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Campus Watching and Censorship Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Saladin, Egypt Jul 31, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions
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An increasing number of universities in the western world nowadays are beginning a massive stampede to revive campus watching. It is thought that surveying social and political activities held by some specified groups of students, or by some teachers, is a way to keep discipline, and to protect the major student population from being influenced by "extremist ideas". A strong campaign has been held since September eleventh 2001, against any university candidate who shows his refuse to the American policy in the Middle East, or who is simply sympathetic to the suffering of Palestinian people. That indiscriminate campaign is fully supported by the Harvard University Ph.D. candidate Tal Ben-Shahar in his essay "Jihad comes to Harvard", published in the magazine of "The ObjectivistCenter". The most crucial principle that we have to acknowledge is that before Ben-Shahar intends to accuse Muslim colleagues on campus of being fundamentalists, and try to play the role of the discipline keeper, he must know that his surveying of some others because of their different ideology, is considered as a dreadful mean of mind terrorism.

Ben-Shahar encourages campus watching, and enhancing censorship between colleagues. Hence, he must understand that transforming a student into a surveying agent is extremely far away from the objectives a university is build to achieve. His "campus- watching" seems to be a rich subject for his magazine "The ObjectivistCenter", which
promotes "free speech" and cares a lot about the "liberty of mind". He has to know that implanting hatred and mind terrorism between students brings us to a new "version" of the Gestapo era in the dictatorial NAZI system. Thus, the application of such regime of campus surveying to shut up all pro-Islamic and pro-Palestinian voices on American campuses is directly in breach of the liberal principles of the American Revolution.

Ben-Shahar shows his disappointment at Harvard University for permitting an Egyptian senior "Zayed Yasin", to give a speech on the graduation ceremony, on the noble meaning of Jihad. He interprets it as sympathy to the Palestinian resistance or the "Jihad" against Israel. Refusing to just hear the opponent's opinion, the author considers the direct dialogue between pro-Israelis and pro-Palestinians as a harmful kind of "exposure to ambiguity and doublespeak". Ben-Shahar tries to draw a parallel between Islam, Jihad, terrorism, Palestinian militants, and Zayed Yasin's speech. In addition, Ben-Shahar says that the "form" of Jihad overwhelmingly supported by the Muslim world today is synonymous to murder. He makes a great contradiction then when he says, "We must teach our graduates that good is good, bad is bad, and Jihad is Jihad!" Then, he doesn't show really whether Jihad is moral or immoral. Moreover, he gives an irreplaceable judgment when he says, "Jihad is Jihad", and while accepting that there are many "forms" of Jihad. It is now probable to think that such a man totally approves Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and on the contrary, he totally disapproves Jihad against the Israelis in Palestine. To say then that Ben-Shahar is seeking for "freedom of expression" or "intolerance" - as a reporter at the "ObjectivistCenter" - is quite unthinkable.

One can respect the tolerance of Lev Grinberg, the director of the Humphrey Institute for Social Research at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, when he says, "Suicide bombs killing innocent citizens must be unequivocally condemned; they are immoral acts, and their perpetrators should be sent to jail, but they cannot be compared to State terrorism carried out by the Israeli Government". It is important to mention both sides - including the Palestinians - to have a tolerant, fair and acceptable argument. However, Ben-Shahar continues to prove his ignorance and his unfairness when he gives chilling facts about Islamist groups in particular and Muslim societies in general. He tries to draw a terrible picture of Muslims; they "fly planes into buildings", they support "indiscriminate suicide murders in Israel" and they kill and enslave Christians in Southern Sudan under the title of Jihad! The hideous objective desired by Ben-Shahar here is to create hatred of Muslims, and outrage at Islamic Jihad among Christians and none-Muslims. Furthermore, he tries to gain some more allies who will accept the survey of any Muslim activity on American campuses.

Ben-Shahar benefits from the suicide mentality of the Palestinian "Mujahedeen" to rely the responsibility for the US attacks on the principle of Jihad. He must then realize that he can't take Adolf Hitler with his German cross, his Holocaust Campaigns, and his concentration camps, as a symbol of Christendom. If he realized that, he would never burden the responsibility of a "mysterious" attack - like the one on September eleventh- on Jihad or Islam. The careful searcher in Islam finds that the word "Jihad" refers to that action of struggle, when Muslims defend their land, money or dignity with every possible mean, which is considered as "The small Jihad". Moreover it refers to the "struggle" against the evil temptations of the human spirit, which is considered as "the Great Jihad", as mentions Eqbal Ahmed, the Pakistani writer in his essay "Terrorism, theirs and ours". On the other side, Ben-Shahar's interpretation of Jihad is judged as poor and biased. Nevertheless, he still doesn't want to understand that Zayed Yasin gave his speech about the first type of Jihad, which is synonymous to resist occupation. Ben-Shahar doesn't take in consideration that the United Nations declared Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza strip as occupied territories-as described in the United Nations declaration 242 in 1967. It is important for him to read well about the Universal Declaration on Human Rights signed after world war II by more than 100 countries including Israel and the United States, and which ensures the inalienable right to all nations under foreign occupation to use any possible means to resist.

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My name is Ayman el-Hakea, I am a Construction Engineering graduate from the American University in Cairo. My origins date to an interesting mixture of Yemeni, Moroccan, Albanian, and Egyptian ancestors. I always try to be a moderate Muslim, I like animation, geopolitics, comparative religion, and football. I like to be with "people"...and I hope my writing isn't boring for anyone.
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