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Arab Professor Under Scrutiny

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  • ummyakoub
    KHALIDI STAYS FOCUSED ON ACADEMICS Josie Swindler, Columbia Spectator, 2/6/04 http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/02/06/402364 547f5ba A
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 23, 2004
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      KHALIDI STAYS FOCUSED ON ACADEMICS
      Josie Swindler, Columbia Spectator, 2/6/04
      http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/02/06/402364
      547f5ba

      A year after he accepted the position and a semester after he began,
      Rashid Khalidi, the inaugural Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies,
      has not yet escaped the controversy surrounding his new role.

      Khalidi, also the director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia,
      has been under scrutiny for years. That scrutiny only intensified
      when Columbia hired him last July. Deemed too radical by his
      opponents and lauded as a scholarly genius by his supporters, Khalidi
      has faced opposition from many in his field and in the press who
      question the circumstances surrounding his chair.

      Many challenged the initiation of an Edward Said chair, calling the
      recently deceased Columbia literature professor too radical. During a
      brief teaching stint at Columbia in the 1980s, Khalidi had befriended
      Said, but emphasized that "he had very little to do with the Middle
      East field at Columbia."

      Other criticisms cite the chair's anonymous donors and a University
      announcement saying donor names would not be disclosed...

      Nearly a year ago, after multiple requests, Dean of the School of
      International and Public Affairs Lisa Anderson said the names of
      donors would be released shortly. The names, however, still have not
      been disclosed.

      Brinkley wrote in an e-mail Wednesday that the University has
      contacted each donor about name disclosure. "That has taken a great
      deal of time, but we will be releasing the names soon," he said.

      Khalidi, tired of what he called "unfounded falsehoods"
      and "ridiculous, wild allegations," refused to comment, saying only
      that the business aspects of his chair should be taken up with the
      University's administration...

      -------------------------------

      ASK YOUR SENATOR TO DEFEND ACADEMIC FREEDOM

      (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/13/04) - CAIR is urging American Muslims and
      other people who value academic freedom to contact their senators,
      particularly members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education,
      Labor, and Pensions, to express opposition to the creation of an
      International Studies Advisory Board that could be part of the Senate
      counterpart to H.R. 3077, the Education Reauthorization Act now being
      drafted by the HELP Committee.

      Section 633 of the Education Reauthorization Act calls for the
      creation of an advisory board consisting of at least two appointees
      that represent national security agencies overseeing curricula,
      course materials and the recruitment of faculty that accept federal
      government money for international studies. While Asian, African,
      European, and Latin American area studies programs will be affected,
      Middle Eastern studies programs are the real target of the advisory
      board.

      The advisory board could serve to stifle academic freedom by
      suppressing any views that are not viewed as supportive of Israel and
      in line with Muslim-bashers like Daniel Pipes, who has been actively
      pushing for the oversight board.

      Pipes faced a storm of criticism when he launched Campus Watch, a web
      site that included "dossiers" on professors and academic institutions
      thought to be too critical of Israel or too sympathetic to Islam and
      Muslims.

      In a January 13th Washington Post article, Pipes claimed "Middle East
      studies have not served us well" and that the board will serve
      to "....supervise the distribution of government fundsÂ…..of what he
      considers to be the radical Middle East studies lobby centered in
      universities such as Columbia, Georgetown and the University of
      Chicago."

      H.R. 3077 passed the House floor with little notice of academic
      freedom concerns.

      "At a time when Congress is pushing for democracy and academic
      freedom in the Middle East, it is critical that we uphold these
      values in our own universities," said CAIR Governmental Affairs
      Coordinator Hasan Mansori.

      ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE and RESPECTFUL.)

      Contact the Chairman of the HELP Committee today and ask that section
      633, which creates the advisory board, be removed from H.R. 3077 in
      the Senate bill. Send copies of correspondence to the other members
      of the committee.

      CONTACT:

      Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH)
      Chairman
      Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
      428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
      Washington, DC 20510-6300

      TEL: (202) 224-5375, Majority Staff: (202) 224-6770, Minority Staff:
      (202) 224-0767 FAX: (202) 228-5044

      E-MAIL: greggstaff@...
      COPY TO: cair@...

      2) Contact the committee member who represents your state and ask
      that section 633 be removed from H.R. 3077 in the Senate bill. Send
      copies of correspondence to the other members of the committee.

      LIST OF OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
      http://health.senate.gov/committee_members.html

      Contact Information for the committee:

      428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
      Washington, DC 20510-6300
      (202) 224-5375 - voice
      (202) 228-5044 - Fax
      Majority Staff #: (202) 224-6770
      Minority Staff #: (202) 224-0767
      *********************************************************************

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