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Isn't it time to take back our universities?

By Murray Soupcoff
web posted September 30, 2002

More and more evidence continues to accumulate about the rot accumulating in the ivory towers of academia in North America. And yet no-one seems inclined to do a thing about it.

For example, ponder this typical factoid. About a half year before September 11, one of the mainstream media's favorite academic "experts" on the Middle East, Fawaz Gerges, criticized what he called "the terrorist industry's" gross exaggeration of "the terrorist threat to American citizens." Obviously trying to demonize critics of Middle East terrorists, this noted academic -- who is educating future leaders of America at Sarah Lawrence College in New York -- even accused anti-terror experts of indirectly perpetuating an "irrational fear of terrorism by focusing too much on farfetched horrible scenarios."

Considering the far-fetched horrible scenario that unfolded in New York City on September 11, one would be inclined to put a lot more faith in the prognostications of America's anti-terror specialists than the wishful-thinking of this academic ideologue; but of course it's the likes of Professor Gerges who dominate the dissemination of "knowledge" about terrorism and the Middle East at universities right across America.

Or how about this outrage? On September 11th, Colorado College invited Hanan Ashrawi, the most visible defender of the Palestinian terror campaign against Israel, to address its student body in order to "provoke critical and engaged thought" among students on that solemn day (or that's how Colorado College president, Richard F. Celeste, explained this insulting initiative anyway). And that's just one of many similar inspiring commemorations of the September 11 tragedy that occurred on the nation's campuses. Not to mention the original ban on American flags on the Berkeley campus that day (later rescinded under the pressure of public outrage at the ban).

And finally the September 11 ivory tower piece de resistance. Not long after September 11, the student newspaper at San Diego State University (SDSU), the Daily Aztec, reported that an SDSU student was accused of "verbal harassment" after he criticized four Saudi students who were celebrating the Sept. 11th tragedy. Zewdalem Kebede, a native Ethiopian and naturalized American citizen, says he overheard the conversation in Arabic. "With that action they were very pleased," he told the newspaper. "They were happy. And they were regretting of missing the 'Big House' " -- obviously the White House, not the prison that some of the Saudi students' more overzealous countrymen will soon occupy.

Kebede reported that he approached the four Saudis and said to them, in Arabic: "Guys, what you are talking is unfair. How do you feel happy when those 5,000 to 6,000 people are buried in two or three buildings? They are under the rubble or they became ash. And you are talking about the action of bin Laden and his group. You are proud of them. You should have to feel shame."

The Saudis, who weren't named because they were designated as "victims" by the university, filed a complaint of harassment with the university police; and Kebede was summoned to the university's politically-correct Center for Student Rights star chamber. After giving his side of the story, he got a letter from the Center warning him "that future involvement in 'confronting members of the campus community in a manner that is found to be aggressive or abusive' will result in severe disciplinary sanctions." Just another sterling example of students rights on today's American college campuses.

Yes, there they go again (and again and again and again, ad nauseum) -- the post-modernist academic proponents of toleration, cultural understanding, American self-loathing and national suicide -- continuing to give our kids the kind of quality higher education which we know all the moms and pops of America have scrimped and saved to provide their beloved progeny.

Talk about a fifth column. The universities of America have become an ideological launching point for any international intellectual poison directed at the United States, Western civilization, or the basic principles underlying most constitutional democracies.

The saddest thing of all is that this nation-wide propaganda program in self-destructive "critical thinking" and political correctness is being enthusiastically funded by blissfully apathetic parents and state governments in the name of educating our young. In fact, parents, politicians and educators are frantically endeavoring to find new ways to expose more of America's budding youth to the glories of higher education. And this is happening at the very time that most higher education in the U.S. today -- especially in the arts and humanities -- has become a stealth weapon for morally disarming America's young adults, robbing them of all faith in the principles upon which the American republic was founded.

Whether it's elite private universities such as Sarah Lawrence College, Harvard and Stanford, or publicly-funded state universities such as San Diego State and Berkeley, America's centers of higher learning have been transformed into politically-correct, left-wing propaganda centers, spewing out the far-left's constant message of hate for America, glorification of its enemies and the need to tear down the foundations of traditional scholarship, learning and morality.

Is this really what private donors expect from the academy when they make their generous donations to Harvard or Stanford? Or taxpayers when their hard-earned money is used to subsidize this kind of "education" in state universities across the land?

Isn't it about time that someone said, "Enough!"

Isn't it time for Americans to take back their universities?

Murray Soupcoff is the author of 'Canada 1984' and a former radio and television producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also was Executive Editor of We Compute Magazine for many years, and is now the Managing Editor of the popular conservative Web site, Iconoclast.ca.

Other related stories: (open in a new window)

  • Censorship on campus? by Onkar Ghate (September 9, 2002)
    The college professors who are wailing about post-September 11 threats to their First Amendment rights are actually ardent opponents of free speech, writes Onkar Ghate
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