Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Acceptable Bigotry in the Ivory Tower? Prof. Muqtedar Khan Refuses to Share Panel with IDF Veteran

In the growing list of acceptable bigotries proliferating among those who inhabit the ever-so-progressive Ivory Tower, it seems that Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) veterans are fair game. Just ask University of Delaware political science and international relations professor Muqtedar Khan (also a Pentagon consultant and Brookings Institute Fellow), who refused to share an academic panel yesterday at the University of Delaware with Campus Watch Associate Fellow Asaf Romirowsky.

My Campus Watch colleague, Director Winfield Myers, references the story at the Campus Watch blog and Michael Rubin has all the details at NRO's The Corner. I've been given permission to post the information here as well:
Academic Freedom? [Michael Rubin]

Yesterday, the University of Delaware asked Asaf Romirowsky to step down from an academic panel at the University of Delaware because another panelist, University of Delaware political scientist Muqtedar Khan, didn't want to share the podium with anyone who served in the Israeli Defense Forces. Romirowsky, who holds joint American/Israeli citizenship and lives in Philadelphia, had been invited to join Khan, his colleague in political science, Stuart Kaufman, a staff member of the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, and a graduate student to discuss anti-Americanism in the Middle East. The program was organized by the College Republicans, the College Democrats, and the Students of Western Civilization Club. The Leadership Institute provided the funds for the panel, which met on the University of Delaware campus on Wednesday evening. The students offered Romirowsky the opportunity to come to campus next week and speak alone, with no other panel members who might object to his presence.

If Khan was just an academic, that would be one thing. But he also straddles the policy world: Khan is a a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a Pentagon consultant. According to an e-mail he sent to the University, he gave a workshop at the Pentagon yesterday afternoon.

Academics should embrace intellectual challenge; not flee from it.

Here's the e-mail from Khan stating his objections to appearing with Romirowsky:

—— Original message ——
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 20:02:29 -0400
From: "Muqtedar Khan"
Subject: Re: Understanding Anti-Americanism Panel
To: [Names redacted]

Laura, I have to speak at the Pentagon tomorrow. My workshop is from 12-4. I hope to catch the 5 pm Acela from DC and will be back in town by 7 pm. I will come directly, but may be late. I am also not sure how I feel about being on the same panel with an Israeli soldier who was stationed in West Bank. Some people see IDF as an occupying force in the West Bank. I am not sure that I will be comfortable occupying the same space with him. It is not fair to spring this surprise on me at the last moment.

10/25 09:54 AM
I wonder what the reaction would have been had another panelist expressed discomfort "occupying the same space" with, let's say, a professor who, while producing many articles and blog posts of a reasonable bent, has also described Israel as having "raped Lebanon," referred to the mythical "Quran desecration" at Gitmo on more than one occasion, played up the victim card known as "Islamophobia," and contributed to such less than objective publications as and the American Muslim Perspective (the latter of which has a webpage on the "offending Danish cartoons")?

The silence is deafening.

Update: Daniel Pipes debated Khan on the PBS show "Wide Angle" in 2003, as well as noting Khan's involvement with CAIR towards the end of this blog post. Further posts on Khan are listed here.

Update II: Jonathan Schanzer blogs about the matter at The Jewish Policy Center. As does Solomonia.

Update (10/26): Further posts on the matter at Democracy Project, Seraphic Secret, Frontpage Magazine, and JewishInfoNews.

Update (10/27): Even more blog posts at Little Green Footballs, Jewlicious (on "IDF-phobia"), Israel Matzav, Academics, Rhymes With Right, First Friday Collective (colorful language alert), CDR Salamander, The Virginian, Free Republic, and Photon Courier

Update (10/30): The Evening Bulletin has covered the story, as has Candace de Russy at NRO's Phi Beta Cons.

Update (10/31): JTA, Insider Higher Education, and The Volokh Conspiracy chime in.

Update (11/1): The Jewish Exponent covers the case here and here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muslims are allowed to be bigots and their bigotry is applauded and welcomed by the left. Just another university steeped in dhimmitude.

Maybe they should have a major in dhimmitude?

( wouldn't accept my password today)

Thursday, October 25, 2007 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Khan would have any problem sharing a panel with the President of Iran or any imam who extolled the virtues of suicide bombing. Creating this kind of controversy has one purpose and one purpose only: it is to undermine the legitimacy of Israel. I wonder how far Khan would have gotten had he refused to be on the same panel with a protected minority. Once we let panelists exercise bigotry, we open the door to preventing anyone from being on a panel who is considered offensive to a single panelist. The university should tell Khan to stay home.

Abe Miller

Thursday, October 25, 2007 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jeremayakovka said...

Brookings Inst. - that's as establishment liberal as you can get. Movement and career conservatives, and honest liberals, should demand action.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 2:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khan probably wouldn't have a problem being on a discussion panel with someone from Hamas or that ilk. What a hypocrite !

Friday, October 26, 2007 3:38:00 AM  
Blogger Deadman said...

If Khan has a problem with Romirovsky's appointment why doesn't Khan step down?

I am continually flabbergasted at the bigotry that passes for "political expression" on the part of the Left.

Saturday, October 27, 2007 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a joke. It is almost like they preyed on Dr. Khan, asking him at the last minute to speak conduct a forum on a relevant topic with an Israeli Propagandist. These IDF people get up there and spew off the same rhetoric that convinced the Bush Administration to enter the Iraq war. They do not speak for the majority of Jews, Israelis, or Americans. Why do we defend them so much? This particular American-Israeli works for Campus Watch. And no suprise that campus watch pounces on the issue like a hungry dog. They should be renamed Campus Defamation League.

The original poster of the controversy about Dr. Khan was Michael Rubin, an avid neoconservative.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger FIGHTINBLUEHEN said...

remember 2 of the panelists at this event WERE JEWISH

Bigotry vs WHO?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 1:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The downfall of this article is in its posting of the very email which exonerates Khan. Doesn't Khan explicitly state in the email that he will be attending the forum? There was no ultimatum there.

This post is a disturbing example of the Orwellian hate-mongering that certain members of the right spew on a daily basis.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 11:10:00 PM  

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