US universities need to be redefined. This is a fairly urgent matter. it is one thing for the universities to become fundamentally different things than they have traditionally been, but it is quite another to allow them to be thought of and treated as bastions of intellectual freedoms and debate, of places where unfashionable ideas are allowed to be examined and debated for their actual merits, and most importantly, of the inheritors of our Greek intellectual heritage.
Please see these two examples of the new agenda and modus operandi of American Universities from this week alone.
This evening at NYU I witnessed an act which was both disturbing and appalling. Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, an erudite scholar on Islam and patriotic defender of our freedom was giving a talk on the ever-growing threat to the West of Islamists. In the midst of describing the ends of Jihad as promulgated by one of the foremost radical Islamic scholars of the 1970s, a grungy looking fellow stood up and yelled at Spencer “Should we just go bomb all the Muslims!?” and attacking him with other vitriolic and hysterical words. In creating this diversion, a couple members of the audience ran up and threw pies at Mr. Spencer and another panelist. The campus authorities quickly intervened, and as the officers dragged the cowards away from the stage, another (presumably accomplice) student filmed the the officers on his phone. Luckily, Spencer and his fellow panelist Elan Journo ended up largely unscathed.
This whole scene characterizes where we are in America today. A man gets attacked for merely repeating the words of a Muslim radical. Worse, American students are planted in auditoriums all across this country ready to quash any free speech that is not to their liking. This is especially dangerous when it comes to matters of Islam, because as Spencer later argued in his speech, by not allowing criticism of the religion, and worse censoring free speech, we are elevating Islam above our own culture. This plays right into the hands of the people who wish to impose Sharia law over us. How ironic that the leftists in this country are the useful idiots for a Jihad movement that wishes to crush all tolerance. Finally of course, it is most likely the police who will be in trouble because of a video probably bound for YouTube as we speak which will show the officers violently hauling out the innocent and naive college hippies.
For the rest of this article please click here:Here is a speech by Robert Spencer just so we all know who he is and what he might of said at NYU
And at least as insidious, perhaps more perhaps less, the difference is merely tactical. Is it worse to allow someone to speak to a degree then attack them in the manner above, or to make sure at the last minute that they do not get to speak at all:
In our time, a speaker must face a gauntlet of hostility and a menacing crowd if she wishes to speak in favor of Israel or to tell the truth about Islam.
That’s if she’s lucky. Most such speakers never get invited or when they do, their invitations are canceled.
Nonie Darwish, the author of Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law and Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror, has faced on-campus hostility and disruption before. Over the years, I have interviewed her about this a number of times. Like many of us, she has also sometimes been forced to have security guards with her when she speaks.Phyllis Chesler and Nonie Darwish
This time, Nonie, who is the founder of Arabs for Israel, was invited to speak at both Columbia and Princeton. The official invitation at Columbia came from the very distinguished CAMERA, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), and from a new student organization there: Campus Media Watch, a group which is not yet quite up and running. Darwish flew from the West Coast, and was already all dressed up and ready to travel to Columbia when she got word that she’d been canceled.
“How humiliating is that? To come all this way, to be almost out the door, only to be told that they had to cancel my speech because campus security felt they could not protect me. Everyone is trying to blame someone else. Even the campus Republicans were afraid to sponsor me. SPME kept trying to fix it, but in the end, they could not.”
True, in 2006, President Ahmadinejad of Iran was not able to speak at Columbia because the notice given was too short. However, in 2007, Columbia University was able to provide security for him. And yet they could not provide it for Darwish. In 2006, Holocaust-denier Norman Finkelstein spoke at Columbia and in 2009, anti-Zionist, Israeli journalist Amira Hass spoke at Columbia–both without incident. Neither speaker was canceled. Next week, Noam Chomsky is speaking there. In Darwish’s view, “I doubt Chomsky will even need any security.”
Thanks to SolsticeW13 for hipping me to the Darwish story