IF YOU’RE OFFENDED BY THE TRUTH, WE’LL JUST CHANGE THE TRUTH FOR YOU!
A professor in America who dared to suggest that Islam is not totally a religion of peace is now facing death threats by Islamic supporters who have taken offense. Ironic, isn’t it? Professor Nicolas Damask, PhD, has taught political science at Scottsdale Community College for 24 years and has taught the same topic without incident for many years, but his family are now in hiding as a result of the threats and intimidation that they have received.
It all blew up as a result of a quiz based upon the Islamic sacred texts, the Qu’ran, the Hadith and the Sira, asking students specific questions about the Jihadist teachings of those texts. One student emailed Prof. Damask saying he was offended by the quiz and that the questions were “in distaste of Islam”. The Professor responded with a lengthy email explaining that he was simply pointing out the clear Jihadist teachings of Mohammed in the Islamic sacred texts as part of trying to understand the motivations of modern-day Jihadists.
The student was dissatisfied with the Professor’s response, and other students joined the protest. Prof. Damask states that they posted “angry, threatening, inflammatory and derogatory messages about the quiz, the school and myself” on the College website and on Instagram. The College officials gave Prof. Damask no hearing and no chance to defend himself. Despite the Professor contacting them to assert that he was simply pointing students to the Islamic sacred texts and basing his quiz questions solely upon those texts, the College Board demanded that he remove all quiz questions relating to Jihad from his course, and that he formally apologise to the students for discussing the issue.
He was told, via a phone call from the College’s Dean of Instruction, Kathleen Ludicello, to assert Islam as a peaceful religion and remove all content to the contrary.
Professor Damask comments, “The irony here, is that literally during this phone call, I and my wife were tossing socks and jammies and our nine-year-old grandson’s toys into a suitcase to get the hell out of the house because of the death threats made by Islamic commenters on the College’s Instagram page.”
The death threats included the threat of a shooting, as well as several threats to locate the Professors home address and pay him and his family a violent visit.
Apparently, these advocates of Islam’s peaceful nature failed to see the hypocrisy of their actions. I also suspect that most of them were not even Muslims, but were reactionary students who responded hysterically and who are apparently unable to distinguish fact-based academic enquiry from religious intolerance.
The College then sent Prof. Damask a written script for the apology that he was ordered to make to the student body. His response?
“It goes without saying,” says the Professor, “that I will not apologize for anything; that it is perfectly appropriate to discuss Islam, Muhammad, the Quran, the hadiths and any other matter related to Islamic terrorism. Incidentally: there has been no official complaint, no due process for me, just a mad scramble by the school to appease Islam.”
Professor Damask continues:
“The College has displayed an appalling lack of respect toward my rights; it has essentially engaged in defamation by terming my course material inaccurate, insensitive and that I have violated the College’s values; has denied my civil rights through waiving any and all due process procedures; violated my First Amendment rights by demanding I make an apology to the student; and violated my First Amendment and civil rights by demanding I alter my course material. Further and perhaps worse, I believe the school has effectively encouraged and permitted these threats to be made against me when the school could have immediately put a stop to them, which is tantamount to allowing mob threats against me.”
Professor Damask is being ordered to change his course so that it no longer offends. We seem to now live in a world where if the truth offends people, it is the truth that must be changed.
Let me finish with a note of context:
There are many followers of Islam who are peaceful and peace-loving, and who do not condone religious violence of any kind. I suspect that this is the case for the vast majority of Muslims. These peace-loving Muslims are valuable members of our multicultural community.
But our tertiary institutions – our Colleges and Universities – must be allowed to study the motivations and rationales of Muslim extremists, including their interpretation of their sacred texts as the basis for their actions. Similarly, it is entirely appropriate to study the motivations and rationales of extremists who have committed violence the name of Christianity or in the name of communism or any other ideology. Our tertiary institutions must be places where all aspects of our society can be held up to rigorous academic scrutiny, without the kind of leftist, politically-correct censuring which is currently shutting down any academic debate and enquiry which strays from the increasingly narrow party line.
Below are links to various news reports of the whole sad incident regarding Professor Nicolas Damask. The incident happened in May, this year, but the Professor and his family continue to be intimidated and threatened by closed-minded leftists.