This is to be looked at in a wider context on what is happening inside the university and colleges campuses across the United States.
Sharia based, and sharia -like influences by the Islamic-Leftist nexus on free speech.
On April 13-15, the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas held a symposium on so-called “honor violence,” as exemplified by honor killings, forced marriage, and other such delightful acts. I’ll get back to this – but first of all, am I the only person who still finds it jarring to see words like “King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies” in the same sentence as words like “University of Arkansas”?
The most impressive sign of all was that one of the individuals invited to participate in the Arkansas symposium was Phyllis Chesler, who has researched honor violence extensively and may well be the world’s foremost expert on the topic. Chesler, a psychotherapist and bestselling author whose name will be familiar to readers of this site, is a remarkable figure in many ways – one of the marquee names of second-wave feminism, a co-founder of such groups as the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women’s Health Network, and a founding mother of Women’s Studies.
But Chesler’s principal offense has been her recognition – and her readiness to say out loud, notably in The Death of Feminism (2005) – that the systematic misogyny she has spent her career decrying reaches its apex in Islamic cultures, and that all too many of her former feminist allies, motivated by a misguided multiculturalism, refuse to address this fact. Indeed, while today’s feminist establishment has a problem with Chesler’s criticism of Islam, it has no trouble welcoming into its ranks pro-sharia Muslims such as Linda Sarsour (a leader of the recent Women’s March in Washington).
It was, therefore, refreshing – shocking, actually – to learn that a Center for Middle Eastern Studies named for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia had invited Chesler to take part in a symposium on honor violence. Had the world suddenly gone sane?
Alas no. In an anonymously leaked e-mail sent to Thomas Paradise (yes, Paradise), head of the Fahd Center, three Center faculty members – Joel Gordon, Ted Swedenburg, and Mohja Kahf – slammed Chesler as “a prominent Islamophobe” who expresses anti-Muslim “bigotry,” commits “hate speech,” and has been published by “the ultra-right Breitbart forum” and other “right-wing platforms.” (It’s true that, of late, Chesler has written less often for leftist than conservative outlets, this one included: she’s done so because the latter tend to be far more open to a diversity of views than the former.) Chesler’s views, the three Arkansas professors wrote, were so far out that they simply could not be “tacitly accepted as part of the discourse.” But then, what else can you expect from lackeys of a foreign government that exerts severe and (when necessary) violent control over “the discourse” – in addition to denying religious freedom, imprisoning dissidents, and executing gays and apostates?