Editorial Note: This article was originally published on January 3, 2005. Being relevant to issues raised in today's issue of the Newspaper, it was thought appropriate to republish.
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Dr. Daniel Pipes tells Harvard and anyone else who will listen that Harvard has a big time prejudice against Israel plus is pro-Arab/Muslim.
That's what Daniel Pipes has been doing. He's been telling Harvard and anyone else who would listen that Harvard has a big time prejudice against Israel plus is pro-Arab/Muslim, particularly in the Middle East Studies department.
Of course, those in the department defend their own. Nevertheless, that does not deter Professor Pipes. So he let's the world know about it via his Middle East Forum, MIDDLE EAST QUARTERLY and Campus Watch, the latter a website and speakers bureau.
Harvard's bias is even laid bare by Harvard's chief publication 'HARVARD MAGAZINE' in the January-February 2005 issue. Entitled "Militant about 'Islamism', the article by Janet Tassel focuses in on Daniel Pipes, one of the most influential voices regarding the subject.
Having attended Harvard myself, I know first hand about its biases. When I, a theological conservative, was a student at the Divinity School, I knew in short time frame to clam up. There was no talk about "Jesus is my personal Savior." Jesus was the most suspect personage of all history at the Divinity School. Truth was: no one of influence at HDS had any idea who Jesus really was or is or perhaps was mythologized into legends' annals.
One day I asked my Greek professor what he thought of God. His answer: "She's green." That was the end of that dialogue with a well-degreed academician at HDS.
One day I asked Dean Samuel Miller what in God's name I was to learn when earning a Masters of Divinity Degree from that esteemed institution. His answer: "Well, Grant, you've got to plunk yourself down somewhere." That was the end of that dialogue with a well-degreed, roundly applauded, much stroked Dean at HDS.
In other words I could attend a Divinity School and yet plunk myself down eventually in atheism and that would be quite a permissible accomplishment. Or I could plunk myself down in Shintoism or animism or Communism (which was popular on liberal campuses in the 60s) or whatever. I could make up my own "religion" and that would be smiled upon. All was relative; nothing was absolute.
So when Daniel Pipes, a conservative realist, writes truthfully about Islam, having earned his doctorate in that area, he's lifted up by Harvard intelligentsia as the tolerated odd-ball eccentric. If he acquiesced to defend the bias against Israel and adopted a live-and-let-live cordiality toward the Muslims, then he'd be a welcomed fellow among the brothers and sisters of the left cliff hangout.
The HARVARD MAGAZINE article reads: "A particular delinquency, he (Pipes) argues, is the endemic anti-Israel stance of Middle Eastern studies. When the SALIENT, Harvard's conservative undergraduate biweekly, asked Pipes in the fall of 2002 about anti-Semitism at Harvard, he responded, 'I see anti-Semitism as one unhappy consequence of the failure of Middle Eastern Studies. At Campus Watch, our premise is that professors of Middle Eastern studies are doing a poor job. They are contributing to the tension of the Israeli-Palestinian discourse on campus and are thus a factor in the growth of anti-Semitism.'
Grassroots America is becoming more aware that Islam is a killing religion. Its women are worth less than dogs, being slaughtered by stoning if they are seen looking appreciatively at a non-Muslim male. Their clerics do absolutely nothing to further peace in the name of religion. Their national political leaderships are desperate to cling to their tyrannical regimes in the name of Allah.
Naturally when Pipes holds to this reality, Harvard snobs consider him prejudiced, provincial, just as Harvard Divinity School regards a Jerry Falwell as completely lamebrained when it comes to religious understanding.
When the present Dean of Harvard Divinity School was asked of his opinion of Pipes, his curt reply was simply: "I do not want to comment on him or the unholy crusade he is embarked on." Thus endeth the first lesson! In other words, you have just heard from one of the broad-minded, open-minded present-tense academic greats.
Pipes continues his accusations against Harvard's Middle East Studies: "Middle East studies are a failed field. . ." He was referring especially to his support for putting in place legislation "that calls for the creation of an advisory board to review the way in which the annual $95 million to $100 million is spent under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, and to ensure that area-studies programs "reflect diverse perspectives and the full range of views of world regions, foreign languages, and international affairs."
Pipes says a board is necessary because of the Middle East studies failing "and the academics who consume these funds also happen to allocate them" a classic case of unaccountability. The purpose of this subsidy, which Congress increased by 26 percent after 9/11, is to help the American government with exotic language and cultural skills. Yet many universities reject this role, dismissing it as training "spies".
Could it be that Red States America might just influence Harvard for a more balanced thinking level, away from the liberal bias traditional of the politically liberal elite? I doubt it.
Yet Pipes continues to hope. In his Middle East Forum, his MIDDLE EAST QUARTERLY quotes him as saying that the Forum "seeks out voices excluded from the scholarly debate, voices more aligned with the pro-American views of mainstream Americans." This includes a realistic appraisal of Israel in the latter's integral position in Middle East impact.
J. Grant Swank Jr.
For other articles by J. Grant Swank, Jr., check daily to the following web sites: Magic City Morning Star, MichNews.com, BushCountry.org, Republican and Proud, Mullenax News, MensNewsDaily.com, Religious News Online, FaithFreedom.org., Out2.com.
Mr. Swank is author of several books and thousands of articles in various magazines, journals and newspapers.