Our colleges and universities have not only become centers of anti-Americanism but are also becoming centers facilitating the stealth jihad - the gradual transformation of America into a theocracy subject to sharia (Muslim law). As they have already almost succeeded in doing, the Muslims are now in the process of taking over America without a shot being fired or a bomb going off.
Yesterday, I wrote about the stealth jihad, which has already turned Europe into Eurabia and destroyed its Judeo-Christian basis. And now it looks like America is starting down that same path to civilizational suicide. This conclusion is fully documented in Robert Spencer's important new book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs. In this column, I want to take up Mr. Spencer's ideas on our colleges and universities are now in the service of the stealth jihad, as explained in his new book.
Our institutions of higher learning have been transformed from educational institutions in the pursuit of disinterested inquiry to seek the truth into partisan machines of ideas and causes often antithetical to American democracy and American values. Mr. Spencer writes, "In control of the faculty and administration, from these positions of power, they have systematically undermined the historical educational ideal of free inquiry in favor of a relentlessly partisan agenda. Instead of teaching the dispassionate pursuit of knowledge, university students nationwide are now indoctrinated into a post-American ideology that denounces as 'racist' the criticism of any culture other than our own."
Once multiculturism is in control, there is a welcoming environment for the stealth jihad. Mr. Spencer writes, "Anti-Western professors, often backed by Saudi money, have turned Middle Eastern Studies Departments into propaganda mills for the view that Westerners themselves, and Americans in particular, are ultimately to blame for the actions of Islamic terrorists. Meanwhile, extremist Islamic student groups are not only tolerated on campuses, but are financially supported by guilt-ridden university officials."
These multiculturists, which seem to have respect for all cultures except their own, are often unwilling or unable to turn back the spread of Islamic supremacism in their own domain. If you don't have confidence in your own culture, it is hard to defend against a competing and invading culture.
You have to see this to believe it and to understand what is going on in our colleges and universities to undermine American values and our democratic institutions. This is an actual assignment given to students by a professor at Colgate University, Omid Safi. The spelling, punctuation, stylistic inconsistencies and grammar are as in the original, and in addition to the what the substance of the assignment tells you about the professor, his writing ability also tell you something about the professor, and his university:
"Critical reports on Islamophobes, Neo-cons, Western triumphalists, etc.: 3 pages each on. Include: a brief biography, intellectual history, and comments on Islam (and/or Middle East where relevant)"
"1) Bernard Lewis, 2) Samuel Huntington, 3) Fareed Zakaria, 4) David Frum, 5) Paul Wolfowitz, 6) Leo Strauss, 7) William Kristol, 8) William Bennett, 9) Daniel Pipes, 10) Charles Krauthammer, 11) Allan Bloom, 12) Robert Spencer, 13) David Pryce-Jones, 14) Stephen Schwartz, 15) Bat Yeor, 16) Jerry Falwell, 17) Pat Robertson, 18) Francis Fukuyaman, 19) Patricia Crone, 20 Niall Ferguson, 21) Robert Kagan, 22) Dore Gold 23) Ibn Warraq"
You'd think a professor at what is considered a high-quality university would get the spelling, punctuation, and grammar right. Even if he were wrong the first time, you'd think after a few years he'd finally figure out how to spell the words used in his assignment. And if he wants to criticize these authors, at least he ought to get the spelling of their names right. Mr. Spencer tried to help him out, by criticizing the one-size-fits-all nature of this enemies list. In response to that criticism, Professor Safi started adding this explanatory note: "This group is a broad coalition that includes folks from diverse backgrounds, such as unrepentant Orientalists, outright Islamophobes, Neo-conservatives, Western triumphalists, right-wing Christian Evangelicals, etc."
More fundamentally, by attaching labels to the list of scholars and others, he is drawing conclusions inconsistent with the free inquiry that is supposed to go on in a classroom. To call these people Islamohobes is a conclusion of the professor, but one that should not be thrust down the throats of the students.
The list shows Professor Safi is more interested in propagandizing and indoctrinating students than in educating them. Mr. Spencer writes, "Safi was not teaching his students to think for themselves; he was propagandizing, carefully molding their reactions in advance, and making it difficult for them to come to their own judgments as to whether or not those on the list did or did not fit his pre-fabricated categories. He wasn't allowing his students to evaluate on its own merits the monumental work of Bat Ye'or, or Ibn Warraq, or that of Samuel Huntington, or Patricia Crone. No, Professor Safi kindly did their thinking for them; the students were already instructed that the scholarly achievements of the people on Safi's list had no merit, for they were all merely a product of 'unrepentant Orientalism.'"
This instructional stance is also likely to intimidate students into taking positions in agreement with the professors, so as not to antagonize him.
It is incredible that such a professor could hold a job at even one university of the stature of Colgate. It is even more incredible that he is respected in his field of "Middle Eastern Studies" and soon earned a promotion, going to a more prestigious school, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But it is still more incredible that the kind of course offered by Professor Safi is not unusual in this field, and such courses are being taught at colleges and universities all over the country.
Perhaps even more incredible is that this kind of academic propagandizing and partisanship is dangerous and is conducive to the stealth jihad. That's because students in such courses and departments are brainwashed into thinking that any criticism of Islamic supremacism, violent or non-violent, is somehow "Islamophobia" or the like. This means as the stealth jihad proceeds, critics will be pressured into politically correct silence.
This kind of brainwashing and propagandizing of students is not confined to those taking courses in Middle Eastern Studies departments. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill again provides a perfect example. In 2002, all incoming freshmen were assigned to read an annotated version of the Koran entitled Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells. This version of the Koran gives only that part of the work that teaches relative tolerance and mutual coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims. It omits altogether the later parts of the Koran, which emphasize jihad and dhimmitude (subservience to Islam). Those two concepts supersede the earlier parts according to mainstream Islamic theologians. So the part of the Koran that has proven to be so oppressive to Christians, Jews and others is omitted altogether. Spencer argues that this omission is grossly misleading "about the nature of the religion as a whole and about their intentions and motives of Islamic jihadists, the very people who have made Islam such a hot topic for students."
Professors Safi and Sells are joined on the faculty at North Carolina University by another professor, Carl Ernst. He argues that of all of the images in America and Europe circulated about Islam, little can be found that is positive. He attributes this to the mechanism of projection, meaning that those in America and Europe are simply projecting their own negatives onto Muslim. In other words, 9/11 and the 10,000 terror attacks by Islamofascist terrorists have nothing to do with Islam's negative images in the West. We're all just projecting our own deficiencies onto the Muslims.
That tale of what goes on at North Carolina pretty much gives you the national picture. When America desperately needs academics and other experts who understand Islam and Islamofascism, we have mainly Middle East experts who are too busy running down America, hating America, and sanitizing Islamofascist terrorism. They are of service to our enemies but not to their country.
We have turned our great colleges and universities into propaganda mills and centers of hate-Americanism. They are employing professors, who wear the intellectual straitjackets of political correctness and multiculturalism, and they are turning out students who are trained to hate America and accept Islamofascism, and not to do any thinking on their own.
Bernard Lewis, the nation's foremost authority on Islam, summarized the status of Middle East Studies departments by saying they manifest "a degree of thought control and limitations of freedom of expression without parallel in the Western world since the 18th century and in some areas longer than that ... It seems to me it's a very dangerous situation, because it makes any kind of scholarly discussion of Islam, to say the least, dangerous. Islam and Islamic values now have a level of immunity from comment and criticism in the Western World that Christianity has lost and Judaism has never had."
There are multiple explanations of the seeming intellectual disease that afflicts Middle East Departments, but in large measure it can be explained by money for universities and professors flowing from the Middle East. MR. Spencer puts the matter in one crisp sentence: "Most important, an influx of huge amounts of money from Islamic donors has made it clear to scholars, academic departments, and entire universities that an outwardly pro-Islamic orientation will pay off in spades. The source of much of this largess is the plutocrat Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family."
Prince Alwaleed received worldwide notoriety when he offered a check for $10 million for a charity to aid relatives of the 9/11 victims. He offered the money noting that the U.S. must adopt a more balanced attitude toward the Palestinians because that lack of balance led to the 9/11 attack. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani rejected the $10 million saying there was no justification for the slaughter of thousands of innocent Americans. Mr. Giuliani had some moral fortitude. Unfortunately, institutions such as Harvard and Georgetown do not, and they take such money from the Middle East. And donors such as Prince Alwaleed seem to get their money's worth in terms of the teaching and writing of the departments and professors they finance. Many of our elite universities are little more than intellectual houses of prostitution on the take for money with or without strings and chains attached.
At the same time that professors follow the party line of their donors, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) fights for Islamization of America by indoctrinating students. The MSA has been linked with terrorist organizations, and Mr. Spencer says the student organization is a reminder of the close association between agents of the stealth jihad and agents of violent jihad.
At the University of Pennsylvania, the MSA gets funded by private donors, whose names are not disclosed, and by payments from the University coming out of student fees. So students have to finance the stealth jihad. Of course, the College Democrats and the College Republicans do not get such student funding. Perhaps that tells you something about the state of higher education and the University of Pennsylvania, which has money for financing jihad but not college Democratic or Republican organizations.
Mr. Spencer summarizes this outrageous state of affairs:
"If we are to win the war against the jihadists, we need to have a thorough understanding of their doctrine, history, and sources of inspiration. Sadly, the segment of America most suited to investigating these questions - academic experts in Middle Eastern Studies - has rejected this responsibility. Instead, it has adopted a politically correct orthodoxy that values 'tolerance' of non-Western cultures above any objective search for truth. The mere suggestions that jihadists' hatred for us is rooted in the Qur'an and other fundamental Islamic texts is simply not tolerated in academia. As a result, many American citizens as well as policy makers, continue to cast about in vain for a way to satisfy our enemies' grievances."
In my last column, which ran on Monday, I cataloged some steps to take to fight back against the stealth jihad. But on further thought, I think the most important step anyone can take is to read Mr. Spencer's book, Stealth Jihad. If you do, I'm convinced you'll not only wake up, but also start taking some of the steps recommended in his book. I would add one step not usually mentioned in the standard catalog. That is to stop contributing to these colleges and universities that seem to support forces that facilitate the silent jihad. For example, I would recommend against contributions to the University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Columbia University. I'd also highly recommend that you contribute to and support David Horowitz's Freedom Center (horowitzfreedomcenter.org), which has led the battle against the intellectual meltdown of colleges and universities. He is also the author of two important books on the subject entitled The Professors and Indoctrination U. I'd also highly recommend three other books related to the stealth jihad: Mark Steyn's, America Alone; Melanie Phillips' Londonistan; and Bruce Bawer's, While Europe Slept.
Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.