U.S. Colleges: Middle East Money Speaks to Silence Socrates
by LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET)
February 14, 2016
For over a decade, Muslim donors have made significant financial contributions to American educational institutions. Appearing philanthropic, they are anything but.
Used to create Middle Eastern and political science studies programs, the donations come with strings attached - only professors pontificating the donor's anti-U.S. brand of Islam are to be hired.
These schools willingly accept the brand, abandoning any effort to provide students with a balanced worldview, prostituting themselves for cash to donors' agendas. Socrates must be rolling over in his grave.
Author Andrew McCarthy assesses the situation as follows:
"It would be a mistake to say Middle East studies have been corrupted. For the program's very purpose has been to serve as a corrupting agent. Specifically, it puts the essence of study - the objective pursuit of knowledge - in disrepute."
McCarthy adds the objective pursuit of knowledge in these programs has been replaced with the "Islamization of knowledge" - i.e., the only relevant knowledge becomes that dictated by Islam as truth is irrelevant. They feed students a steady diet of "an amalgam of leftist and Islamist political dogma that masquerades as an academic discipline."
Some examples of the professorial mindset to which young student minds are subjected include:
- Rutgers University: Associate professor in media and Middle East studies Deepa Kumar, while participating in a social network discussion about Islamic State last March, tweeted, "Yes ISIS is brutal, but US is more so, 1.3 million killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan." When criticized, Kumar played the victim card, claiming her statements were taken "out of context" and "distorted" to "silence and intimidate faculty who have dissenting opinions on the U.S. government and policies in the Middle East."
- Also at Rutgers: Middle East studies professors reportedly talk about wiping Israel off the map.
- Northeastern University: Professor Muhammad Shahid Alam "demonizes Israel, delegitimizes Jewish history, and infringes on his students' free speech by shutting down any differing views."
- University of Missouri: Well-known anti-Israel University of California Los Angeles English professor, Saree Makdisi, was invited to speak while an effort to have an opposing viewpoint shared was rejected.
- Duke University: After the Chattanooga shootings left five U.S. military personnel dead, Director of Islamic Studies Omid Safi argued moral equivalence existed between this terrorist act and the accidental killing of civilians by U.S. drones.
Such a Middle East studies focus ignores history, transforming Arab villains into heroes. Among these "scholars" doing so is Edward Said whom, according to McCarthy, is "the seminal figure in modern Middle East studies" slandering knowledge itself, bestowing sainthood upon the late chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat. Said fails to tell "the rest of the story"-i.e., Arafat's links to terrorism or his embezzlement of hundreds of millions-possibly billions-of dollars found in his personal bank accounts upon his death.
Author Winfield Myers sums up how the Muslim hate agenda against the U.S. and Israel is packaged as "scholarly" work on campuses where universities have shirked their responsibility for ensuring academic discipline:
"We're now at a point in the history of Middle East studies wherein ‘scholars' of the region deny the obvious, ignore the infamous, and offer apologias in their never-ending effort to protect Islamists from the consequences of their actions while blaming the West for all the world's ills. Just when the West most needs insightful policy advice guided by expertise, it receives instead propaganda in the guise of scholarship to support its enemies. Seldom has any academic discipline so failed its duty."
Tunisian professor Hayet Ben Said believes an imbalance in teaching Islam launched Seifeddine Rezgui on his murderous rampage June 26, 2015 at a Tunisian tourist resort, killing 38 foreigners.
Ironically, as Tunisian families recognizing this imbalance send their children to international schools sparing them from such extremism, American parents are sending theirs directly into the lion's den of extremist thought.
The extent to which an anti-U.S. agenda has engrained itself in poisoning young minds - courtesy of greedy school administrators - is reflected in the "10 Top American Universities Most Friendly to Terrorists" - a report by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Lebanese American activist Brigette Gabriel of ACT for America has a name for universities accepting Muslim money in exchange for the subversion of truth on their campuses - "occupied territories."
Gabriel says parents sending their children to college to learn how to share in the American dream are not getting what they pay for.
While many schools, financially struggling, need the funds, most disturbing are those not financially needy still willing to sacrifice Socraticism for money.
Gabriel explains Muslim donors use a loophole in Title Six of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to force their poisonous and unchallenged worldviews upon the young minds attending our institutions of higher learning.
Originally intended as a vehicle for American students to learn about foreign cultures and languages to better educate those seeking careers in the diplomatic field, Title Six is now being abused by Muslim donors to supplant American values.
This is actually part of the declared policy of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to destroy America from within, using our own laws against us.
More worrisome, however, is, having met with such success on the college campus, Muslim activists are now doing the same thing in America's elementary schools. Why wait for college to corrupt young American minds when, they reason, the process can begin earlier.
Interestingly, while the NCAA was established to safeguard the wellbeing of student college athletes-monitoring academia to ensure universities do not compromise ethical standards to benefit them-no similar organization exists to ensure academia does not compromise its educational standards on behalf of donors. Yet, the failure to monitor such donations is far more damaging to the future of our country.
The expectation is that our universities will safeguard the time-honored teaching principles of Socrates. They are not, giving these Muslim-funded programs undeserved credibility.
Sadly, these "show-me-the-money" universities give new meaning to the old Russian proverb, "When money speaks, the truth keeps silent."
A version of this piece previously appeared on http://www.theblaze.com/
Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.