Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Campus Watch Exposes Islamists, Apologists, and Fellow Travelers at Georgetown University - Campus Watch




by Campus Watch

"From underestimating threats to national security to misrepresenting empirical data, the impact is considerable."



Middle East studies faculty at Georgetown University have a reputation as the most radical and intolerant in the United States.

PHILADELPHIA – December 4, 2017 – A new Campus Watch report details how Georgetown University's Middle East studies faculty has radicalized in recent years to include not just the fellow travelers of previous decades but actual Islamist professors.

Islamists, Apologists, and Fellow Travelers: Middle East Studies Faculty at Georgetown University by Campus Watch, a project of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, exposes this alarming increase in anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-Western biases among professors, some Saudi funded, in the heart of the American capital.

"Georgetown's decades-long reputation as ground zero for apologists for Islamism is well deserved" said Winfield Myers, director of academic affairs at the Forum and head of Campus Watch. "But our research reveals alarming trends in its recent hiring and promotion of actual Islamist professors who propagandize for Islamist goals in their teaching and scholarship," Myers added.

As advisors to policymakers and politicians, Georgetown's faculty consistently misread the Middle East, as when John Esposito argued that Islamism was the surest path to democracy in the region, a theory proved false by events, for example in Egypt and Turkey. The report concludes that "the permeation of postcolonial theory and aggressive Islamism into academia has given rise to politicized scholarship that yields little useful expertise to policymakers."

The executive summary of the report is below. To read the full report, click here.

To read an article in today's Georgetown Review featuring the report, click here.


Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America, with an aim to improving them.

For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Winfield Myers, Director of Academic Affairs and of Campus Watch
Myers@meforum.org


Executive Summary


Georgetown University's various Middle East studies (MES) faculty have a reputation as the most intolerant, ideological, anti-Israel, and pro-Islamist in the United States. This detailed new Campus Watch report, Islamists, Apologists, and Fellow Travelers: Middle East Studies Faculty at Georgetown University, demonstrates that this reputation is well deserved, but recent hiring trends promise an even more radical future.


The old guard (clockwise from top left): John Esposito, John Voll (emeritus), Michael Hudson (emeritus), Hisham Sharabi (d. 2005), Yvonne Haddad, and Barbara Stowasser (d. 2012)

The problem began decades ago with the old guard, scholars such as Michael Hudson, John Esposito, and John Voll who were trained in the once-rigorous disciplines that make up MES –history, languages, political science, religious studies, and more. They advanced then-fashionable theories of Arab nationalism, Islamic democracy, and anti-Zionism. Willful blindness to systemic problems in the region supported a revisionist historiography that actively undermined the earlier MES work. That these scholars uncritically embraced Edward Said's deeply flawed book Orientalism (1978) revealed how deeply politicized MES had become. Georgetown faculty adopted Said's anti-intellectual, know-nothing approach of labeling Western scholars (whose erudition he could never hope to match) as racist, imperialist Orientalists.

Said's malignant postcolonial reading of the region so dominated Georgetown's faculty that by 2005, when Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bestowed $20 million on the school, the transformation was complete. But the prince's largess was not wasted: it gave Esposito, founding director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding (ACMCU), an enhanced platform from which to spread a pro-Islamist message. Thus did Georgetown become the country's leading center of Islamist apologetics. Then matters got yet worse.


The new guard (clockwise from top left): Jonathan Brown, Osama Abi-Mershed, Felicitas Opwis, Bassam Haddad, Emma Gannage, and Muhammad Kassab

The past decade saw a new guard, consisting not merely of fellow travelers of the old guard, but of authentic Islamists, ascend. Chief among these is Jonathan Brown, who became director of ACMCU upon Esposito's retirement in 2015. A convert to Islam who has defended the practice of slavery, Brown represents a new generation of disciplinary leaders who see themselves not as apologists for Islamism, but proselytizers for it. Others include Osama Abi-Mershed, Felicitas Opwis, and Emma Gannagé.

From its perch in the nation's capital, Georgetown's MES faculty wields great influence on every branch of government as expert advisors, as well as on the media. The result, as the Campus Watch report concludes, is that "the permeation of postcolonial theory and aggressive Islamism into academia has given rise to politicized scholarship that yields little useful expertise to policymakers." Yet, "From underestimating threats to national security to misrepresenting empirical data, the impact is considerable."

This dangerous situation should be unacceptable to all those connected to Georgetown University; they should take immediate steps to ensure that the university ends its role as an Islamist outpost on the Potomac.

Campus Watch

Source: http://www.meforum.org/7073/campus-watch-exposes-islamists-at-georgetown

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