In addition to groundbreaking articles and blog posts, the Middle East Forum's Campus Watch publishes frequent Facebook posts on the state of Middle East studies in the United States. For the benefit of those not on social media, we offer some recent ones here. To receive these directly, "like" the Campus Watch Facebook page. Follow Campus Watch on Twitter at @CampusWatchMEF.
Howler of the Month
Campus Watch's Howler of the Month is from Omid Safi, director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center, on the Iran nuclear deal:
The Iran of today is no longer the Iran of 1978-1979, and the United States is no longer the unrivaled military empire in the world. Beyond the realm of ideological shouting, both countries have come to realize the substantial need for mutually beneficial relationships. ("Duke Panel Presents Insider View of Iran Nuclear Deal," Duke Today, September, 3, 2015.)
See Campus Watch Howler of the Month archive.
Will Yale's $10 Million Saudi Grant Whitewash Islamic Law?
Abdallah S. Kamel
Saudi businessman Abdallah S. Kamel has donated $10 million to Yale University Law School to establish a center for the "Study of Islamic Law and Civilization." In doing so, Yale joins Harvard, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, and other American universities in accepting Saudi largesse that, experience tells us, often results in Middle East studies centers and academics producing apologias for Islamism.
In this case, the focus is on Sharia (Islamic) law, which, as noted by the Independent Journal Review, is "antithetical to the classical and modern liberal traditions of Western Civilization." The fact that Yale Law School Dean Robert C. Post described Sharia, a pre-modern, barbaric legal code that proponents are seeking to expand into the West, as having "a long and proud tradition, which encompasses great intellectual achievements" does not bode well.
We Couldn't Have Said It Better
From David French, National Review staff writer, on the controversy surrounding the teaching of Islamic history in Tennessee public schools:
There is great value in teaching children the history of the Islamic faith and its basic beliefs. If the public doesn't know who Mohammed is — much less the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam — it's much more difficult for them to understand the world and our jihadist challenge. There is no value, however, in skewing that instruction to be respectful of one faith and dismissive of others, including the Christian faith of the vast majority of the students. ("Can Tennessee Seventh Graders Be Required to Declare That There Is No God but Allah?" National Review Online, September 10, 2015.)
See Campus Watch "We Couldn't Have Said it Better" archive.
"If the horror on the Austrian motorway should invoke anyone's fate, it is that of six million exterminated Jews, not five million living Palestinians," writes Kramer.
In "The Original Truck People," Commentary, August 31, 2015, Martin Kramer writes:
Last week, the decomposed corpses of 71 migrants were discovered in an abandoned truck on an Austrian highway. For University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, Israel-despiser of long standing, this evokes the fate of the Palestinian refugees. But for anyone who knows history, it immediately recalls the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jews who were crammed into 'gas vans' and asphyxiated by the Nazis on the highways, byways, and loading docks of Europe. I elaborate.
Omer Aziz , "Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia, and Their Gift to Yale," The Huffington Post, September 18, 2015.
Michael Rubin, "Educators, Don't Let Yourselves Be Used by Middle Eastern Autocrats," Commentary, September 16, 2015.
David Romano "The big questions: Life and Death in the Middle East," Mind's Eye, August 30, 2015.
Campus Watch is a project of the Middle East Forum.