Of all the things that send anti-Israel academics into hysterical fits of self-righteous pique, the suggestion that someone might actually fact-check them is among the most reliably amusing and revelatory. Only someone who's afraid that their smug accusations will be exposed as propaganda could brand as "McCarthyist" the suggestion that students ought be allowed to pass on transparent anti-Israel slanders - a problem quite distinct from academics' justifiable concerns about the prevalence of cell phone cameras in the classroom being used to smear professors. The latter is a tangled issue having to do with classroom environments and individual teachers' ethos. The source of the wide-eyed delusions of persecution, however, is much more simple. As Cinnamon Stillwell just pointed out on the CW blog, these academics are often sympathetic to jihadism and lying about it:
Counterterrorism specialist Steven Emerson and Muslim Public Affairs Council communications director Edina Lekovic. .. appeared on CNBC's Kudlow & Company on May 23 to discuss a "Pew Research Center poll on U.S. Muslim attitudes." The segment soon turned into a debate revolving around Lekovic's stint as managing editor for Al-Talib: The Muslim Newsmagazine at UCLA, which... ran an editorial praising Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden as a "freedom fighter."...
Predictably, Lekovic denied her involvement with Al-Talib and maintained this line even as Emerson produced proof later that day... As for Al-Talib, the editorial praising bin Laden is only the beginning... Al-Talib has linked to an Al-Qaeda website, www.qoqaz.net, and is published by the branch of the Muslim Student Association at [UCLA]...
It turns out that UC Berkeley Near Eastern studies lecturer Hatem Bazian also has a connection to Al-Talib... Bazian... has a history of radical statements (his call for an "intifada in this country" being perhaps the most notorious)... The New York Times, in an article on the emergence of American-born imams, quotes Bazian.
In the NYT's defense, Bazian is an academic - what could be wrong with quoting a man of such undoubtedly laudable qualifications and sensibilities?
* UC Berkeley's Hatem Bazian a Contributor to the Bin Laden-Praising "Al-Talib: The Muslim Newsmagazine at UCLA" [CW Blog]