Recently Patrick Farrell, the chief academic officer the University of Wisconsin, decided to retain professor Kevin Barrett's course after reviewing the teacher's planned his plan and qualifications.
Barrett is a part-time instructor and has a doctorate in African Languages and Literature and Folklore from UW-Madison. He required students to buy his essay for his course; the essay came under scrutiny because it argues that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9-11 attacks and it likens President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.
Barrett's essay is a part of a $20 book containing essays by 15 authors, according to an unedited copy first obtained by WKOW-TV in Madison and later by the Associated Press. This book titled "9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Jews, and Christians Speak Out." Barrett is also a member of this group "Scholars for 9/11 Truth"; in this group, the members say, "U.S. officials, not al-Qaida terrorists, were behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001," according to an article on CNN's Web site.
In his essay, Barrett compared the 9-11 attacks to the burning of the German Reichstag, the parliament building, in 1933. In his book, he wrote: "like Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis inaugurated their new era by destroying an architectural monument and blaming its destruction on their designated enemies."
Barrett claims that he is not comparing Bush to Hitler because he says Hitler's IQ was 20 to 30 points higher than Bush's. He is just comparing the Reichstag fire to the demolition of the World Trade Center, he said.
Barrett also required his students to read "Islam: Religion and Culture" and "A Clash Between Justice and Greed" which argues the conflicts between Islam and the western world were made up after the "collapse of the Soviet Union to justify U.S. ‘defense' spending, and to provide a pretext of controlling the world's resources." Barrett said: "Part of the role of any challenging course here is going to encourage students to think of things from a variety of perspectives."
Moira Megargee, the public director the publisher interlink for Northampton and Massachusetts said the book is due out at the end of November and the editing is not finished.
"It is not final and for all we know that essay may not be in the book or may be edited," Megargee said. The University's decision to allow Barrett to teach the course touched off a controversy over the summer once his views became widely known and Farrell approved the class.
"He has not seen the essay, but faculty can assign readings that may not be popular to everyone," Farrell said in an article on CNN's website. He warned Barrett to stop seeking publicity for his personal political views.