During the plenary session that followed, AbuKhalil said he was angered that the work of the Canadian-Muslim feminist and author Irshad Manji, and “other Islam-haters” has been translated into Arabic. Yet he describes himself as “secular” and a “feminist”—under the right circumstances, one supposes, meaning that Western liberal concepts don’t apply to those who criticize Islam.
He also condemned the translation into Arabic of a tract on non-violence aimed at the Arab uprisings. “Very boring,” he declared:
The United States wanted the revolution to be non-violent. They started the myth in the New York Times. It’s not. It’s a violent struggle by Arabs. And please, I am not making an apology. It’s justifiable. They want to bring down these regimes in any way possible.
Whether glorifying violence, exalting in the death and misery of Israelis, or blaming the U.S. for the ills of the Arab world, AbuKhalil lived up to his moniker as an “angry Arab.” Presumably, he brings the same radicalism to the classroom, which is a frightening prospect for his students. When anger replaces reason, there’s little hope for an education, no matter how many “teach-ins” universities offer.
Berkeley resident Rima Greene co-wrote this article with Cinnamon Stillwell, the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. Stillwell can be reached at email@example.com.
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