It seems that USC now stands for "Under Sufist Control."
As somebody who has his MBA from the University of Southern California, it is of deep concern to see a proud university sink to what math classes referred to what kids now call Liquid Crystal Display.
A recent symposium on campus was entitled "Islam and Nationalism: Transnational Charisma and Traveling Spirits."
Liberals scoff when I point out that they want to sing "Kumbaya" with people who want to kill us. For those born after 1990, the left wants Osama Bin Laden and America to settle their differences on "Dancing with the Stars."
The key word to this conference was "charisma." Radical Islam inspires many images, but Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are not part of the equation. Only a university symposium would suggest otherwise.
The main event at this gathering was Professor Laurie A. Brand, the current director of the University of Southern California School of International Relations. Among her qualifications is a degree in French. I went to Hebrew school as a child, and look forward to being the ambassador to Mozambique.
Five small tables were set up for the throngs, but even with lunch being served, there were empty seats.
The flyer for the program itself offered food for thought, if one defines thought as a deep sleep.
"The Arabic word for charisma, baraka (the source of our president's name), refers to a god-given power to lead people on a holy struggle for liberation."
"While Islamic liberation has reached the West primarily as a war against 'American imperialism,' it is also present in such disparate practices as Sufi dances and whirling dervishes, the spiritual quest for transcendence."
Oh, those adorable, graceful Islamists, elegantly whirling and dervishing their way into our hearts and universities. Maybe they truly are trying to kill us with kindness, but 9/11 suggested otherwise.
It is easy for Ms. Brand to be the whirler-in-chiefat UCLA. In the Islamists countries she would have her limbs cut off for being an outspoken woman at the moment she twirled. Islamists prefer their women do less whirling dervishing and more indentured servicing.
As for the "substance" of this surprisingly brief event, it consisted of standard thinly veiled excuses for the poor misunderstood Islamists.
One misunderstood group were the "Tar-tars," a saucy group which have been spread out throughout history on fish and chips.
Ms. Brand began offered Tar-Tar saucy words that were not even the fifth cousin of wisdom.
"Tar-Tar's made a point to those willing to listen that they weren't like the Huns."
"Buldars, the ancestors of the Tar-Tars, converted to Islam voluntarily."
"They take pride that Islam wasn't foreign conquest but instead voluntary."
Conversion to Islam is not necessary. We infidels can be killed. Now if that is not the freedom of choice that the Founding Fathers fought to preserve, I don't know what is.
As with anything else, these conferences would not be complete without the obligatory worship of everything politically leftist.
"Communism can be a fit, and should be a fit for Islam too."
After that came USC Professor of Anthropology Janet Hoskins and USC Assistant Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity Macarena Gomez Barris.
She is not believed to be the same Macarena Gomez who appeared in the movie "Sexykiller," found on the website "Terror Hotties: Women of Horror." Nevertheless, she is most likely the most terrible Macarena Gomez on campus, and her remarks were horrid enough.
Ms. Hoskins and Ms. Barris offered the typical remarks about the European colonizers and the poor Arab and Muslim victims. Great pains were meant to differentiate Algeria, which was violated by the French, to the poor British Empire victims of Egypt and Jordan. Lebanon was mentioned in passing, but colonization of Lebanon by Syria was shockingly omitted.
Ms. Hoskins did ask an important and refreshingly honest question.
"How do we reproduce history if we don't have archives from the past?"
Honest answers were not forthcoming. The solution was to blame the French. After all, evil colonizers destroyed the true history.
Yes, the poodle ate their homework.
Despite Macarena Barris awkwardly dancing 1990s style , she did offer another honest sentence that provided the real glimpse into the thinking of campus "historians."
"Narratives don't change much, yet are not fixed."
A more truthful interpretation can be offered by those admired Communist Russians. They are fond of saying, with regards to their historical narrative, that "The future is known. It is the past that is always changing."
A less fancy way of explaining this is that when it is difficult to create a narrative, just create a narrative.
This is how students learn that peaceful and tolerant Muslims were abused by Huns and other European crusaders.
No. The problem is the caped crusaders. They are not Batman, and the only Joker gave this lecture. Like Gotham City, our campuses will not be safe until students learn that there is nothing romantic or culturally beautiful about radical Jihadists. There are no dervishes. The only whirling consists of the trajectory of the planes into our towers.
USC might wish to teach that lesson. No more "Dancing with the Tar-Tars."