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Washington Post's article on Middle East studies

Reader comment on item: [Michael Barkun on] Old Conspiracies, New Beliefs

Submitted by Steve (Canada), Jan 13, 2004 at 11:51

Subscribing to Dr. Pipe's newletter, and having read the article in the Washington Post he pointed out, it struck me that either he didn't defend his position well enough, or the writer chose poor quotes.

The issue for Campus Watch and other watchdog groups is not, as the Post's headline says, left wing bias on the part of Middle East Studies. Rather, it is anti-Americanism (and anti-westernism) bordering on sedition, and that it is they, not Campus Watch, who act as "thought police," coercing students, and even professors, into supressing dissent.

The article failed to express the concern that Middle East Studies departments are under undue Arab and Muslim influence and, consequently, aim to convince students that, one, US imperialism is to blame for the Islamists' hate of the US and motivates their terrorist attacks against her; and, two, terrorists are comprised of rogue groups largely acting on their own, whose threat to the US is greatly exaggerated. That Middle East professors and their departments are, generally, apologists for terrorists and propagandists on their behalf and that of Arab states that fund and support them did not come across in the article.

So, while it is good to see that the media no longer takes at face value that Campus Watch is an intellectual stalker, there is still much room for better appreciation of its raison d'etre and stand.



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