As if more evidence were needed of the abysmal state of higher education at Columbia University. In “When Fair Isn’t Balanced,” Rosalind Morris in the Columbia Spectator demonstrates a tin ear for sarcasm and a blithe disregard for accuracy at the expense of Jihad Watch’s own Hugh Fitzgerald:
Campus Watch even has a special initiative, “The Columbia Project,” that aims to publish hyperbolically critical articles on each of Columbia’s Middle East faculty members. It’s written by “independent scholar” Hugh Fitzgerald, who also runs a blog on which, among other things, he advises the spiritual leader of a Muslim political party in Malaysia to watch soft-porn videos on YouTube, and then dares him to sue for the offense. This is the direction in which Campus Watch wants to “improve” Middle East Studies at Columbia? Such is their stated aim.
Zowie! Did Hugh really advise “the spiritual leader of a Muslim political party in Malaysia to watch soft-porn videos on YouTube,” and then dare him “to sue for the offense”? Oh Hugh, you scoundrel!
In reality, this is the post to which Rosalind Morris refers. In it, Hugh pokes fun at the Malaysian jihadist Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s declaration that Muslim men cannot pray or sleep because women wear skimpy clothes. (Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, by the way, is a “spiritual leader” who has damned those who don’t vote for Islamic parties to hell, and called for Taliban-style rule there, including the stoning of adulterers.) Hugh links to a YouTube video of a song from 1938 accompanied by still photos of 1920s actress Louis Brooks, ending up with a single 1930’s-vintage nude photo, and says: “So go ahead, leader of the Pan-Islamic Malaysian Party in northeastern Kelantan. Sue me.”
In Rosalind Morris’s tight-lipped, humorless, febrile imagination, this becomes “soft-porn” and a legal taunt. And this passes for intelligent analysis in the Columbia Spectator.