Hat tip American Thinker and Campus Watch
"Perhaps George Washington University professor and MESA president Nathan J. Brown can explain to the public why the organization he leads is lending a platform to a radical Islamist organization."
Cinnamon Stillwell has an informative article in American Thinker that reports on an upcoming conference in Washington DC. The event is being hosted by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), which is hosting a reception for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). The latter organization's name came up in the 2007 federal trial of the Holy Land Foundation involving funds being funneled from Islamic charities to overseas terrorist groups.
Middle East Studies programs in American universities are problematic in that they overwhelmingly portray an uncritical portrait of everything Arab/Muslim while having an anti-Israel agenda. That hardly fits my definition of true scholarship. In short, they have an agenda, which in itself, runs counter to good scholarship.
Just a glance at the list of names linked to IIIT shows their ideological bent. It also calls into question the federal funding that goes into Middle East studies at American universities. There is nothing wrong with universities teaching students about this critical (and dysfunctional) part of the world that threatens to drag the rest of the world down into its cesspool of hatred and violence. To do so from the biased point of view of the cesspool itself is not scholarship. It is indoctrination.
And to make matters worse, MESA is legitimizing an organization (IIIT) that has links to the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamists. I await Nathan Brown's answer to Stillwell's challenge.