Targetting “them”

Murdoch’s Australian engages in modern-day McCarthyism:

A Deakin University lecturer has defended terrorism waged by Islamic jihadists overseas and “unequivocally” backed the Iraqi insurgency that has killed thousands of Westerners and Muslims.

Nasya Bahfen, a business communications lecturer at the Melbourne-based university, said that although she did not support suicide bombing as a means of self-defence, her views might be to the contrary had she been raised in Palestine.

“I don’t like the idea of innocent life being shed, but at the same time, I can’t say that if I grew up there (Palestine) I would not be a suicide bomber,” she told The Australian yesterday.

“Islam condemns the taking of innocent life, but at the same time, when a Muslim is oppressed, they have the right to fight back,” the 29-year-old lecturer said.

“If you think about suicide bombers in Palestine, your life would have to be pretty screwed up to want to strap bombs on yourself and blow yourself up and blow up other people.

“The difficulty with pointing that out is that you sound like you’re trying to justify terrorism, especially with the current climate.”

By placing the “story” on page three of yesterday’s paper, the Australian is clearly stating that such views are unacceptable and the person deserves to be targeted and outed as a terrorist sympathiser. The logical conclusion from this report is that only academics wholly accepting the “war on terror” ideology should be teaching “our” kids.

Last night I watched David Horowitz interviewed on Fox News. He was virtually incoherent and complained that a certain academic was a “communist” indoctrinating students with anti-American propaganda. Horowitz wants to excise those from university who don’t subscribe to his worldview. In other words, a modern day McCarthy. The Australian article above fits squarely into the same school of thought.

A recent article in the LA Times revealed the deeper struggle ahead:

‘UCLA STUDENTS: Do you have a professor who just can’t stop talking about President Bush, about the war in Iraq, about the Republican Party, or any other ideological issue that has nothing to do with the class subject matter? It doesn’t matter whether this is a past class, or your class from this coming winter quarter. If you help expose the professor, we’ll pay you for your work.”

This grotesque offer appeared last week on a new website taking aim at members of the UCLA faculty. The site, created by the Bruin Alumni Assn., a group founded by 2003 UCLA graduate Andrew Jones, offers differing bounties for class notes, handouts and illicit recordings of lectures ($100 for all three).

A glance at the profiles of the “targeted professors,” however, reveals that they have been singled out, in most cases, not for what goes on in their courses, but for the positions they have taken outside the classroom — and outside the university.

Universities are places where all views should be encouraged, challenged and provoked. Conservative, radical, leftist and rightist. Those who oppose such diversity should move to North Korea.