A Pound for a Brown

Once again: wakademic tosh instead of analysis based on facts. Don’t send your kids to Brown University!

What do you think Nancy Khalek’s motives are for pushing this rubbish on unsuspecting students:

Brown University: “Truth about Islam presented as evidence of media bias against Islam”

  • Cable news bias AGAINST Mohammedanism? Oh please… If anything, there is no lack of islamophilia and dhimmitude in the way everything Islamic is reported on by those bedouin-sandal lickers.

“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality”

Ayn Rand quote

No one at Brown was able to counter this nonsense, but in reality it is easy to find Muslim sources proclaiming that Islam is a total way of life and that Islam “must be a complete and total way of living.” But Nancy Khalek doesn’t like the implications of that, and so she pretends it’s a media invention. “Islam in America panel highlights acceptance,” by Morgan Johnson for the Brown Daily Herald, October 20 (thanks to herr Oyal):

A panel of four Brown and Providence experts on the Muslim community addressed the causes of negativity toward Islam in America, offering different opinions on how to combat increasing intolerance, in a mostly full MacMillan 115 Tuesday night.The panelists cited media coverage, especially from cable news outlets, as a frequent perpetrator of stereotypes about the Muslim community.

The notion that “Islam is a totalizing way of life that accompanies everything a Muslim does” is an example of the media’s biased interpretation of Islam, said Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Nancy Khalek.

She said the media capitalize on a common public assumption that Muslims are intolerant of religious and cultural differences. The media imply that if Muslims are permitted to follow Shariah law, she said, the public should be afraid that such laws would be imposed on the rest of the community.

Muslims? Intolerant? How could anyone have ever gotten that idea?

And as for Sharia applying to unbelievers, Sharia proponents haven’t hesitated to obligenon-Muslim women to wear the headscarf that Sharia mandates for Muslim women. Perhaps Khalek would say these were Misunderstanders of Islam.

“We must be aggressively undoing what the media is doing,” said Sherine Hamdy, assistant professor of anthropology. “You have to work against it. You can’t just be passive.”

Be aggressive in spreading lies and misinformation!

In a 2005 cartoon contest held by a Danish newspaper, artists depicted the prophet Muhammad in various derogatory illustrations, which incited a slew of angry and at times violent protests from the Muslim community.”Westerners interpreted this as Muslim intolerance to freedom of speech,” Khalek said.

She added that the reality of the situation was quite different. From the Muslim perspective, the protesters were not necessarily critical of the illustrators’ rights to free speech, but they wanted to demonstrate that the drawings were highly offensive and injurious.

And they demonstrated it by murdering innocent people. How very intolerant and “Islamophobic” of the West not to see that as an understandable reaction, and curtail the freedom of speech accordingly.

Khalek also critiqued the reaction of the media and the American public toward the recently proposed Islamic community center in the vicinity of Ground Zero.”It seems to me that what we’re really talking about is not whether religion belongs in the public sphere,” she said. “What we’re talking about is whose sensitivities ought to be respected.”

Right. And the sensitivities of non-Muslims regarding Ground Zero are not being respected, and that’s just fine with Nancy Khalek, apparently.

Khalek disputed the common argument used against the community center — that a majority of Americans are not in favor of its construction, according to some polls. Referring to past instances of popular public opinion, such as the strong support of slavery by the American public before the Civil War, Khalek argued that such an argument has no historical or moral validity….Local Imam Farid Ansari suggested another way to dispel misconceptions is by encouraging people to read the Quran.

“Learn for yourself,” Ansari said to those who believe in myths about the Muslim community but take no steps to educate themselves about the religion. “If people are not informed, don’t vote, don’t take responsibility — that’s going to affect the future in a very negative way.”

Read the Qur’an and learn for yourself. Indeed. I couldn’t agree more.


This is what qualifies as ‘scholarship’ which nearly fills a lecture hall at Brown:

MacMillan 115, This lecture hall seats 300 people . . .
This is what qualifies as ‘scholarship’ which nearly fills a lecture hall at Brown:

Nancy Khalek Initially, Nancy Khalek’s research interest was eastern Christianity. When she changed her focus to the classical period of Islam, Khalek became fascinated by how much the two religions overlap. “They have a shared tradition, even though they argue about it,” Khalek said, mentioning monotheism, scripture, prophecy and revelation as key elements of both faiths. “Not only do they have a lot in common, but they were invented in the same place,” she said. “It’s a shared world, one big culture where both exist as religious competitors and imperial rivals. Each informs the other.”. . .


“. . .In the early classical period, there was a growing awareness of Islam as a distinct faith with its own place in history, its own perspective on the future,” Khalek said. She wrote her dissertation on everyday life in the first capital of the Islamic empire — Damascus — during the first centuries of Islam.
One of the first courses Khalek will teach at Brown is an introduction to Islam, which will open the eyes of anyone who stereotypes the faith according to post-9/11 headlines.
“It would be a mistake to oversimplify the Islamic world as a monolithic thing,” she said. “It was already so complex in the early Middle Ages; how much more so it must be in our contemporary context.”

Clearly from the Karen Armstrong/MESA interpretation of ‘scholarship’. FWIW,Christianne Amanpour’s CNN travesty, “God’s Warriors” featured ‘scholarship’ from Karen Armstrong as well as Osama Khalek (wonder if there’s any relation there with Nancy).


One thought on “A Pound for a Brown”

  1. Are researchers allowed to call Muhammad a paedophile?

    by Natalia Mazur
    Gazeta Wyborcza, July 2, 2011

    Exclusive English translation for Jihad Watch by Grzegorz Kusnierz


    Does it behoove an Arabic Studies scholar to criticize Islam? A professor from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań tried, and lost his job.

    BartÅ‚omiej Grysa, PhD, has been teaching the Arabic language at Adam Mickiewicz University. His main field of interest, however, was relations between Christians and Muslims. He believes this was the reason for his being fired. His case was recently described in the “Fronda” magazine.

    Grysa has been teaching the Arabic language at the university since 1998. He has been controversial with students. They wrote on the Internet:

    “I have no idea what he is doing here,” some wondered. “He is anti-Islamic.”

    Others disagreed: “Arabic Studies is not, and should not be, a Koranic school.”

    “None of us want a Koranic school, but neither an Oriana Fallaci school,” replied the first group.

    The dean of the university received a letter about Grysa from the Mufti of the Polish Muslim Religious Association, Tomasz MiÅ›kiewicz. “Students complained that Dr. Grysa offends them during his lectures. Some of them are Muslims; one student is married to a Muslim. We asked the university to investigate the case,” said the press spokesman of the association, Musa Czachorowski.

    After four years as an adjunct, Professor Grysa’s contract, like those of all university scholars, could have been extended for another six years. This was, however, not done. “The Mufti’s letter had no direct influence on our employment decision,” emphasized the university’s press spokesperson, Dominika Narożna. She emailed us that “there was no extension of the employment contract due to the fact that the Neophilology Department provided the Dean’s Office with no employment request for the professor”.

    The reason? A negative evaluation. Professor PaweÅ‚ Siwiec, the head of the Arabic Studies Department and Grysa’s superior, in his assessment writes extensively about Grysa’s book, Islam – The True Face of the Religion of Peace. Forced conversions to Islam, the stoning of converts out of Islam, and the changing of churches into mosques are described in the book. Siwiec focused on the chapter describing Muhammad’s biography: “Dr. Grysa offends the religious feelings of Muslims by calling the Prophet of Islam a murderer, an assassin, a paedophile and a robber,” he wrote, and emphasized that Grysa is formally a linguist, and that the publication is not connected to his field of study. “From the point of view of the research methodology of the humanities, a border to a scholarly critique is set by a researcher’s language” Narożna says. “Words used by scholars ought to be free from invectives, positive and negative emotions, and an affective vocabulary”.

    Recently, the Arabic Studies Department quit co-operation with two other scholars who were writing about the oppression of Christians by Muslims: Professor Michael Abdalla, a founder of the Middle East Christianity Laboratory, and his Ph.D. student. Professor Abdalla was transferred from Arabic Studies to the Linguistics Department, and deprived of his lab.

    “If you’re looking for people writing about the Christians of the Middle East, go to Catholic, Church run universities,” suggests Professor Siwiec. He himself has lectured about “Religious minorities in the Arab world,” but he emphasizes that culture studies are not the mainstream of the curriculum. “Arabic studies are linguistic studies. Graduates are supposed to know the language thoroughly,” he explains.

    “Knowledge of Middle East Christianity is a vital part of Arabic Studies expertise,” claims Professor Emeritus Krzysztof KoÅ›cielniak, an Arabic Studies scholar from the Papal University. “An objective picture of relations between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East is a requirement for a proper dialogue. In Syria, these relations are very good, but unfortunately this is not a rule. When in 1990-2000, two million Christians were killed, Europe remained silent. Not much is done when an Egyptian Copt is killed while praying. Would we remain silent if a European extremist shot a praying Muslim? In a dialogue, both parties should have equal rights,” he emphasizes.

    Kościelniak admits that talking about Christians might prove difficult for an Arabic Studies researcher: university departments try to establish co-operation with Arab countries.

    Professor Emeritus KoÅ›cielniak admits that Dr. Grysa’s book is problematic, due to some parts of it: “Sources confirm that Muhammad had intercourse with a nine-year-old Aisha, but this cannot be understood from today’s perspective. Then we would also have to call JagieÅ‚Å‚o a paedophile (a king of Poland, who won one of the biggest battles of the Middle Ages, near Grunwald), since his wife was 12 years old,” he recalls. “If it is true, however, that Dr. Grysa and other people are not allowed to work with students only because of their scholarly interests, then that is worrying. It is also not good to feel offended by every unskillful explanation of a fact.”

    “No university can limit access to facts,” admits the philosopher and ethicist Professor Jacek Hołówka admits. “A scholar has a right to moderately, diplomatically and essentially provide arguments confirming his opinion that Muhammad does not deserve the respect he is being paid. A university should be a place for a free debate. Any fact, however, can be presented without judgements, derision, aggression, and epithets.”

    What does Dr. Grysa himself think about it? “If the Church intervened concerning any scholar, resulting in his losing his job, a great debate would ensue on the violation of the autonomy of the university. When Muslims intervene, however, we are more understanding,” Grysa noted. He expects nothing from AMU any more. “I had a certain chance to return to the university. When I was rejected and called an ideologue, driven by emotions I described the situation to a journalist. But I think that continuing the fight is pointless. I have a feeling that all the university cares about is silence. In fear of attacks by Islamic fundamentalists, reliable study of Islam is being blocked.”

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