Last month, Dateline ran a story on the US-based Campus Watch, “a project of the Middle East Forum, [which] reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America, with an aim to improving them”. Established by one of Australian President George Dubya’s favourite academic poodles, Daniel Pipes, the Watch functions to help silence dissenting voices within the US academy in relation to US foreign policy in the region.
DANIEL PIPES, DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST FORUM: I have a feeling that universities have been hijacked. In other words, the people I went to school with in the late ’60s, early ’70s, my contemporaries, who were the revolutionaries as students, did not achieve their goals of taking over and changing the country, but they did take over and change the universities.
ASSOC. PROFESSOR JOSEPH MASSAD, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Remember, there’s a right-wing effort across America today to silence any criticism of Israel and of the US Government. So the Israel lobby found this an opportune time to enter the university and silence the critics of Israel because of this prevailing mood. And therefore the real attack is on academic freedom.
More here… See also Vincent/Danby Interview with George Negus (November 8, 2006); Defend our universities!; ‘Mideast studies accused’, Rebecca Weisser, The Australian, November 22, 2006; ‘Watching the Watchers’, Jamie Hyams, Australia/Israel Review, December 2006; ‘It’s Academic: Anti-Zionism in Australian academia’, Ted Lapkin, Australia/Israel Review, August 2006; ‘Intellectuals, democracy and empire’, Robert Blecher, Evatt Foundation, May 2003.
And on a somewhat related note: ‘The Seductions of Islamism: Revisiting Foucault and the Iranian Revolution’, Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson, New Politics, Vol. 10, No. 1, Summer 2004:
IN THE TWO AND A HALF DECADES since 1979, the tremors set off by the Iranian Revolution helped in no small way to spark an international series of Islamist movements. Radical Islamists have taken power or staged destructive civil wars in a number of countries, from Algeria to Egypt and from Sudan to Afghanistan, in the latter case with U.S. support. These regimes and movements have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and for numerous setbacks to women’s rights throughout the Muslim world. Islamism gained such power and influence during a period when equally retrogressionist Christian, Hindu, and Jewish religious fundamentalist movements were also on the rise, all of them inimical to women’s rights. The September 11 attacks were a dramatic and horrific example of the dangers of such religious fanaticism…