In an article at the Tower, Campus Watch Fellow A.J. Caschetta questions the ethics of American Middle East studies professors who attended a conference this month chaired by former Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member Sami Al-Arian and held—with the approval of Turkey's authoritarian Islamist regime—at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University.
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Al-Arian's sordid legal history includes being charged with contempt, spending several years in prison, and deportation to Turkey in 2015 as part of a final plea agreement. Welcomed as a hero by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's lackeys, he is director of the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and professor of public affairs at Istanbul Zaim University. The Americans' participation in the conference legitimizes both Al-Arian and, more the point, the brutal government he supports.