Controversial remarks by a University of Denver professor who blamed Israel's Mossad for the attack on author Salman Rushdie has prompted Republicans to probe pro-Iran propaganda in US colleges.
Lawmakers associated with the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest Republican caucus in Congress, are set to launch oversight investigations into schools like the University of Denver to root out "anti-Semitic and anti-American conspiracy theories."
Indiana representative Jim Banks, the RSC's chairman and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Free Beacon that "Anti-Semitic and anti-American conspiracy theories are now widespread in universities and poisoning students' minds," stressing the need for oversight on professors promoting the Iranian regime's anti-Semitic propaganda and reforming the higher education.
His remarks came after Nader Hashemi, the director of the Denver University's Center for Middle East Studies, said this week during a podcast that Rushdie's alleged attacker, Hadi Matar, could have been persuaded to carry out the attack by Mossad agents posing as members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which reportedly were in contact with Matar prior to the near-fatal stabbing.
He said a "much more likely" scenario for the attack revolves around Matar's supposed communications "with someone online who claimed to be an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) supporter and lured him into attacking Salman Rushdie. And that so-called person online...could have been a Mossad operative."
Representative Greg Steube from Florida, a member of the RSC and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described Hashemi's remarks as untrue and especially dangerous to pro-Israel students on campus, saying, "Propaganda from the Iranian regime has no place on American college campuses."