explains everything from Israeli archeological digs to the inability of Western scholars to fully appreciate Arab literature, or Mesopotamian statuary….
One is cruel only to be kind – kind to the students who come to Columbia’s hoping to be educated in the most important subjects. They lack the knowledge to judge, at the time, whether or not those subjects are being adequately taught. It may be that many of them are chosen, in fact, because they will happily submit to the skewed curriculum, and indeed are themselves eager to become, in turn, apologists for Islam and promoters of misunderstanding. But Columbia should be thinking of its own reputation. The university that once had Joseph Schacht and Arthur Jeffery and Richard Gottheil on the faculty really has to ensure that Islam becomes the center of attention, and not something that is scarcely mentioned in the corridors of faculty power, a faculty that, at least at MEALAC, with impudence, with arrogance, with the assurance that tenure is an invisible protective shield that allows them to get away with anything, harassment and humiliation and intimidation in the classroom by some, educational malpractice by the same or by others. This cannot continue. Or rather, it can, and the self-inflicted wounds that will result if the situation is not dealt with by the appointment of an outside committee of truly distinguished Orientalists, will damage much else, alas, at Columbia, including faculty members in other departments who may not relish being punished for the unacceptable and unpunished or insufficiently punished behavior of others.
Read it all.