Saturday, February 25, 2017

Academic freedoms, Zionists and Islamophobes

There is a real danger to academic freedoms of the US: just as the anti-communist fanfics (both Democrats and Republicans--lest we forget the work of Robert Kennedy on the congressional Committee on UnAmerican affairs), imposed a parameter of acceptable debate and discourse, today's Zionists and Islamophobes (and they often work in tandem) are imposing strict guidelines of acceptable discourse and rhetoric in the classroom, Congress, and beyond.  And they have been pretty successful because Congressional and local state legislatures have worked closely with them.  Imagine if discourse about Judaism by professor of Judaic studies is being subjected to the same scrutiny that professors of Islam are being subjected to.  The case of Jonathan Brown is but one recent example--although I disagree with his views and interpretations as I explained yesterday.  But you are telling me that Jewish professors of Judaic studies when they lecture in Jewish centers in the US, they are not apologetic about Judaism, just as Brown is apologetic about Islam, and just as Buddhist professors are quite apologetic about Buddhism.  It should not be the business of political operators or even writers and academics to judge the content of speech to see the extent to which it fits into their political or even moral framework.  By that token, if we were to impose the secular humanist standards (which are only applied on the discourse about Islam) to the discourse about Judaism or about Hinduism, they also will fall short.  People should be free to lecture and even preach about their religions, outside of the university system if they chose too.  But even in the university system: are you saying that Islam professors are sometimes apologetic about islam but Judaism professors are never apologetic about Judaism?   If we apply secular standards to ban apologias about religious then, only us secular atheists would be allowed to teach about religion (which does not bother me, ideologically speaking, if the same standards are applied across the board but it is not).