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In a Texas Philosophy Department, Raising the Subject of the Treatment of Homosexuals in Muslim Lands Is Forbidden

In a casual conversation with a fellow student, Alfred MacDonald—then a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio—stated that he doesn’t “think highly of Islam” since, as a bisexual, he “could be legally put to death in about a dozen countries that use Islam for their legal system.” The other party to the conversation reported him for his comments, and MacDonald soon found himself summoned to the offices of the departmental chairwoman, Eve Browning, who then chastised him for his remarks. Describing the episode, Bruce Bawer writes:

Browning, after being told by MacDonald what he had said to his fellow student about Islam, asked him, “Do you understand how someone would find that offensive?” Note well: Browning didn’t mean that the Islamic death penalty for gay people is offensive; she had nothing to say about that. What she meant was that mentioning the penalty is offensive. . . .

She then threatened to refer MacDonald to the university’s “Behavior Intervention Team,” which, she explained, is “trained in talking to people about what’s appropriate or what isn’t,” or to “the student conduct board,” which had the power to recommend his dismissal from the university. . . . For her, apparently, this wasn’t a question of ethics or logic; it was a matter of shutting up and obeying the rules. Period. “I’m not out to persuade you,” she admitted. “I’m just out to read you the riot act, basically.”

Eve Browning is . . . far from alone in taking the view—or, at least, acting as if she takes the view—that the execution of gay people in countries that are governed in accordance with sharia law is less offensive than mentioning those executions.

Fortunately, more and more gay people are awakening to the fact that the left, academic and otherwise, does not have their back. When it comes to supposedly downtrodden groups, the left has a distinctive pecking order. Especially now that same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S., gays are no longer seen as being particularly oppressed—especially not gay white males, who thanks to their whiteness and maleness are increasingly viewed as members of the oppressor class, not the oppressed. Muslims, on the contrary, are at the very top of the victim-group heap—and, perversely, every time another act of murderous jihad is committed in the name of Allah, Muslims’ victim status seems to grow.

Read more at PJ Media

More about: Academia, History & Ideas, Homosexuality, Islam, Political correctness

 

Hannah Arendt, Adolf Eichmann, and the Jews

Feb. 23 2018

In 1963—a year after Adolf Eichmann’s sentencing by an Israeli court—reports on the trial by the German-born Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt appeared in the New Yorker and were soon published as a book. This “report on the banality of evil,” as the book was subtitled, outraged many Jews, including many of her erstwhile friends and admirers, on account of her manifest contempt for the entire preceding, her disgust for the state of Israel, her accusation that a wide array of European Jewish leaders (if not the majority of the victims) were complicit in their own murder, and her bizarre insistence that Eichmann was “not a monster,” or even an anti-Semite, but a mindless, faceless bureaucrat. While extensive evidence has been brought to light that Arendt was wrong both in her claims of Jewish passivity and her evaluation of Eichmann as the head of the SS’s Jewish section, her book remains widely read and admired. Ruth Wisse comments on its enduring legacy:

When Arendt volunteered to report on the Eichmann trial, it was presumed that she was doing so in her role as a Jew. . . . But Arendt actually traveled to Jerusalem for a deeper purpose—to reclaim Eichmann for German philosophy. She did not exonerate Nazism and in fact excoriated the postwar Adenauer government for not doing enough to punish known Nazi killers, but she rehabilitated the German mind and demonstrated how that could be done by going—not beyond, but around, good and evil. She came to erase Judaism philosophically, to complicate its search for moral clarity, and to unseat a conviction [that, in Saul Bellow’s words], “everybody . . . knows what murder is.”

Arendt was to remain the heroine of postmodernists, deconstructionists, feminists, relativists, and internationalist ideologues who deny the stability of Truth. Not coincidentally, many of them have also disputed the rights of the sovereign Jewish people to its national homeland. Indeed, as anti-Zionism cemented the coalition of leftists, Arabs, and dissident minorities, Arendt herself was conscripted, sometimes unfairly and in ways she might have protested, as an ally in their destabilizing cause. They were enchanted by her “perversity” and were undeterred in their enthusiasm by subsequent revelations, like those of the historian Bernard Wasserstein, who documented Arendt’s scholarly reliance on anti-Semitic sources in her study of totalitarianism, or of revelations about her resumed friendship with Martin Heidegger despite his Nazi associations.

At the same time, however, the Arendt report on the Eichmann trial became one of the catalysts for something no one could have predicted—an intellectual movement that came to be known as neoconservatism. A cohort of writers and thinkers, many of them Jews from immigrant families who had turned to leftism as naturally as calves to their mother’s teats, but who had slowly moved away from the Marxism of their youth during the Stalin years and World War II, now spotted corruption and dishonesty and something antithetical to them in some of their very models of the intellectual life.

They and their Gentile colleagues had constituted the only European-style intelligentsia to flourish in America. Most of them were only one generation removed from Europe, after all, so what could be more natural than for them to serve as the conduit of European intelligence to America? Arendt’s ingenious twist of the Eichmann trial showed them how Jewish and American they actually were—and how morally clear they aspired to be.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Neoconservatism, New York Intellectuals