Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

Bigotry and Academic Freedom
by Fawaz Turki
Gulf News
May 9, 2008

False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
False allegations of suppressing free speech

Campus Watch Responds:

In "Bigotry and Academic Freedom," Fawaz Turki accuses Campus Watch and Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes of persecuting academics who are critical of Israel, leading to "public villification and job loss." As he puts it (emphasis added):

The plan here, pursued by pressure groups headed by hard-right, Israel-can't-do-wrong nationalists like Daniel Pipes, Allan Dershowitz and David Horowitz, among others, is to go after their victims wherever they may be found in the world of academe, and turn their lives and careers into living hell. Pipes, for example, himself a former academic, runs an outfit called Campus Watch whose job it is to make sure that no professor shall utter an unkind word about Israel in a lecture hall.

In fact, Campus Watch, as indicated in our mission statement, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. Our work is not limited to Israel or the Arab/Israeli conflict. It encompasses an effort to bring objective scholarship back to the field of Middle East studies.

Rather than debating the subject at hand, Turki conflates criticism with censorship. In truth, adding one's voice to the cacaphony of viewpoints on Middle East studies does not threaten free speech, but rather, embodies the very concept.

In this case it is Turki, not Campus Watch, who is, as he so eloquently puts it, "going against the grain of what intellectual life - the free flow of knowledge and ideas - is all about."

(Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell)