A Disgraceful Evening at Cooper Union

On Sunday, C-Span ran the Cooper Union panel with Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and — until recently — banned from America for funding terrorists and working with their networks. On the platform were Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, the moderator, and George Packer (who provided the only illuminating moment in the proceedings) and Joan Wallach Scott, a notorious academic enabler of Ramadan and terrorist Sami al-Arian, and a professor at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. Also present was Dalia Mogahed, a Muslim version of Scott. Ramadan claimed to be an all-American democrat (but kept attacking the Iraq war which brought democracy to millions of Muslims as “illegal”).

Mogahed and Scott deflected questions from Weisberg about the oppression of women in Islam — an international scandal — by 1) talking about economic inequality and joblessness among Muslim immigrants in Europe and 2) in Scott’s case — the oppression of women in Catholicism. This was an instance of immoral equivalence brought to a new low. Weisberg asked Ramadan about his revealing statement that there should be a “moratorium” on the stoning of women for alleged infidelity. Here Ramadan introduced a word he was to use throughout the evening: “contextualization” — the verbal equivalent of a fog machine. If you contextualized “stoning” you could forget the barbarity of it and see it as a cultural oddity which needed to be reconsidered. Wallach Scott, professing to be a “feminist,” thought the moratorium to be a good idea, and in doing so raised progressive hypocrisy to new levels.

The discussion got really interesting when Packer brought up the fact that Ramadan’s grandfather had declared the Hitlerite grand mufti of Jerusalem — the father of Palestinian nationalism — a hero and helped to save him from being tried as a war criminal after the Holocaust was over. Ramadan contextualized this, saying his grandfather would not support a Nazi except as a nationalist and only supported the mufti because he opposed Zionism. Precisely. “Kill the Jews” is what the Palestinian cause and the Muslim Brotherhood are about, and why both seek to destroy the only democracy in the Middle East and the only state that is tolerant towards others. Packer held his ground manfully but neglected to mention that Ramadan’s grandfather had Mein Kampf translated into Arabic in the thirties and that the war against Israel in the hands of the Brotherhood and its offspring Hamas is a war against the Jews in precisely the sense that the Nazis conducted its precursor. In fact, the mufti — who is the George Washington of the Palestinian cause — was conducting a genocidal campaign against the Jews in the Twenties before Hitler got his going. Joan Wallach Scott supported Ramadan’s contextualization throughout, even when it came to rationalizing the murder of her own people.

When it was over I took a shower.

  • Marty

    ramadan is living up to expectations. he is and will remain an unreconstructed islamist dedicated to the destruction of western civilization through stealth jihad and an advocate of genocide of non-mulsims who disdain violence being visited to women and children. he is his grandfather's grandson.

  • Paardestaart

    The Oslo Syndrome…I must read that book again and try to understand why intelligent people contextualize reality out of their field of vision..

  • Gloria

    "…in Scott’s case — the oppression of women in Catholicism. This was an instance of immoral equivalence brought to a new low."

    Thank you, David, for pointing out Scott's outrageous remarks. I was at Cooper Union and have been following the coverage ever since. You are the first one I've read who mentioned it.

    As a woman and a practicing Catholic, I was amazed at Scott's ignorance of both Catholicism and Islam; and of Princeton's diminished standards by giving her a platform in that once fine institution. She is not a scholar, she is not a thinker, she is not a feminist.

    Scott is just a typical leftist clone and a fraud.

    • trickyblain

      Ok, how about the centuries-old institutionalization of having sex with children?

      • Gloria

        Pedophilia committed by Catholic priests is shameful and a disgrace. But it has nothing to do with the precepts of Christianity. It is not permitted, or even mentioned, in the Gospels. It is not allowed in Church doctrine or in Canon Law. It is an atrocity perpetrated by disturbed individuals and wrongfully protected by church officials but not a right bestowed on priests by God or the Church.

        Also, it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Scott implied that the oppression of women in the Catholic Church was worse than it was in Islam. This idea shows a gross lack of knowledge. Unlike some other religions, Christianity makes no distinction between men and women. There are no separations in places of worship for men and women. All of the initiation rights — Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation — are conferred equally.

        Other than ordination, there are no rules or rights in the Catholic Church that are granted to men that are not equally granted to women. In addition, Catholics revere a host of women, beginning with the Blessed Mother and followed by thousands of women saints. This is a tradition begun with Jesus who had a very special bond with women in the Gospels. The Resurrection, the most significant event in Christianity, was first revealed to women.

        Islam, on the other hand, is replete with misogynistic practices from female genital mutilation to polygamy to all forms of second-class citizen status in Shariah Law. And speaking of pedophilia, there's always Mohammed's marriage to a 6-year-old (consummated when she was nine) to consider and the example of the practice is followed by Muslims today. Even the Ayatollah Khomeini married a 9-year old, called it a "gift from God," and said all Muslim men should do it.

        So when talking about religion you have to go to the source — the Gospels, Church Doctrine, Canon Law, the Quran, Hadith, and Shariah Law — not to the people who say they practice it.

        • trickyblain

          First, I apologize for the tone of my first message. You share some valid points.

          But there are also some issues you don't acknowledge. While Jesus did indeed have special bonds with women, and treated them on equal terms as men, the Church has not reflected this. Women cannot become priests, for example.

          Christianity has given men authority in society, gov't and marriage. And the changes in the last century have much more to do with "liberal" movements than an unprompted willingness on the part of organized Christianity to see the it's errors. Catholicism holds that women have full secular equality, but this was not always the case.

          Islamic nations, for various reasons not limited to origin (e.g., ruled by dictatorships), are largely nonliberalized. The still cling to the "old way" of gender roles. But this has more to do with the fact that they are nonsecular than anything else.

          • Rita Alabdullah

            have you all forgotten the "cult of the Virgin"–Holy Mary Mother of God–how Joseph plainly is devoted to Mary and Mary is exalted. Have you forgotten courtly love, chivalry? This all is a development of the exalted role of women–due to Christianity, due to the Catholic church.

  • solemnman

    A moritorium on stoning ?Sure..There are so many other ways to kill a women.-like,for instance,throat cutting -which appears to be all the rage now and not just for wives but for daughters as well.

  • 080

    I listened to his ten minute speech. I was struck by his incapacity to argue anything. Apparently he doesn't know what an argument is. His plea for toleration and free speech totally ignored the fact that Muslim Student Associations are busily stamping it out across this nation. How does he feel about free speech in Egypt or Syria or Sudan or Libya? He doesn't say.

  • hughglass

    This was a nice follow up to the non stop coverage of the lying and dangerous "free Mumia" lunatics over the weekend by CSPAN. Being an esteemed Princeton "Professor", ( Fernandez-Kelly, Cornel West) sure isn't what it used to be!

  • http://www.dailystrength.org/people/1198330/journal/3065879 Office Design

    Charmed by the seductive oratory of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Lease, the free silver mass-meeting at Cooper Union last night nursed itself into all the semblance of a Socialistic gathering. From the beginning to the end, from the first sentence of introduction until the Kansas woman had concluded in a sonorous period, Socialism predominated. Every mention of gold or wealth was greeted with shouts and jeers, and the names of Whitney and Cleveland, of Vanderbilt and Rothschild were hailed with hisses and cat-calls.