Sunday, April 09, 2017

No Honor at U. of Arkansas

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, dedicated to the study of the modern Middle East and the geo-cultural area in which Islamic civilization prospered and continues to shape world history. 

It had planned a conference on 'honorcide', the Islamic cultural blight known as 'honor killings':



You'll notice that Phyllis Chesler's name is included.

But she won't be speaking.

I have been informed* that three professors protested her inclusion, a Muslim student had 'promised' there would be Muslim group protests and trouble and that there were shattered windows at the Middle East Studies Center and at the current Director's home. Police came.

Seems the center got cold feet and caved in to the newest edition of fascist storm-troopers.

Phyllis was designated an "Islamophobe". And disinvited.

The death of free speech, free thought, and intellectual diversity at yet another campus, the University of Arkansas Law School?


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UPDATE

Official.  Prof. Chesler is off:




SECOND UPDATE

It was suggested to check online police reports for both the campus police and Fayetteville PD.  

I was informed that on April 8th, at 18:59, the Fayetteville Police Department has a “Code 7” on the street where the head of the Center resides.  Code 7 means “out of service for a meal break.”  However, at that street, there is no place to eat unless one has brought take-out. And why there of all places?

Since January 1, no police calls are registered in this neighbiohood.  Why would cops take a break there?

Could that be linked to a broken-window call at the home of the Center's director?

Seems to be no campus police report on broken windows.

Has there been a hush-up?

__________________

*
Please read this academic analysis which includes observations of the letter that got Prof. Chesler disinvited like


 stupefying polemic, its craven reasoning, and its complete disregard for academic integrity. 


and


The flabbiness of the thinking, the mechanical application of polemically defined definitional terms, the dogmatic assertions of closed positions, all reflect a tremendous decline in academic standards. No wonder there’s dissentophobia at King Fahd’s Center: anyone speaking intelligently would undermine the credibility of the credulous.

_________________________

Prof. Phyllis has now written about her experience here.

And she mentions Prof. Ted Swedenburg of whom I found this self-admission:


"One of the first days after I had moved to Nablus, in November 1984, I had an experience that has now become a daily routine for Israeli settlers in the West Bank. I was driving downtown, when suddenly, bam! the car shook under the impact of a heavy blow to its side. A Palestinian youth, whom I never saw, had darted out of an alley, hurled a large stone, and rapidly vanished. He only man-aged, luckily, to put a large dent above my gas cap and did not break the wind-shield, the usual goal of hurled stones. I guess he singled out my car as a target from all the others on that busy street because its yellow license plates and my appearance led him to believe I was an Israeli settler. (As the holder of a tourist visa, I had to register my car in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, so its yellow plates stood out amidst the distinctive blue-plated vehicles driven by West Bank Palestinians.) I was so shaken that I was ready to give up fieldwork and go straight home. My immediate thought was that I, of all people, should never have been stoned. After all, unlike those other Westerners one saw in the West Bank-the settlers, tourists, and embassy officials - I was a good foreigner, working in the best interests of the Palestinians. My response was typical of a mentality I shared with other Westerners who worked as teachers, journalists, or researchers in the occupied territories and sympathized with the Palestinians...We "good foreigners" practiced constant rituals of self-purification, designed to guarantee that we-unlike the settlers, tourists, and diplomats-were partof the Palestinian community. We spoke Arabic, dressed modestly (no shorts, low-cut blouses or wild haircuts), avoided tourist haunts, rarely ventured into Israel proper and, whenever possible, purchased Palestinian rather than Israeli products. We were often more obsessive about these latter practices than our Palestinian friendsMy point is not that these actions were incorrect, but that in so much as they demonstrated our radical difference from "other" Westerners, they allowed us to disavow our real connections to the centers of power." 




^

1 comment:

rlandes said...

the pathetic spinelessness of the organizers in the face of this intimidation speaks volumes on the decline of academia in the West.