| Hiding jihad's awful legacy
is standard operating procedure at Harvard. A professor of Islamic
history portrays jihad as "a struggle without arms." The
Harvard Islamic Society's faculty adviser defines true jihad as no
more fearsome than "to do good in society". All this is
part of a pattern of pretending that Islam had nothing to do with 9/11.|
it's June 1942 - just a few months after Adolf Hitler declared war
on the United States. At Harvard University, a faculty committee
has chosen a German-American to give one of three student orations
at the festive commencement ceremony. He titles it "American
Kampf," purposefully echoing the title of Hitler's book,
"Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") in order to show
the positive side of "Kampf." When
this prompts protests, a Harvard dean defends it as a
"thoughtful oration" that defines the concept of Kampf
as a personal struggle "to promote justice and understanding
in ourselves and in our society." The dean promises,
"The audience will find his oration, as did all the Harvard
judges, a light of hope and reason in a world often darkened by
distrust and conflict."
Then the student turns out to be past president of the Harvard
German Society, a group with a pro-Nazi taint - but the
administration still isn't bothered. Nor is it perturbed
that he praised a Nazi front group for its "incredible
work" as well as its "professionalism, compassion and
dedication to helping people in dire need," then raised money
Far-fetched? Sure. But exactly this scenario unfolded last week at
Harvard. Just replace "German," "Nazi," and
"Kampf" with "Islamic," "militant
Islamic" and "jihad."
Faculty members chose Zayed Yasin, 22 and the past president of
the Harvard Islamic Society, to deliver a commencement address. He
earlier had sung the praises of and raised money for the Holy Land
Foundation for Relief and Development, a militant Islamic group
closed down by President Bush.
Yasin titled his talk "American Jihad," echoing Osama
bin Laden's jihad against the United States. Yasin declared an
intention to convince his audience of 32,000 that "Jihad is
not something that should make someone feel uncomfortable."
Hmm. The authoritative "Encyclopaedia of Islam" defines
jihad as "military action with the object of the expansion of
Islam," and finds that it "has principally an offensive
character." The scholar Bat Ye'or explains for non-Muslims
through history this has meant "war, dispossession . . .
slavery and death." That does indeed sound like
"something that should make someone feel uncomfortable."
Sadly, this episode is no aberration, but indicative of two
for militant Islam:
awful legacy is standard operating procedure at Harvard. A
professor of Islamic history portrays jihad as "a struggle
without arms." The Harvard Islamic Society's faculty adviser
defines true jihad as no more fearsome than "to do good in
society." All this is part of a pattern of pretending Islam
had nothing to do with 9/11.
Harvard appears neutral in the current war, as Harvard Business
School student Pat Collins pointed out in a scathing Washington
Times op-ed. Take the example of Hamas: While President Bush has
called it "one of the deadliest terrorist organizations in
the world today," a Harvard spokesman replies "no
comment" when asked if it is a terrorist organization and the
university has allowed fund-raising on its premises on behalf of
Even today, militant Islamic groups have full access to university
facilities and the right to advertise their activities. Yet the
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), a training program for the
U.S. armed forces, is the only student group at Harvard to be
denied access to university facilities and disallowed from
advertising its activities.
Unfortunately, Harvard's stance is typical of nearly all North
America universities. Almost every Middle East specialist hides
the truth about jihad and (as shown by a chilling report from the
American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Defending Civilization)
almost every campus drips contempt for the U.S. war effort
(typical statement: "The best way to begin a war on terrorism
might be to look in the mirror").
are with us, or you are against us":
Harvard and other universities need to look hard into their soul
and decide on which side they stand.