Gov. Gavin Newsom keeps falsely claiming that California is the home of freedom. Not only is California the least free state in the country, but a publicly funded university is investigating an Islamic studies professor of Iranian origin for blasphemy.
Is this Iran or San Francisco? Hard to spot the difference.
Maziar Behrooz teaches a variety of history classes at San Francisco State University including two courses on the Islamic World. During one of these he showed a picture of a Shiite religious icon of Mohammed. A (presumably Sunni Muslim) student complained and SFSU is conducting an investigation of Behrooz.
(Sunni Islam bars images of Mohammed, Shiite Islam, dominant in Iran, uses them in religious settings.)
The incident is similar to the art professor at Hamline University who was forced out for displaying Shiite images of Mohammed, except that Behrooz originates from a Muslim country.
Let’s call these things what they are, they’re blasphemy investigations.
SFSU’s President Lynn Mahoney sent out a long rambling message defending both the violent transgender attack on Riley Gaines, an opponent of men taking over women’s sports, and the blasphemy investigation of Behrooz.
“The Classroom Incident. Last week, the Office of Equity Programs & Compliance initiated an
investigation into an incident that occurred in an Islamic Studies class,” Mahoney claimed.
“I am deeply committed to protecting academic freedom. I am also deeply committed to protecting
our students’ and employees’ rights to learn and work in an environment that is free from harassment
and other forms of discrimination… I offer my personal apology to all who have been disappointed by the University’s response to this incident, particularly the professor whose experiences illustrated these challenges and the students who felt disrespected and unheard when they shared their concerns.”
Essentially the blasphemy investigation will continue.
It’s not hard to guess why Islamists might have targeted Behrooz. He teaches Islamic history, but doesn’t appear to be religious and his reading lists have quite a lot of Bernard Lewis texts rather than John Esposito. Using this as a pretext for either forcing him out or pressuring SFSU to hire more Islamists is on the agenda.
The indisputable message being sent by Islamists and their academic enablers to faculty is that it’s not worth it. After so many previous surrenders, it becomes easier not to offend CAIR and its ilk or risk universities conducting blasphemy investigations.