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Middle East studies faculty at Georgetown University have a reputation as the most radical and intolerant in the United States.

This critical survey of Georgetown University's programs and faculty of Middle East studies is intended to serve as a reliable source of information and insight for anyone interested in MES, Georgetown, trends in American higher education, and the Islamization of a key discipline.

Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, critiques the academic field of Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. This survey will be updated periodically.

Executive Summary
Programs and Departments: A Continuing Legacy of Radicalism
The Old Guard and the Language of Bias
The New Guard - Mutation and Metastasis
Curricular Imbalances between Arabic and Hebrew Language Instruction
Conclusions and Policy Recommendations
What You Can Do to Help
Appendix: Georgetown's Signatories to the Academic Boycott of Israel in 2014

Executive Summary

Georgetown University's various Middle East studies (MES) faculty have a reputation as the most intolerant, ideological, anti-Israel, and pro-Islamist in the United States. This detailed new Campus Watch report, Islamists, Apologists, and Fellow Travelers: Middle East Studies Faculty at Georgetown University, demonstrates that this reputation is well deserved, but recent hiring trends promise an even more radical future.

The old guard (clockwise from top left): John Esposito, John Voll (emeritus), Michael Hudson (emeritus), Hisham Sharabi (d. 2005), Yvonne Haddad, and Barbara Stowasser (d. 2012)

The problem began decades ago with the old guard, scholars such as Michael Hudson, John Esposito, and John Voll who were trained in the once-rigorous disciplines that make up MES –history, languages, political science, religious studies, and more. They advanced then-fashionable theories of Arab nationalism, Islamic democracy, and anti-Zionism. Willful blindness to systemic problems in the region supported a revisionist historiography that actively undermined the earlier MES work. That these scholars uncritically embraced Edward Said's deeply flawed book Orientalism (1978) revealed how deeply politicized MES had become. Georgetown faculty adopted Said's anti-intellectual, know-nothing approach of labeling Western scholars (whose erudition he could never hope to match) as racist, imperialist Orientalists.

Said's malignant postcolonial reading of the region so dominated Georgetown's faculty that by 2005, when Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bestowed $20 million on the school, the transformation was complete. But the prince's largess was not wasted: it gave Esposito, founding director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding (ACMCU), an enhanced platform from which to spread a pro-Islamist message. Thus did Georgetown become the country's leading center of Islamist apologetics. Then matters got yet worse.

The new guard (clockwise from top left): Jonathan Brown, Osama Abi-Mershed, Felicitas Opwis, Bassam Haddad, Emma Gannage, and Muhammad Kassab

The past decade saw a new guard, consisting not merely of fellow travelers of the old guard, but of authentic Islamists, ascend. Chief among these is Jonathan Brown, who became director of ACMCU upon Esposito's retirement in 2015. A convert to Islam who has defended the practice of slavery, Brown represents a new generation of disciplinary leaders who see themselves not as apologists for Islamism, but proselytizers for it. Others include Osama Abi-Mershed, Felicitas Opwis, and Emma Gannagé.

From its perch in the nation's capital, Georgetown's MES faculty wields great influence on every branch of government as expert advisors, as well as on the media. The result, as the Campus Watch report concludes, is that "the permeation of postcolonial theory and aggressive Islamism into academia has given rise to politicized scholarship that yields little useful expertise to policymakers." Yet, "From underestimating threats to national security to misrepresenting empirical data, the impact is considerable."

This dangerous situation should be unacceptable to all those connected to Georgetown University; they should take immediate steps to ensure that the university ends its role as an Islamist outpost on the Potomac.

Programs and Departments: A Continuing Legacy of Radicalism

Georgetown's latest hires include Ahmad Dallal (left), a militant anti-Israeli campaigner, and Arsalan Iftikhar (right), formerly national legal director of the Islamist Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Breaking news on the discipline of Middle East studies is seldom kind to Georgetown University. In July 2017 came word that the Bridge Initiative of the Saudi-funded Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) had hired former Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) national legal director Arsalan Iftikhar as a senior research fellow. With the appointment, Bridge/ACMCU has effectively become a branch of the Hamas-derived, Islamist CAIR.

This followed news in June 2017 that the new dean of Georgetown University in Qatar is none other than Ahmad Dallal, a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of the State Department-designated terrorist group Hezbollah. Dallal, who chaired Georgetown's Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies from 2003 to 2009, is also pro-Hamas, pro-Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, co-author of an Arabic textbook whose maps omit Israel, and signatory of a letter warning that Israel would engage in "ethnic cleansing" at the start of the Iraq war.

As the report below demonstrates, Iftikhar and Dallal are sadly representative of Georgetown's approach to Middle East studies (MES). Over the past several decades its MES faculty have exemplified the polarization, politicization, and ideological distortion of the learning process that has beset the field across the United States. In this they have vast experience: many of them spearheaded the popularization of Edward Said's mendacious screed Orientalism (1978) and spread Said's distortion of MES—famously detailed by Bernard Lewis—into mainstream America.

Georgetown's MES faculty have exemplified the polarization, politicization, and ideological distortion that has beset the field.

Their actions affirm what Martin Kramer and others have already established: at Georgetown, Said's message was unleashed into the consciousness of the American public by reformulating it in familiar terms of moral principles and national security interests.

Georgetown's three Middle East studies programs – the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies (AIS), and ACMCU – have long since been commandeered by political correctness and anti-American, anti-Western, and anti-Israel ideologies. This development accelerated under the leadership of John Esposito and the old guard:

  • John Esposito
  • John Voll (emeritus)
  • Michael Hudson (emeritus)
  • Hisham Sharabi (d. 2005)
  • Yvonne Haddad
  • Barbara Stowasser (d. 2012)

It was expanded upon by the new guard:

  • Jonathan Brown
  • Osama Abi-Mershed
  • Felicitas Opwis
  • Bassam Haddad
  • Emma Gannage
  • Muhammad Kassab

Generations of graduates have grown up with this politicized and distorted academic framework, and as the field collapses under the weight of its own skewed subjectivity, it cannot adequately prepare students.

This critique of Georgetown professors is not intended to infringe on their freedom of expression, but to demonstrate how they have abused their positions to corrupt the academic environment. By injecting political activism into their language, methods, and theory, they distort the politics and society of the Middle East. It is profoundly ironic that through their use of Said's inherently Western concepts of the region and its peoples, they have inserted more Western theory and method into "the Orient" than any of the field's genuine scholars—the "Orientalists"—they purport to refute.

By injecting political activism into their language, methods, and theory, these professors distort the politics and society of the Middle East.

Through the language of political activism, scholars have reinvented themselves as exponents of liberation and defenders of the underdogs, all with the approving eye of their colleagues and bankrollers in the Middle East.[1] The resulting jargon is at once an extension and an expression of the politically- and ideologically-driven analysis that has become the norm. This is rather convenient, as ideology and bias are not beholden to facts and reality.

The following critical examinations of key faculty reveal their influence in radicalizing Middle East studies at Georgetown and beyond. Particularly important in their successes are the language and terminology they have championed in their scholarship and teaching, which has permeated the discipline in general and Georgetown in particular. This section highlights faculty members who have been at the forefront of this conceptual effort by calling attention to key terms and concepts that embody their politically- and ideologically-driven analyses.

The Old Guard and the Language of Bias

John Esposito

John Esposito

John Esposito (Ph.D., Temple University, 1974) is the founding director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU), professor of religion and international affairs, and professor of Islamic studies at Georgetown. He was previously Loyola Professor of Middle East Studies, College of the Holy Cross. Research interests include Islam and democracy, global terrorism, Muslim-Christian relations, religion and international affairs, and Islamophobia. He served as president of the Middle East Studies Association in 1989.

John Esposito has lamented that after the 1979 revolution in Iran, the "lens through which Islam and Muslims came to be seen was people chanting 'Death to America,'" and in typical apologetic fashion, he concluded "The danger was that we're looking for a new global threat" and "Islam was the only global ideology." Pronouncements of this sort obfuscate the facts by pretending that radicalization and incitement to jihad do not exist, that jihadists are not real, and that any negative perception of Islam stems, not from the behavior of Islamists, but from the misunderstandings of the American people.[2] Esposito's perspective on the distorted "lens through which Islam and Muslims came to seen" is embodied in the term "Islamophobia" and is endemic to his body of work.

"Islamophobia" is one of the most popular buzzwords in Middle East studies.

"Islamophobia" is one of the most popular buzzwords in Middle East studies, giving rise most recently to a new area of study by the same name. According to the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley, the term was introduced in the 1991 Runnymede Trust Report and defined as "unfounded hostility towards Muslims, and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims [emphasis added]." Subsequently, in order to facilitate its application in Middle East studies, the concept had to be rooted in Orientalism. The logical extension of the Saidian idea of "Orientalizing the oriental" is a fear of what is not understood, and hence the birth of "Islamophobia." To this end, the Berkeley project elaborated on its original definition [emphasis added]:

Islamophobia is a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure. It is directed at a perceived or real Muslim threat through the maintenance and extension of existing disparities in economic, political, social and cultural relations, while rationalizing the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve "civilizational rehab" of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise).[3] Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended.

The phrase "Orientalist global power structure" in this context embodies the expansion of the Saidian message into the wholesale accusation that the Western perspective is not only intrinsically biased, but also fearful and hateful (i.e. "Occidentalism").

"At the heart of Western misinterpretation, stereotyping, and exaggerated fears of Islam is a clash of viewpoints," Esposito argues. The stereotypes of the "Arab and Islam in terms of Bedouin, desert, camel, polygamy, harem, and rich oil shaykhs," he continues, "have been replaced by those of gun-toting mullahs or bearded anti-Western fundamentalists."[4] According to Esposito's ideology, the West is expected to keep an open mind about Islam while nothing is asked of Muslims. In Arab media and social media in Arabic, one is hard pressed to find societies in the Middle East that have done anything to change the "lens through which Islam and Muslims" are seen. To the contrary, over the two and half decades since the publication of Esposito's earlier works, the Muslim world's actions have entrenched such stereotypes in Western eyes.

Esposito brands critiques of real crimes committed by Muslims following extremist interpretations of Islam as "Islamophobia."

Esposito brands critiques of real crimes committed by Muslims following extremist interpretations of Islam as "Islamophobia." While anti-Muslim bigotry exists, denunciations of actual crimes committed by Muslims, including the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and of the extremist affiliations of such Muslims as Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad, and Samial-Arian, are not true examples of "Islamophobia." Yet even in the face of legal evidence against al-Arian (who was indicted for being on the governing board of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad), Esposito displayed unwavering support for him in his testimony during the trial against the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation. Esposito called al-Arian, an acknowledged member of the Muslim Brotherhood, "a proud, dedicated and committed American . . . a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice." In displaying support for al-Arian and his ilk, Esposito and his colleagues willfully confuse Islam with the corrosive ideology of Islamism and stymie the learning process. The one place that should have been a haven for level-headed analysis is a 227-year-old institution of higher learning like Georgetown, but unfortunately, its ivory towers are built on sand.

Esposito's launch of the Bridge Initiative is an example of "Occidentalism." Similar to the founding of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (see below), Esposito used the location and prestige of Georgetown to secure funding for the initiative from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (who was among the princes arrested in an internal power struggle in November 2017). Touted as a multi-year research project that "connects the academic study of Islamophobia with the public square," its purported goal is to bring together faculty, experts, and established researchers to examine attitudes towards and treatment of Muslims. Furthermore, its mission states that the goal is to "dissect public discourses on Islam; and uncover the operational mechanisms of engineered Islamophobia in an effort to raise public awareness and enrich public discourse on this pernicious form of prejudice."

Esposito (right) and Alwaleed bin Talal (left) at a 2012 panel discussion on "Islamophobia." Ali Asani, director of Harvard's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, sits between them.

While legitimate cases of religiously-driven hate crimes should be tallied and reported, the Bridge Initiative purposefully ignores academia's responsibility to engage in the study of Islamic discourse and its attitudes toward the West, Jews, and Christians. Furthermore, it ignores academic responsibility in uncovering the operational mechanisms of engineered xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christian bigotry in the Arab and Muslim world as part of an effort to raise Muslim awareness and enrich global Muslim public discourse on these pernicious, homegrown forms of prejudice. Given these shortcomings, it is not surprising that, in a 2015 report, journalist Deborah Weiss critiqued the Bridge Initiative for its "strange amalgamation of radical leftist politics and support for Islam."

Esposito's Bridge Initiative, therefore, reflects his scholarly oeuvre in eliding the fact that educating and changing the attitudes of others must start with critical introspection. At base, the Alwaleed Center and its Bridge Initiative should be recognized for what they are: the influence operations of a wealthy Saudi prince, designed not to increase "understanding," but to promote disinformation and suppress information at odds with the Islamist party line.

The Alwaleed Center and its Bridge Initiative should be recognized for what they are: the influence operations of a wealthy Saudi prince.

For over two decades, Esposito has been pushing an interpretation of Islamist ideology that has falsely placed pro-democracy and reform forces on the same footing as radicalism and militancy. Trapped by his delusion that Islamist ideology in the Middle East is a force for "democracy and reform," Esposito dismissed the threat posed by "Islamist activists" just before September 2001: "Bin Laden is the best thing to come along, if you are an intelligence officer, if you are an authoritarian regime, or if you want to paint Islamist activism as a threat. There's a danger in making Bin Laden the poster boy of global terrorism."[5] This dishonest interpretation of radical Islam would portray Osama Bin Laden and al-Qa'ida's chief ideologue Abu Musa'b al-Suri as simply striving toward "pro-democracy reform" in their "Islamist activism." Al-Suri (aka Mustafa Sitmariam Nasr) is best known for his 2004 1,600-page online treatise, Da'wat al-muqawamah al-islamiyyah al-'alamiyyah (The Global Islamic Resistance Call).[6] As one might expect, nowhere in the treatise does al-Suri discuss the need for the rule of majority by popular participation, preservation of minorities' rights, or human rights. The misinterpretation of radical Islam as pro-democracy agitation is both a symptom of lapsing intellectual rigor and the cause of misguided policy decisions that relied on the expertise of Said's disciples.

This skewed and apologetic interpretation is found in a course Esposito teaches, INAF-488 Future of Islam and Politics in the Middle East (at times co-taught with Emad Eldin Shahin). The course description delineates the evolution of the field with concepts that were introduced by the "old guard" (Esposito) and that are now taken for granted by the "new guard" (Shahin), such as "political Islam," "Islamist activists," and "pro-democracy popular uprisings":

The pro-democracy popular uprisings that toppled autocratic regimes, the collapse of state authority in some areas, the challenges of governance, and the emergence of extremist violent groups raise questions about the future of political Islam. We will try to address these and similar controversial issues in this course. To do so, we will focus on the phenomenon of political Islam in the Middle East and examine the reasons, implications, and consequences of the reassertion of Islam in today's politics. The course is divided into four parts. The first provides a thorough analysis of the Islamic order and the model(s) that inspires modern Islamist activists. The second part critically examines the ideas of the main ideologues of contemporary Islamic movements. The third part discusses approaches to the understanding of contemporary political Islam and the Islamic movements and presents case studies of movements in different contexts. It also probes the relationship between Islamism and the "Arab Spring," analyzing the transformations that occurred to Islamic movements post the Arab uprisings. Finally, the course concludes with a critical analysis of the future of political Islam and its relation with the West.

Describing the uprisings that engulfed the MENA region from 2011 as "pro-democracy" betrays a troubling trend in the field of MES that saw an upsurge with Esposito's characterization of Islamist movements as agitation for democratization and reform. Political democratization is rare in the Middle East, and the founders of this historiography at Georgetown were saddled with a reality that did not dovetail with their theoretical paradigm.[7] Moreover, the language of the description blurs the distinction between legitimate political activity of Islamic parties (e.g., al-Nour in Egypt) and extremist Islamist movements (Muslim Brotherhood), as it lumps both into the category of "Islamist activism." This confusion stems partly from the legitimacy scholars afford militant Islam when they label it political Islam or Islamic activism. The structure of the class posits the final part as an examination of "the future of political Islam and its relation with the West."

Esposito lumps extremist Islamist movements together with legitimate Islamic parties into the category of "Islamist activism."

Under Esposito's leadership, Georgetown's School of Foreign Service (SFS) established a "Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding" in 1993, of which he was named founding director. Esposito had negotiated an agreement to relocate to Georgetown the Geneva-based Fondation pour l'Entente entre Chretiens et Musulmans, founded by a group of Arab Christian and Muslim businessmen, including the prominent Palestinian businessman Hasib Sabbagh, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's governing bodies, the Palestine National Council (PNC), and the Palestine Central Council. Georgetown was chosen because of the university's Catholic and Jesuit tradition, its prestige, and location. Minutes from the State Department, White House, Pentagon, embassies, and countless think tanks, the center sits at the crossroads of international politics and functions within one of the oldest schools of international affairs in the U.S. With more graduates who have served as ambassadors and diplomats than any other university in the nation, the SFS plays a critical role in molding the next generation of international leaders.

The November 2005 signing ceremony for Alwaleed bin Talal's $20 million grant took place at a Parisian hotel owned by the prince (seated center). Esposito is seated to the far left, with Georgetown President John J. DeGioia next to him.

In 2005, Esposito secured a $20 million gift from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal to support and expand the Center's mission.[8] Consequently the center was renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). From its inception, ACMCU was described as "a magnet for Arab and Muslim money,"[9] while concerns emerged that under Esposito's direction, the center "developed questionable ties to individuals and organizations directly involved in Islamic terrorism," such as convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian, Muslim Brotherhood senior jurist Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas operative Azzam Tamimi and his Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIIT), and Hamas spokesman Ahmad Yusuf.

Bin Talal has funded other centers at institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and around the world,[10] allegedly to share "the common goals of promoting dialogue, increasing understanding, and fostering mutual respect." However, the absence of Judaism is striking and has been criticized by Ali Gomaa, the head of al-Azhar and Grand Mufti of Egypt, who said at an ACMCU event "While the focus . . . has been to foster dialogue between Islam and Christianity, I will call for its expansion to include representatives of all the Abrahamic faiths."

Courses related to Jewish history and Israel are therefore absent from ACMCU's curriculum. Though the center was founded to study Muslim-Christian relations, excluding the Jewish connection is limiting and ignores both religions' connection to Judaism. Currently cross-listed courses (e.g. JCIV-172-01 Israel: 1948 to the Present) are an untapped option, despite ample opportunity to include genuine scholarship on Jewish history and Israel within the syllabi of existing courses (e.g. INAF 473 Study of Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations). Nonetheless, the book list for INAF 473 indicates that the focus on Christianity and Islam, as well as the primarily confrontational experience between the two, is maintained: Oxford History of Crusades, History of Christian-Muslim Relations, The Challenge of Political Islam and Christian-Muslim Encounters.[11] Moreover, the focus on the confrontational history of Islam and Christianity feeds into the idea of an East-West standoff that Esposito and his colleagues purportedly defy and ascribe to the political right.

Esposito has praised Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who said in 2004: "All of the Americans in Iraq are combatants, there is no difference between civilians and soldiers ... The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [religious] obligation."

Fairly covering Jewish or Israeli studies would require that Esposito drop his well-documented biases. Citing the historically anti-Semitic CounterPunch, Esposito in 2014 tweeted a link to a vicious article by Harvard MES scholar Sarah Roy attacking the now-late Holocaust-survivor Elie Weisel for being "anti-Palestinian" and claiming, without evidence, that Israeli soldiers have used Palestinian children as "soccer balls." Esposito also praised Muslim Brotherhood senior jurist al-Qaradawi, who has expressed support for suicide bombing, including against American troops in Iraq. In fact, Esposito served with al-Qaradawi and multiple Muslim Brotherhood figures on the steering committee of the organization Circle of Tradition and Progress. But Esposito's unfounded charges are sadly commonplace in contemporary MES. Similarly libelous stories, such as IDF soldiers harvesting the organs[12] of Palestinian children or "rabbis" demanding that the Israeli government poison Palestinian water, are easy to find.

Esposito's well-connected enterprise at ACMCU extends its influence and tenor to the other side of the pond via the Oxford Islamic Studies Online (OISO). This resource is marketed to universities, colleges, libraries, corporations, and schools; subscribers are reassured that all content is "commissioned and approved under the guidance of the Editor in Chief, John L. Esposito." Other editors on its advisory board are scholars with a personal or long-standing professional relationship with Esposito, including John Voll, Tamara Sonn, and Ibrahim Kalin (ACMCU graduate and faculty member). With thousands of subjectively selected reference entries, primary sources, full chapters from scholarly and introductory works, Qur'anic materials, images, maps, and timelines, OISO purports to offer "a multi-layered reference experience designed to provide a first stop for anyone needing information and context on Islam." Daniel Pipes's 2004 critique of a paperback edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Islam edited by Esposito holds true for this online version: "contributors to this work would seem to accept the modern notion that objectivity being unobtainable, there's little point in even trying."

John Voll

John Voll

John Voll (Ph.D., Harvard, 1969) is a professor emeritus of Islamic history and former associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) at Georgetown, with a joint appointment in the Department of History. He taught Middle Eastern, Islamic, and world history at the University of New Hampshire for thirty years before moving to Georgetown in 1995. His areas of expertise include modern Islamic history, Islamic modernism, Islamic social and political movements, history of Sufism, Muslim-Christian relations in world history, and conceptualizations of world history. Voll co-authored and co-edited several books with Esposito, particularly on Islam's compatibility with democracy, e.g. Makers of Contemporary Islam (Oxford University Press, 2001), Islam and Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1996), and with Tamara Sonn and Esposito, Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring (New York: 2015). He served as president of the Middle East Studies Association in 1993.

John Voll's career at Georgetown was dedicated to upholding the politicized scholarship and apologetic stances toward Islamism of his boss, John Esposito. He defended Sami al-Arian and condemned the University of South Florida for "caving" into "McCarthyite popular pressures for [al-Arian's] dismissal." During a bond hearing for al-Arian, Voll praised his "devotion to his family" and claimed, "it is highly improbably that [al-Arian] would break the trust involved in being released on bond." Voll was at that time (2008) dissertation director of Al-Arian's son Abdullah, who was working on a Ph.D. at Georgetown.

Voll appeared in a 2014 promotional video for the Muslim Brotherhood-linked International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), which he praised for helping American academics "have a more global view of Islam."

A similar anti-law-enforcement stance is evident in his response to demands by Maryland's attorney general that Muslim women remove their hijabs when passing through courthouse security lines. Voll claimed of such commonsense action taken to protect the public's safety: "The parallel would be for a deputy sheriff to require a woman going through security to take off her brassiere right there in the inspection section." Such hyperbole poses a clear danger by impeding the ability of law enforcement agents to secure courthouses, which by their nature are high-risk areas where criminals are arraigned and tried.

Esposito's and Voll's stature in Middle East studies makes their apologetics particularly dangerous, as their language makes clear.[13] Voll even rationalized the September 11, 2001 attacks by claiming in a Chronicle of Higher Education article that "terrorism is seen as the only effective response to overwhelming American power." Voll's claim can be debunked by a cursory comparison with the different responses of alienated, colonized communities over the last century: there are no Tibetan suicide bombers killing non-combatants, nor indiscriminate violence by Jain protesters and Native-Americans.[14]

Voll rationalized the 9/11 attacks by claiming that "terrorism is seen as the only effective response" to U.S. power.

Given his comments on al-Arian and this disgraceful rationale for 9/11, it isn't surprising that Georgetown students have rated him poorly on bias: "I just prefer being taught history more objectively," one student complained. A former student at the University of New Hampshire lamented his ahistorical presentation of Islam and Islamic history.

Voll upholds the de facto ACMCU position on "Islamic activism" and its compatibility with concepts of "pro-democracy" and "reform." This led him in 1992 to testify before a congressional committee that the undemocratic military junta in the Sudan was engaged in an "effort to create a consensual rather than a conflict format for popular political participation." Accordingly, Voll concluded that "it is not possible to state that, if a system does not have two parties, it is not democratic."[15] He thus suspended logic and intellectual rigor in favor of upholding the party line.

Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson

A co-founder of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) in 1975 who led it intermittently for thirty-five years, Michael Hudson (Ph.D., Yale, 1964) retired from Georgetown in 2010 as the Seif Ghobash Professor of International Relations and Arab Studies, Emeritus. He served as president of the Middle East Studies Association in 1986. From 2010 to 2014 he was the first director of the Middle East Institute and professor of political science at the National University of Singapore. Hudson was the Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative in spring 2015. Hudson's books include The Precarious Republic: Political Modernization in Lebanon (Random House, 1968; Boulder, with new preface, 1985), and Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (Yale, 1977).

Michael Hudson's career in many ways reflects the dominant trends in Middle East studies from the 1950s onward. A succession of political science models, overly reliant on theory and often willfully blind to systemic problems in Arab culture, excited the imaginations of scholars who embraced each as a sure and certain glimpse into the future. First among these was an unbridled enthusiasm for Arab nationalism during Nasser's rule in Egypt. As a student in Damascus in 1958, he enthused over crowds of young men who gathered after the overthrow of Iraq's Western-backed monarch because

Another obstacle to Arab unity has given way. . . . Anyone introduced to Arab politics at that particular moment, as I was, carries a lasting image of nationalist enthusiasm that seemed destined to erase "artificial" borders and unify a national community too long and wrongly divided.[16]

Along with most of his peers, Hudson expected Arab unity to emerge from the disparate tribes and sects and romanticized about the Arab world's ability to toss off Western influence along with the borders imposed by the colonial powers after WWI.

But as Arab unity failed to develop, Hudson next expected chaos within Arab states. In 1968, he correctly predicted in The Precarious Republic that Lebanon was in for a tumultuous future; but having gotten this right, he erred by transplanting this model to almost every other Arab country. From the 1980s forward, Hudson and others expected the authoritarian Arab states to disintegrate as civil society grew better able to shield citizens from their corrupt governments. Despite these predictions, however, Arab regimes remained remarkably stable.

Once this stability was beyond question, Hudson championed Palestinian society as an exception to the stagnation and corruption of other Arab political units. The PLO and its various organs were presented as models of Arab democracy. "Unlike most of the established regimes, the government of the Palestinians rested not on coercive capabilities, which were very limited, but on the legitimacy which most Palestinians freely accorded it."[17]

On this issue, as on so many others, Hudson and his Georgetown colleagues—especially his CCAS partner Hisham Sharabi—led scholars down epistemological dead-ends. Dominant schools of thought willfully ignored ideologically inconvenient developments and data on the ground. In this as well as in the details of his thought, Hudson's career has provided a model for others—much to the detriment of Middle East studies.

Hisham Sharabi

Hisham Sharabi

Hisham Sharabi (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1953) was co-founder of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University. Sharabi, who died in 2005, attracted funding for the center from Libya ($600,000) and Iraq ($50,000) that he was later forced to return. He was also co-founder and chairman of the notoriously anti-Israel Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development in Washington, D.C., which since his death has become a hub of pro-BDS activity.

The late Hisham Sharabi's legacy at Georgetown is one of lasting animus toward Israel, America, and the West, and of erroneous perceptions of governance and sociopolitical activism in the Middle East. He and others at Georgetown consistently and significantly exaggerated the vitality of Arab civil society. Many experts in the field were disappointed that, contrary to their predictions, civil society failed to play a role in any meaningful transition toward democracy in the Arab world.[18] It failed even in the "exceptional" case of "Palestine," as championed by Sharabi and Michael Hudson.[19]

Despite the lack of a "vibrant," "dynamic" civil society, as with democratic transitions in Eastern Europe and Latin America, and his own critique of distorted change in Arab society,[20] Sharabi argued for the existence of a dynamic Palestinian civil society at a 1999 Georgetown conference. According to him, Palestinians, with numerous institutions of higher learning, hospitals, and unions, have "the makings for an exemplary free democratic state." (When contextualized as the only Arab collective with daily interactions with a democratic Jewish state, the uniqueness of the Palestinian case is evident.) "Palestine" was heralded by team Georgetown and others as a beacon of democratic liberties that would quickly be realized across the Arab world.[21]

Sharabi's legacy at Georgetown is one of lasting animus toward Israel, America, and the West.

Yet, nearly two decades later, Sharabi's ideologically-driven analysis of democracy and hopes for a "vibrant civil society" in "Palestine" have not materialized. Nevertheless, he continued to characterize uprisings in Western terms of human rights, civil rights, and self-determination.[22] Clearly, if one accepts the postcolonial line that the "Orient" defies Western categories, it is misleading to analyze upheaval in the Middle East in Western terms. Moreover, the existence of "numerous institutions of higher learning, hospitals, unions" cannot be understood, per Sharabi, as "the makings for an exemplary free democratic state." This kind of causal connection is ideologically-driven, because it posits theory before reality. Accordingly, the failure of federally-funded academics like Sharabi, Voll, Hudson, and Esposito to dispassionately and accurately analyze social, historical, and political trends results in flawed analysis going to policymakers.[23]

A mural of Edward Said at San Francisco University testifies to his lasting influence in academia.

In addition to Said's Orientalism, postcolonial theory has also affected perceptions of governance and social and political activism in the Middle East. As early as the 1970s, Sharabi and Hudson promoted the notion that the Palestinian movement did not have the problem with legitimacy suffered by the rest of the Arab world, because it was unique in the "kind of democracy it practices."[24] Much like Esposito's efforts to rebrand Islamist movements as indigenous struggles for democratic reform or "Islamist activism," the idea of Middle Eastern rule with popular legitimacy (i.e. governance by the people and for the people) became an exhilarating fantasy. By the 1990s, Sharabi, Esposito, and the Georgetown team reshaped the concept of democracy with the assurance that "Islamic democracy" creates "effective systems of popular participation, though unlike the Westminster model or the American system."[25] They argued that Islam in general, and Palestinian institutions of government in particular, were "democratic," but that Americans simply could not see it.

In 2017, when ISIS looms large and the Arab world is rife with civil war and ethnic and religious cleansing, the failure of "Islamic democratization" is self-evident. There has been precious little political democratization in the Middle East, and the forerunners in the field who squeezed their subject of inquiry into an "acceptable" theoretical paradigm were left with a reality that did not "catch up with theory."[26]

Sharabi never lost hope that revolution was coming to the Arab world.

Sharabi's perch at Georgetown allowed him to exert a lasting influence beyond academe. He founded the Palestine Center at the Jerusalem Fund, which holds events featuring speakers, literary events, and exhibitions, many of which include anti-Israel, anti-American speakers (as illustrated by these examples). To choose but one for illustration from among many, at an April 21, 2016 event guest speaker Omar Shakir used a false comparison to South African apartheid to delegitimize the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. He claimed in a statement filled with false premises: "So in 1948, the Nationalists came to power on a platform formally erecting apartheid in power," and "the Afrikaner narrative is similarly like the Zionist narrative – one that's a narrative of expulsion, persecution, redemption and rebirth that characterize their struggle." Shakir omitted actual Palestinian laws and punitive measures against Muslims who are involved, for example, in real estate transactions with Jews.[27] The Afrikaner narrative is quite different from that of Zionism, but it is used effectively by proponents from the new guard, such as Brown, Bassam Haddad, and Abi-Mershed, as well as students and student organizations, as part of a campaign to demonize the Jewish homeland. Not surprisingly, this has a direct effect on syllabi, curricula, and the classroom experience.

Along with the apartheid narrative, Sharabi and his colleagues have helped propagate the falsehood of Jewish omnipotence.[28] Sharabi, at the time among the most prominent academics in MESA, said in 2002 that "Jews are getting ready to take control of us and the Americans have entered the region to possess the oil resources and redraw the geopolitical map of the Arab world." As Ben-Dror Yemini pointed out in a 2014 article citing Sharabi's pronouncement, "it's been twelve years and the Jews haven't taken control of anything."

Yvonne Haddad

Yvonne Haddad

Yvonne Haddad (Ph.D., Hartford Seminary, 1979) is a professor of the history of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations at the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, SFS faculty. Her research expertise includes twentieth-century Islam; intellectual, social and political history in the Arab world; and Islam in North America and the West. She has co-authored and co-edited many books with Esposito and others at Georgetown, e.g., ed. Muslims on the Americanization Path? (Scholars Press, 1998); ed. Islam, Gender and Social Change (Oxford University Press, 1997); ed. with Barbara Stowasser, Islamic Law and the Challenges of Modernity (Altamira, 2004); ed. with Voll, Esposito, et al., The Contemporary Islamic Revival: A Critical Survey and Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1991). She served as president of the Middle East Studies Association in 1990.

Yvonne Haddad is a long-serving apologist for Islamism and a strong advocate for BDS. She supported MESA's removal of "non-political" from its by-laws, to smooth the way for its adoption of BDS as official policy.

Typical of her current classes is HIST-363 Muslims in the West (Fall 2017-2018), which reinforces familiar concepts and themes, such as Islamophobia, as seen in the tone of the title and description:

The seminar will examine the formation and growth of the Muslim communities in North America and Europe with specific focus on France, Germany, U.K. and the U.S. It will provide a history of the formation of the various Muslim communities in the West; explore the dynamics of community and identity development of the immigrants in a Western context and various government integration policies (multiculturalism, Laïcité and assimilation); the development of Western depictions of Muslims as labor migrants, ethnic enclaves to Muslims and increasingly as terrorists. It will also explore the creation of an Islamic minority perspective particularly among the alienated youth as a response to Islamophobia, and the various Muslim effort to create an authentic Muslim Western identity through literature, music, fashion, and art.

The phrase, "Western depictions of Muslims . . . increasingly as terrorists," sets up the use of "Islamophobia" in the next sentence: To "[e]xplore the creation of an Islamic minority perspective particularly among the alienated youth as a response to Islamophobia." Islamophobia is used in the description not only as a critique of the West, but also as an excuse for the "alienated youth" to lash out at "the West." The sentence asserts that the West is to blame for the youth's response, i.e. alienation, and by implication, their use of violence. Esposito, who taught Islam in the West for many years, espoused this idea when he participated in a 2014 panel on ISIS, where he claimed that the Islamic State is comprised of alienated "disaffected youth" who feel that they "must act" because the West refuses to "speak out and condemn traditional allies like Israel or Arab regimes."[29]

Yvonne Haddad is a fervent campaigner for the anti-Israel BDS movement.

The description closes with the words, "the various Muslim effort [sic] to create an authentic Muslim Western identity," suggesting the tenor of the classroom delivery: assaulted by Islamophobic Western realities and values of multiculturalism, state secularism, and assimilation, alienated Muslim communities in the West struggle to create an "authentic Muslim Western identity;" and while some "use literature, music, fashion, and art," others are moved to respond with violence.

Furthermore, the argument that economic and educational disparity are to blame ignores the fact that the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001 were all middle-class or above and highly educated (several with doctorates), or that a quarter of the jihadi recruits in the Islamic State are college educated. Yet the canard of economic disparity has been codified in UC Berkeley's Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project's definition of Islamophobia: "Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended." Thus, blame is laid at the feet of the West,[30] and Esposito can get away with "tak[ing] Islam out of ISIS."

Students' classroom experiences are being marred by the tone of such professors' pedagogy. A Georgetown student summed up Esposito's teaching style during his years of teaching Islam in the West: "He is very knowledgeable and fun to talk to outside of class, but in class he's useless. Too much of the reading is focused [on] what scholars of the Middle East think of the Middle East as opposed to what the actual actors in the Middle East think." Yvonne Haddad has apparently taught Islam in the West with much the same ideological fervor: "[S]he wears her political ideology on her sleeve," says one student, "so if she suspects you think that not all Israelis are bloodthirsty monsters, then expect your grade to drop a half a letter or more. Avoid her if you can."

The required booklist for Haddad's Fall section contains five books, two of which are hers, Muslim Women in America and Becoming an American?. Her writing style blends anecdotes and personal narratives with recent scholarship, and contains countless references to Orientalism and "oversimplified conceptions of women." As she considers the "kinds of Western imperialism and the concomitant way of fostering popular stereotypes that Muslim Women must deal with . . . in the context of twenty first century America (p. 22)," the tone of the material reinforces the one set in the description: maintaining the party line.

Barbara Stowasser

Barbara Stowasser

Barbara Stowasser (Ph.D., University of Muenster, Germany, 1961), who died in 2012, played a key role in the ideological development of MES at Georgetown, where she taught from 1966 to her death. As director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) on three different occasions, where she held the Sultanate of Oman Chair in Arabic and Islamic Literature, and as chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies (AIS) for nine years, Stowasser developed and taught all the graduate courses on Qur'anic tafsir and introduced the study of Islam and gender into the curriculum. She also served as president of the Middle East Studies Association from 1998 to1999. Her research focused on Islam and gender, and her best-known publication is Oxford University Press's Women in the Qur'an, Traditions and Interpretation (1994). Her other notable publications include Islamic Law and the Challenges of Modernity (Ed., 2004) and The Islamic Impulse (1987).

Anti-Zionist curricula, syllabi, colloquia, and events aimed at curtailing self-determination for the Jewish people—and even justifying terrorism against them—while avowing self-determination for the Palestinians, are common in courses on the Middle East at Georgetown. Few better exemplified such bias exist than the late Barbara Stowasser, who endorsed Muslim Brotherhood senior jurist Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a supporter of gender equality because he permits Muslim women to kill Jews without asking their parents' or husband's permission, or even without a veil. According to Stowasser, this is a sign of true gender equality, while violent acts of terrorism are merely "defensive jihad" against Israel.

Stowasser's apologetics include misrepresenting jihad to reduce or deny its militaristic core. In 2002, Martin Kramer summed up this revisionism:

"Jihad," she stated, "is a serious personal commitment to the faith," a struggle against "evil intentions," and a "working toward the moral betterment of society." Only at the very end of the Qur'an is it used to denote armed struggle, and even then, she added, Muslims are enjoined only to engage in defensive war. In Stowasser's view, al-Qa'ida "goes against the majority of Islam and against most of Islamic legal theory." They were a group that "picks and chooses in its approach to the Qur'an."

Her biases weren't restricted to the classroom. In written testimony submitted to Congress in 2003, Stowasser defended her school's federally-funded National Resource Center on the Middle East from (accurate) charges that its work was anti-Israel, anti-American, and anti-Western in blatantly misleading language:

We have had scholars working at our centers who have come to differing conclusions on an array of issues, as one would expect in an academic setting which is premised on the principle of academic freedom and the belief that rigorous research and serious intellectual discussion are important to informing both our students and others who benefit from contact with the work of our centers. We would make the point, however, that in the process, our centers' work has been balanced and reflective of diverse views.

In the classroom, in scholarship, and even in congressional testimony, Stowasser was solidly in line with Georgetown's culture of politicized Middle East studies.

The New Guard - Mutation and Metastasis

Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown

As Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the SFS at Georgetown and director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding (ACMCU), Jonathan Brown (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2006) is the successor to John Esposito. He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Salafism, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and pre-Islamic poetry, and he is the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. Research interests include Hadith, Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic legal reform, and a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari. Brown has authored many articles and several books, most recently, Misquoting Muhammad (Oxford: Oneworld, 2014).

With his 2015 appointment as director of ACMCU, Brown not only cemented founding director John Esposito's legacy, but extended it. Where Esposito was a fellow traveler of the Wahhabi founder of the Center, Brown is a genuine Islamist, a convert to Islam who has defended the most draconian elements of sharia (Islamic law) and tradition. Where Esposito merely defended the convicted Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian, Brown married al-Arian's daughter Laila. His brother-in-law, Abdullah, is an assistant professor at Georgetown's Qatar campus, where he teaches history in its School of Foreign Service.

Brown has had several run-ins with Campus Watch's reporters and even evicted one, Andrew Harrod, from a 2017 lecture. In early 2017, he became embroiled in a controversy surrounding his alleged defense of slavery and rape. After all, he claims, "I don't think it's morally evil to own someone." "As we have seen, ownership, freedom, and exploitation come in shades of gray." In May 2017 he elaborated on the Islamic reasoning behind his views, as described by CW reporter Andrew Harrod:

Brown explained how literally Islam's "master-slave relationship between God and man is reflected in the structure of ordered subordination amongst mankind." "Although the Quran repeatedly urges Muslims to free their slaves and even commands it as expiation for certain sins, the Holy Book takes the existence of the slave-master relationship for granted" as a "structural feature in that world." Ominously for non-Muslims, "when Muslim scholars speculated on the theological ideology of slavery as a condition, they settled on it being a punishment for disbelief, since the only people that Muslims could enslave were non-Muslims."

Widespread criticism following his initial remarks on slavery pointed out that ACMCU is funded with money from Saudi Arabia, where women have few rights, and that the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), where Brown delivered the lecture, has been under scrutiny by U.S. officials for having ties to Hamas terrorist financing.

Brown maintains that Shariah-sanctioned slavery (left) is very different from the slavery of the antebellum American South (right).

Brown is a signatory to the Religious Studies Scholars Statement of Solidarity with the Palestinians BDS Movement and the 2014 Academic Boycott of Israel letter (Appendix II). In formally embracing the academic boycott of Israeli institutions, Brown is ignoring Title VI of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).

As Campus Watch has noted, directors of U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers are administrators of bodies that are required by the HEOA to give "assurances" that it "maintains linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research of the Center." Accordingly, grant recipients are required to "reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs." Advancing the boycott of Israeli academics is clearly an act of bias that detracts from, rather than adds to, the variety of perspectives allowed.

As a signatory to an academic boycott and director of an academic resource center, Brown (along with Osama Abi-Mershed and Esposito) has the power to discriminate on political grounds. In this way, committee members for admissions, hiring, or grant-giving go on record as promoting the ostracism of one nationality from a Georgetown department or program.

Consequently, it is vital to make certain that public money used to support Middle East studies at Georgetown is promoting non-partisan scholarship and intellectual rigor. Efforts by Congress and private watchdogs at Title-VI funding accountability must be strengthened, while also protecting academic freedom and the right to free speech.

Osama Abi-Mershed

Osama Abi-Mershed

Osama Abi-Mershed (Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2003) is an associate professor of history at Georgetown and director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS). His academic research focuses on the ideologies and practices of colonial modernization in nineteenth-century Algeria, and on the parallel processes of state- and nation-making in France and North Africa. He has written many articles and one book, Apostles of Modernity: Saint-Simonians and the French Civilizing Mission in Algeria (Palo Alto, CA: 2010).

Osama Abi-Mershed misled a Campus Watch contact in 2014 when he denied that the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), which he directs, received federal funds under Title VI of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. As CW reported at the time, his pro-BDS actions prompted him to mislead others:

Following the revelation that the directors of six federally-funded Middle East studies centers signed a letter pledging "not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions" in spite of "assurances" each gave to "maintain linkages with overseas institutions of higher education," Foreign Policy Research Institute president Alan Luxenberg emailed each director and asked if their pledges were personal or apply to the centers they lead.

In response to an inquiry, [James] Reardon-Anderson, acting dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, of which CCAS is a part, replied without commenting on Abi-Mershed's claim that:

Yes, we are very proud that the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies has been, and we hope will remain, a recipient of Title VI designation and support.

Abi-Mershed's answer was particularly bold—or foolish—given that CCAS's own website and Facebook page state that "Since 1997, CCAS has served as the core of Georgetown University's National Resource Center on the Middle East, funded by a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education." Other official websites at Georgetown further confirm CCAS's receipt of Title VI funds.

His answer matters, because he was among the signatories of a letter signed by six directors of Title VI-funded MES centers that stated

we call on our colleagues in Middle East Studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions, and we pledge not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions, not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions, and not to publish in academic journals based in Israel.

As with his colleague Jonathan Brown, as a head of a Title VI National Resource Center, he is required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act to give "assurances" that the center he dircts "maintains linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research of the Center." Abi-Mershed's support for BDS and unwillingness to admit the truth can tell us much about both his approach to the topic.

For example, he is a signatory to a 2014 letter by a group of Middle East studies scholars and librarians for an academic boycott of Israeli scholars and universities. That same year he signed a letter to then-President Obama and members of Congress demanding that they make Israel end its retaliation against Hamas—which is never mentioned in the letter—in Gaza for its serial bombardment of Israeli cities. While condemning Israel for its alleged overreaction, the letter never faults Hamas or other Palestinian radicals for sparking hostilities with their actions against Israeli civilians.

Abi-Mershed's teaching proves that these biases extend into the classroom. Arab and Islamic Studies' (AIS) basic history requirement, HIST-161 Middle East Civilization II, which was taught by Abi-Mershed, Mustafa Aksakal, and Judith Tucker in the Spring of 2016-2017, was described as follows:

The course outlines the factors that have shaped the political and social features of the modern Middle East from 1500 to the present. Its geographic scope comprises the central provinces and territories of the former Ottoman and Safavid empires: Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Arabia, and Iran. The syllabus emphasizes three analytical themes: first, the historical evolution of "Middle Eastern" polities from dynastic and religious empires in the 16th century to modern "nation-states" in the 20th; second, the impact of industrial capitalism and European imperial expansion on local societies and their modes of production; and third, the socio-cultural and ideological dimensions of these large-scale transformations, specifically the rise of mass ideologies of liberation and development (nationalism, socialism, rights movements, political Islam), and the emergence of structural and social imbalances (economic polarization, cultural/ethnic conflicts, demographic growth, urbanization).

The course's geographic scope purports to include territories from the former Ottoman empire, yet Iraq is listed while Israel is not even though both are post-Ottoman states. Instead, we find only "Palestine." Were the course titled "The Arab Middle East," the omission might be excusable, but it would not explain the inclusion of countries like Turkey or Iran, neither of which are Arab. In addition, if the absence of Jordan and Lebanon are meant to be subsumed under "greater Syria" (al-Sham), then "Palestine" should have gone unmentioned as well.

Though a reading list for HIST-161 Middle East II was unavailable at press time, lists for equivalent courses were: HIST-160 Middle East I and ARAB-201 (Intro to Islamic Civilization). Assigned books reflect a party line couched in postmodern theory and personal narratives, e.g. Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted. In contrast, some of the general survey books on early Islamic history assigned for ARAB 201 provide a thorough grounding, such as Fred Donner's Muhammad and the Believers, Gerhard Endress's Islam: an Historical Introduction, and Jonathan Berkey's The Formation of Islam.

With such a record, it is not surprising that one student has described Abi-Mershed's teaching style as

push[ing] a specific narrative on you. If you don't regurgitate exactly what you are told in lectures on your assessments, bless your heart. But don't expect a solid grade if you articulate your own thoughts.

Another had this to say:

He seemed more interested that you see the story his way rather than come to your own conclusions. His interpretation is basically that colonialism is the root of all the Arab world's problems, and it is based on gross generalizations about the colonizers. Not equally critical of the colonized.

Felicitas Opwis

Felicitas Opwis

Felicitas Opwis (Ph.D., Yale University, 2001) is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies (AIS) at Georgetown. Opwis's research focuses on Islamic jurisprudence and how the formulation of Islamic legal theory is related to intellectual discourse in other fields of Muslim learning. She has published one book, Maslaha and the Purpose of the Law: Islamic Discourse on Legal Change from the 4th/10th to the 8th/14th Century (Leiden: Brill, 2010).

In 2005, fourteen years after the term "Islamophobia" was introduced, Georgetown AIS chair Felicitas Opwis casually used it in an article to explains how a jurist and supervisor to Egyptian Shari'a courts interpreted the concept of "public interest" (Arabic maslaha): "His explicit aim was to refute the orientalist claim that sources of the shari'a were not flexible and adaptable to the development of society" (p. 210).[31]

That Opwis did not identify the Orientalist culprit illustrates how the term has become an epithet applied to anyone who studied the Middle East, Islam, and Arabic before it was transformed by Edward Said in 1978. Moreover, it underscores the patently false charge that Orientalists never understood the Muslim world, but rather feared and oppressed it simply through their curious Western gaze. The causal use of "Orientalist" reflects the assumption that Western academic analysis has become suspect and that only scholars of Arab heritage can claim cultural knowledge without being dismissed. Hence, what counts for good research is lineage, not intellectual rigor.

Bassam Haddad

Bassam Haddad

Bassam Haddad (Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2002) is an adjunct professor at Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS)and associate professor of government and politics and director of Middle Eastern Studies at George Mason University. He has authored and co-authored several articles on Syria.

A supporter of BDS against Israel, Haddad signed the 2014 letter by Middle East studies scholars and librarians supporting the academic boycott of Israel. He is co-founder of the rabidly anti-Israel, anti-American, George Soros-funded online magazine Jadaliyya. Founded, according to Haddad, as a scholarly "counter discourse" to standard news about the Arab Middle East, it in fact strengthens the dominant discourse in Middle East studies: America and the West, including Israel, are chiefly to blame for the region's ills.

Haddad was not so generous in his assessment of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA), founded as an academic refuge for scholars weary of the Middle East Studies Association's politicization. When ASMEA launched in 2008, Haddad told a reporter that it "is a protracted knee-jerk reaction that will always be viewed as a political response, rather than institution that is concerned with the Middle East." He added "It is a response, rather than an organic expression of a desire to learn."

Haddad's course MAAS-553-01 Orientalism & Terrorism, which he taught in the Fall 2016, carries these biases into the classroom. It is emblematic of the success of postcolonial jargon and the Saidian perspective at Georgetown (and MESA). Here the fight against Orientalism has morphed into a projection of "Islamophobia" onto all aspects of reality:

This course examines the connections between Orientalist discourse and the contemporary discourse on terrorism, with some emphasis on Islamophobia. The purpose of this course is not to elucidate any truths (with either a capital or lower-case "t"). Nor is this course concerned with "bashing" orientalists and orientalist writings or facile proclamations regarding "terrorism" or Islam. Rather, we will trace the construction of these discourses and identify their basic theoretical assumptions and practical implications for the world in which we live, with emphasis on the United States. As such, the course will ultimately transcend the current "war on terrorism" to address the local and global dynamics that reproduce these discourses. Understanding the relationship between "power" and "knowledge," between construction(s) of the "self" and perceptions of the "other," are corollary objectives of the course. Finally, we will attempt to understand the shift in contemporary Orientalist discourse from demonizing "Arabs" to demonizing "Islam." The historical narrative will emphasize the post-September the 11th discursive trajectory, with its various twists and turns, ending with the kind of Islamophobia we are witnessing today.

Bassam Haddad argues that the United States and its allies "rushed to fuel and hijack the Syrian uprising" because the Assad regime posed a "potential threat to Israel's military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine."

In addition to the course's postcolonial "corollary objectives" (power/knowledge and construction of self/other), the stated objective of the course, "to understand the shift in contemporary Orientalist discourse from demonizing Arabs to demonizing Islam," is key. The connection between Orientalism and "Islamophobia" has been years in the making. It was the logical extension of the Saidian narrative that the West "Orientalized the Oriental," feared what it did not understand, and oppressed with an analytical gaze. "Islamophobia," as expressed at Georgetown, was a natural outgrowth.

Consequently, as Haddad establishes the relationship between Orientalism and Islamophobia, and the relationship between "Islamophobia" and the discourse on terrorism, he paves the way for a transitive relation between Orientalism and terrorism. The transitive relation holds as long as the false premise is accepted and championed. For now, in Middle East studies programs, "Orientalism" is myopically analyzed as the root of all evils, including terrorism. That is how a deductive inference loses its validity in reality and how scholarship that derives its strength from false inferences yields false conclusions with no predictive power.

Emma Gannagé

Emma Gannagé

Emma Gannagé (Ph.D., University of Paris I Sorbonne, 1998) is an associate professor at Georgetown's Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies (AIS). Her research interests include the transmission and reception of Greek philosophy into Arabic; Arabic and Islamic philosophy; Arabic medicine and its relationship to philosophy; Arabic manuscripts. She has authored and co-authored several books and articles, including "Médecine et Philosophie à Damas à l'aube du XIIIe siècle : un tournant post-avicénien?," Oriens 39 (2011), p. 227-256, and Rethinking the Rise of Philosophy in Islam: al-Kindī and his Greek Sources. Vortrag an der University of California, Berkeley, 8. Dezember 2014.

Concepts of structural and social imbalance permeate ARAB-366 Islam and Identity, as taught by Emma Gannage in Spring 2016. With a background rooted solidly in ancient and medieval Greek and Arabic philosophy, Gannage is tasked with examining Islamic identity in different sociocultural contexts, including contemporary media:

Through a survey of Muslim and non Muslim sources from the 7th century down to modern times, the course proposes an evaluation of the cultural and religious shaping of Islamic identity. From the beginning and throughout history, Islam was in contact with others: Jewish, Christians, Zoroastrians. By exploring different narratives from the origin until today, the course will address the issue of representation and self-representation. How did Islam see itself? How did others see it? The purpose of the course is to expose the students to original primary sources (ancient, medieval and modern texts in translation as well as contemporary media) in order to give them a better grasp of the making of Islamic identity/-ies across the various historical developments and the different socio-cultural contexts. The course combines lecture with discussions stemming from the readings. Films and documentaries will also be solicited on a regular basis.

The course provides a notable opportunity to expose students to the attitudes of Islamic rulers to dhimmi ("protected minority") communities in their midst. From the description, for instance, one expects a critical analysis of the persecution of Christian Copts in Egypt, an examination of the pogrom in Iraq (known in Arabic as Farhud) against the Jewish population of Baghdad in 1941, and the socio-cultural context of the expulsion of nearly one million Jews from various Arab countries between 1920 and 1970.[32] Primary texts, photographs, and documentaries are an excellent way to "address the issue of representation and self-representation," and to capture the creation of "Islamic identity/ies across the[se] various historical developments." Indeed, the Iraqi Farhud of 1941 serves as an important "socio-cultural context" for understanding "how Islam saw itself" across a critical historical development in Europe, presaging the Wannsee conference and the Final Solution by only seven months:

[D]ejected swarms of soldiers, in concert with police, common criminals and nondescript mobs rampaged through Baghdad hunting for Jews. They were easily found. Hundreds of Jews were cut down by sword and rifle, some decapitated. Babies were sliced in half and thrown into the Tigris river. Girls were raped in front of their parents. Parents were mercilessly killed in front of their children. Hundreds of Jewish homes and businesses were looted, then burned.[33]

How did Islam see itself and how did others see it? Gannage's employment of primary sources and a seminar format that combines lecture and discussion is designed to meet the course's purpose of evaluating "the cultural and religious shaping of Islamic identity." However, the efficacy of the format depends on how closely the professor adheres to a party line that, as discussed previously, portrays both minorities and criticism of Islam/Muslims as a "structural and social imbalance." A reading list would be useful to gauge the tenor of the class, but Gannage does not assign textbooks.

Muhammad Kassab

Muhammad Kassab

Muhammad Kassab (Ph.D., Georgetown, 2009) is an adjunct instructor at Georgetown's Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies (AIS) and an "Arabic language specialist" at George Washington University. His interests include classical dialects of medieval Arabic, linguistic variation, methodologies of teaching, and the interaction between the Arab world and Western modernity as described during the medieval period and nineteenth century Arabic writings.

Georgetown offers a wide variety of language courses and they are less politically- and ideologically-driven, only because premodern text-based courses lend themselves less to political controversy, while the skills necessary for research and analysis are not readily available, even for native speakers. Conversely, courses that rely on modern primary sources are more easily subjected to politicization, since the material reflects the social, political, and personal issues of contemporary writers. Moreover, as with ARAB 340 Arabic Drama, the material is geared towards "increasing students' appreciation of Arab society," as opposed to study, analysis and critique. As one student disclosed in an interview with Campus Watch, many classes are "highly political" and afflicted by "a general anti-American tone." The student's very negative experience of ARAB-348 Map of the Arab World (purportedly an upper-level language course), as taught by Muhammad Kassab, is of particular note. The professor offered no syllabus, no office hours, and came off as "crazy . . . claiming to be neutral, but [he] would whisper in class when talking about Jews and Israel. His grading was arbitrary; it was not about quality of work, but rather, likeability." Clearly, in this case, politicization marred the student's classroom experience, learning process, and ability to achieve proficiency. This frustration has led some students to pursue self-study and off-campus classes. These are red flags of which prospective and enrolled students, alumni, parents, and university administration must be made aware.

Curricular Imbalances between Arabic and Hebrew Language Instruction

The Eastern languages division at the department of Arabic and Islamic Studies (AIS) is underdeveloped in comparison with Arabic and Islamic studies. Hebrew is offered as a language minor comprised of six basic language classes (Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced I & II)[34] and taught by one adjunct professor and one lecturer. With only two instructors, there is no director position for the Hebrew language and culture program, as there is for Turkish and Persian. In addition, beyond those noted above there are no course offerings related to Hebrew or at least none that are currently listed online. Hence, topics such as Jewish history, Jewish intellectuals, contemporary Israeli history and politics, and security issues in Israel are absent. Fundamental classes like INAF 725 - Comparative Politics of the Middle East, HIST 160 and 161, and JCIV-172-01 Israel: 1948 to the Present do not provide online links to Hebrew courses. They do, however, link to Arabic and the division's other language courses. Students minoring in Hebrew will find no links to study-abroad programs such as those found for Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, nor is there a helpful list of affiliated faculty or faculty with Israeli interests. Finally, there are no links to Title VI Department of Education FLAS (Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship) informing qualifying students of the opportunity.

The nascent Center for Jewish Civilization (CJC)[35] at SFS, an interdisciplinary program, does offer related classes; however, they are not associated with Hebrew on the AIS/Division for Eastern Mediterranean Languages page. Perhaps this is an unintentional omission, but the disparity between Hebrew studies and the other languages is clear. One can make the case for an expanded Hebrew curriculum, especially Biblical Hebrew, at an institution that prides itself on maintaining a religious tradition for over two centuries. As Jesuits continue to enrich the university through their work as scholars, researchers, administrators, chaplains, and counselors, a more robust Hebrew program is more in tune with the school's "commitment to spiritual inquiry, civic engagement, and religious and cultural pluralism."

In contrast to Hebrew courses, offerings related to Farsi and Turkish are plentiful and include links to various departments, such as history, international affairs, and security studies. Both Farsi and Turkish have developed into a robust "language and culture program" headed by a director and peopled with associated faculty ranging from associate professor, professor, research professor to adjunct. The two language programs are tied to nation-states and are conveniently linked to study-abroad programs in Iran and Turkey. By minimizing the footprint of Hebrew and Israel studies within the departmental curriculum, AIS's structure contributes to an imbalanced and distorted presentation of the people, religions, cultures, and politics of the current Middle East. The leads to a stark conclusion: Farsi/Iran and Turkish/Turkey have a rich history and a complex present worthy of attention, funding, and study. Hebrew is stateless.

Conclusions and Policy Recommendations

I. The jargon that has overtaken so much of the discipline of Middle East studies is an expression of politically- and ideologically-driven analysis that has become the norm. Islamophobia, pro-democracy Islamism, anti-Zionism, Israeli apartheid, Arab civil society, and the exceptionalism of the Palestinian case are false concepts that constitute the core of Middle East studies today and that are endemic to the Georgetown experience. Georgetown is a highly-regarded university with a star-studded Middle East studies faculty, and every distortion or fabrication that is passed on to students as scientific truth is done under the protection of academic freedom. One must cherish this freedom, but professors whose scholarship and teaching are marked by politicization and bias should be avoided by most students.

II. The permeation of postcolonial theory and aggressive Islamism into academia has given rise to politicized scholarship that yields little useful expertise to policymakers. From underestimating threats to national security to misrepresenting empirical data, the impact is considerable. Oversight or a large-scale audit by the Department of Education of federally-funded programs and national education resource centers under Title VI of HOEA is imperative if funding is to be continued. It is vital to be certain that public money used to fund Middle East studies at Georgetown is promoting non-partisan scholarship based on intellectual rigor. Efforts by Congress and private watchdogs must be strengthened to ensure transparency of the learning process while protecting academic freedom and the right to free speech.

In federally-funded programs, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin should be rigorously applied on college campuses if a group is singled out for harassment or intimidation that negatively affects students' rights to a normal academic experience.

As Western academic analysis has been deemed suspect, claiming cultural knowledge without being dismissed as an Orientalist is reserved for scholars of Arab heritage. At Georgetown, this is reflected in the types of classes offered, course descriptions, faculty hiring, scholarship, and classroom behavior. Adhering to the party line is encouraged with the litmus test being one's stance on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Conforming leads to opportunities for advancement, funding, publication, and good grades for students.

III. The structure of the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies at Georgetown lends itself to an imbalanced presentation of the Middle East and its people, cultures, religions, and politics. The distortion is further reflected in the curricula, course requirements, course coding, and cross-linking of courses on the campus schedule and the course descriptions from AIS and other departments (History, Anthropology, International Affairs); it is reiterated in the classroom with ideologically-driven professors that negatively affect the experience and grades of dissenting students.

At the same time, this biased view of the region has reaped substantial financial benefit to ACMCU. The sheer size of the $20 million Saudi largesse and the subsequent gifts for multi-year projects such as the Bridge Initiative buys considerable influence, while the consequences of this funding are unambiguous: it strengthens extant biases against America, the West, and Israel by providing both incentives against dissent and a louder voice for those in charge. This intellectual decline poses a danger for the future. What is the solution? What can be done with the Browns, the Abi-Mersheds, and all those who have been placed in charge of Saudi money? Beyond the legal issues in terms of compliance with Title VI, the imbalance creates a contradiction for students between the university's statements of inclusion, understanding, and tolerance, and incongruent actions at all levels—departments, programs, curricula, and individual professors.

Classroom bias and student-professor interaction should be tracked by systematic data collection based on end-of-course student evaluation forms that are similar to the existing external rating systems provided by such websites as, uloop, koofer, and others. Georgetown's internal rating and evaluating system will not suffice as long as students cannot complete evaluations anonymously and the collected data is not made public.

IV. Along with general anti-American sentiment, the new anti-Semitism permeates Georgetown's ACMCU, CCAS, and AIS programs. Ideologically-driven analyses and anti-Israel sentiments that are palpable in the classroom and assigned material harm the campus experience for many students. Course descriptions and instructors' political pronouncements reveal how these common, basic ideologies and prevailing jargon distort the curriculum by substituting politicized material for rigorous learning.

The distortion is further enhanced by student organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which promotes and strengthens the BDS movement against Israeli institutions of higher learning, businesses, and more. Consequently, Jewish students' rights and safety are not ensured. Language and behavior that students or faculty would not tolerate if directed against other campus minorities go unchallenged by administrators when directed at Jews. Given that verbal and physical assaults are part of SJP's agenda, university administrators must take an active role in preventing the group from turning hatred of Israel and bullying of Jews and other pro-Israel students into a legitimate tactic on campus.

What You Can Do to Help

Campus Watch respects the academic freedom of every institution. As a private university, Georgetown is within its rights to conduct its business as it sees fit, just as CW and other off-campus organizations are within ours to critique the school's practices and scholarship.

If the content of this report troubles you, we suggest contacting the administration and governing board of Georgetown to express your concern about the biased, politicized nature of Middle East studies at Georgetown and the harm it inflicts on students, legislators, policymakers, and (ultimately) America's national security. Should you wish to write a letter or call, we recommend that you be polite, brief, and to-the-point. The text below might serve as a model, but your own words will be best.

President John J. DeGioia
Office of the President
204 Healy Hall
37th & "O" Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057-1789
Tel: (202) 687-4134
Fax: (202) 687-6660

Provost Robert Groves
CC 650
Box 571014
37th & "O" Streets, NW
Washington, D.C. 20057
Tel: (202) 687-6400

Dean Joel S. Hellman
School of Foreign Service
301 ICC, Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057
Twitter: @joelhellman_SFS
Tel: (202) 687-5696

Dear __________:

I wish to call to your attention to "Islamists, Apologists, and Fellow Travelers: Middle East Studies Faculty at Georgetown University," recently published by Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. Its conclusion—that Georgetown now employs the most politicized, anti-Israel, anti-American, pro-Islamist faculty in the country—is extremely upsetting and a disservice to your university, its students and supporters, and your country.

Why is a venerable institution like Georgetown now home to faculty who support the dangerous ideology of Islamism, false anti-Zionist narratives, and Hamas-backed former CAIR executives? Why have you exchanged your birthright for gifts and influence from Gulf nations that persecute religious and ethnic minorities, support terrorism abroad, and inflict draconian punishments on their own populace?

Georgetown should take immediate steps to ensure that a plurality of views on these and other key issues pertaining to the Middle East are heard across campus. Faculty who spread toxic propaganda—such as Jonathan Brown's odious claims that slavery is justifiable—should be dismissed. No taxpayer dollars should be used to support such pernicious threats to peace-loving peoples here and abroad.

Appendix: Georgetown's Signatories to the Academic Boycott of Israel in 2014.

From the faculty of ACMCU, CCAS, and AIS:

  • John L. Esposito
  • Yvonne Haddad
  • Michael C. Hudson
  • Osama Abi-Mershed
  • Jonathan Brown
  • Judith Tucker
  • Fida Adely
  • Rochelle Davis
  • Elliot Colla (AIS chair at the time of signing)

From Anthropology, the Law Center, Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), Philosophy, English:

  • Lama Abu-Odeh
  • Susan Douglass
  • Elzbieta Gozdziak
  • Laurie King
  • Mark Lance
  • Mubbashir Rizvi
  • Christine So
  • Susan Terrio

In contradistinction to these proponents of boycott stand voices of normalization that are calling for a hard look inward, a real reform within Islamic culture, and recognition and cooperation with the state of Israel. It is noteworthy that authentic voices of pro-democracy, reform, and normalization in the Arab world are being sounded today not from the "Islamic activism" camp, as argued by Esposito and Voll. Instead they come from journalists, social scientists, activists, and authors who categorically refute the idea that "Islamic democracy creates effective systems of popular participation." Genuine voices that provide authentic snapshots of Islam and society include:

  • Kuwaiti activist Nasser Dashti, who asserts that "Islamic conquests constituted colonialism and the Arab mentality has been authoritarian, totalitarian and dictatorial."
  • Saudi author Said Al-Suraihi who openly talks about "The Ogre of ISIS Emerged from Our History Books."
  • Moroccan researcher Sanaa El Aji, who calls for criminalizing incitement and indoctrination in mosques against minorities and for reform of the school curricula.
  • Kuwaiti media personality Yousuf 'Abd Al-Karim Al-Zinkawi, who on April 9, 2016 in Al-Siyasa (Kuwaiti daily) called on all Arab and Muslim states to recognize Israel, openly and without delay, and stop calling it "the Zionist Entity" or "the Israeli occupation."
  • Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad, who posits: "In Fascism, Nazism, And Islam. . . Jews are like animals," and that "this hatred [of Jews] is poisoning us."

[1] Cf. Lisa Anderson (Columbia), "Politics in the Middle East: Opportunities and Limits in the Quest for Theory," in Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics, ed. Mark Tessler (Bloomington: Indiana Press, 1999), p.3.

[2] Cinnamon Stillwell, "Islamophobia Studies Coming to a College Near You," Independent Journal Review (May 18, 2016).

[3] It is noteworthy that of the 1,340 victims of an anti-religious hate crime, 62.4 percent were victims of an offender's anti-Jewish bias compared to 11.6 percent who were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.

[4] John Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p.198.

[5] John L. Esposito, "The Future of Islam," Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2001): 19-33.

[6] Abu Mus'ab al-Suri, "durus mustafada min al-tajruba al-jihadiya al-musallaha fi suriya" ("Lessons learned from the armed Jihad ordeal in Syria"), Combating Terrorism Center, West point, afGp-2002-600080.

[7] Lisa Anderson, Middle East Institute at Columbia, "Politics in the Middle East: Opportunities and limits in the Quest for Theory" in Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics, ed. Mark Tessler (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), p.3.

[8] Cinnamon Stillwell, "Why Saudi Prince Bin Talal Funds Middle East Studies in America," Campus Watch Blog (Feb 10, 2012).

[9] The Saudi prince achieved international notoriety when former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani returned a $10 million donation to the prince afterSeptember 11, 2001 because in the press release that accompanied his donation the Prince explicitly called on the U.S. to examine its Middle East policies that had caused the attacks in the first place.

[10] Harvard University (U.S.) Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program; University of Cambridge (UK) Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies; University of Edinburgh (UK) HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World; The American University in Cairo (Egypt) Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies; The American University in Beirut (Lebanon) Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research.

[11] Cf. review by Daniel Pipes, Middle East Quarterly, March 1996.

[12] Cinnamon Stillwell, "College Professors Defend Colleague Who Accused Israel of Harvesting Organs," Algemeiner (March 9, 2016).

[13] See Hamdani, World Harmony Lecture 1/21/16, "Islam, Pluralism and Islamophobia" (Vimeo)

[14] Ya'akov Meron, "Why Jews Fled the Arab Countries," Middle East Quarterly, September 1995, pp. 47-55.

[15] Subcommittee on Africa of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, Islamic Fundamentalism in Africa and Implications for U.S. Policy (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1993), pp.65-72.

[16] Michael C. Hudson, "Arab Integration: An Overview," in Middle East Dilemma: The Politics and Economics of Arab Integration, ed. Michael C. Hudson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), pp. 7-8; quoted in Martin Kramer, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001; second printing, 2002), p. 62.

[17] Michael C. Hudson, Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (Yale, 1977), p. 302; quoted in Kramer, p. 71.

[18] Shahid Hamid, "Civil Society in the Arab World and the Dilemma of Funding," Afaq al-Mustaqbal Journal (Oct 2010).

[19] Kramer, pp. 71, 74-76.

[20] Neopatriarchy: Theory of Distorted Change in Arab Society appeared in 1988 and was published in Arabic as al-Nizam al-Abawi (1989) and in French as Le Patriarcat (1996). It provided an alternative way to understand Arab society and has had a great impact on scholarly and intellectual circles in the Arab world.

[21] Hisham Sharabi, "A Look Ahead: The Future State of Palestine," in The Palestinians: New Directions, ed. Michael Hudson (Washington, D.C.: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, 1999), pp. 162-63.

[22] Sharabi, Ibid.

[23] Lois Gottesman, "Middle East Studies in the U.S. Combating Academic Anti-Semitism," Campus Watch in the Media (Fall 2004). Cf. Martin Kramer, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001), pp. 55-57.

[24] Michael Hudson, Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), p. 302; and Hisham Sharabi, "The development of PLO Peace Policy," in The Shaping of an Arab Statesman: Abd al-Hamid Sharaf and the Modern Arab World, ed. Patrick Seale (London: Quartet, 1983), p. 162.

[25] John Voll and John Esposito, "Islam's Democratic Essence," Middle East Quarterly 1, no.3 (Sept 1994), p. 11.

[26] Lisa Anderson, Middle East Institute at Columbia, Politics in the Middle East: Opportunities and limits in the Quest for Theory" in Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics, ed. Mark Tessler (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), p.3.

[27] Muslim sellers shall not be buried in a Muslim cemetery, they and their family members shall not be allowed to marry local Palestinians, and no guests may attend their weddings. Sellers will be put on black lists to restrict their travel to other Muslim countries. Finally, extrajudicial executions are sanctioned and have been carried out.

[28] The recurrence of phrases such as "Jewish supremacy" or "Jewish world domination" underscores the portrayal of the Israeli Jew as the Goliath, usurper, racist. Such slurs are de rigueur in BDS formulations as well as in all forms of delegitimization of the Jewish state, its system of governance, and its right to exist. The idea is steeped in centuries-old blood libels, particularly the Protocols of Elders of Zion commonplace in Islamist political discourse and Arab media.

[29] Andrew Harrod, "John Esposito Takes Islam Out of ISIS" American Thinker September 14, 2014, and cf. Richard Engel, Marc Smith and Tracy Conno, "The ISIS Files: What Leaked Documents Reveal About Terror Recruits," (April 18, 2016).

[30] Sam Harris, "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason," Book TV C-SPAN2 (11/16/05).

[31] 'Abd al-Wahhab Kallaf (d. 1956); "Maṣlaḥa in Contemporary Islamic Legal Theory," Islamic Law and Society, Vol. 12, No. 2 (2005), pp. 182-223. Maṣlaḥa is a concept in Islamic jurisprudence that means "public interest".

[32] Ya'akov Meron, "Why Jews Fled the Arab Countries," Middle East Quarterly (September 1995), pp. 47-55; accessed

[33] Edwin Black, "The Expulsion that Backfired: When Iraq Kicked Out Its Jews," The Times of Israel, May 31, 2016.

[34] While Hebrew is not a requirement for a minor or certificate, Arabic for a CCAS certificate is. On the face of it, much more leeway is given to students who are not proficient in Hebrew in Jewish Civilization than to students who lack proficiency in Arabic in CCAS. What emerges from this comparison is that the study of Israeli culture, religion, and literature is not tied to language study as is the case in AIS and CCAS.

[35] The CJC specializes in subjects ranging from American-Middle Eastern foreign policy as it pertains to Israel, to Holocaust and genocide studies, to Jewish-Catholic relations, to Jewish literature, culture, and religious expression. Judaism is examined as a religion and as a civilization in dynamic dialogue with other peoples and polities. Though open to students across Georgetown University, the clear majority of those who pursue a certificate/minor at the CJC come from the School of Foreign Service and Georgetown College.

[36] Especially interesting is hadith #44 on the power of the holy site of Jerusalem to force anyone who is plotting to harm a Jew or Christian to acknowledge their tyrannical behavior: "until he is known for his tyrannical behavior." Al-Wasiti's Faḍā'īl al-Bayt al-Muqaddas, ed. I. Hasson (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Press, 1979), p. 33.

[37] Mark S. Wagner, "Escape from the City of Brass," Telos 169 (Winter 2014), p. 178.

[38] Elements intent on dismantling Israel precisely because it "is, and always will be, the Jew among nations." Richard L. Cravatts, "Identifying Palestinian Anti-Semitism Is Itself Racist?" American Thinker (September 16, 2010).

[39] Cf. Austin Smith,New York Post, June 6, 2011 on Yale's closure of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism YIISA.

[40] The organization goes under other assorted names on some campuses, e.g. Palestine Solidarity Committee or Students for Palestinian Equal Rights. In Canada, some SJP chapters have adopted the name Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), or Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR). As the mouthpiece of the BDS movement, SJP is enjoying a Rico Statute-like system of invading American college campuses; its funding comes from unaware US taxpayers.

[41] SJP pronouncements reflect a close affinity with Hamas's principles against normalization with Israeli Jews or pro-Israel Jews. In an interview on the Lebanese channel Palestine Today TV on April 10, 2016, Gaza BDS activist Haidar Eid stated that BDS activists begrudge the Palestinian Authorities for permitting American peace groups such as One Voice, Seeds of Peace, and the Peace Alliance to operate in the West Bank and Gaza because "allowing such groups to operate in the Gaza Strip destroys the boycott campaign."

[42] Every year, to mark Israeli Apartheid Week, Georgetown's SJP chapter erects a mock wall in the ICC Galleria on campus. The wall features faux facts, diagrams, photos, and text "that document the rights that are routinely and institutionally denied to Palestinian citizens." During "Apartheid week" 2016 SJP hosted a conversation on March 15th on "why we use the term apartheid as it applies to Israel." Their guest speaker, Josh Ruebner, policy director of The US Campaign to End the Occupation, gave the keynote address of the week on "navigating the ways in which the apartheid label applies to Israel and why it matters."