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.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at PJ Media

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

How Israel Can Best Benefit from Its Newfound Friendship with Brazil

Jan. 21 2019

Earlier this month, Benjamin Netanyahu was in Brazil—the first Israeli prime minister to visit the country—for the inauguration of its controversial new president Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has made clear his eagerness to break with his predecessors’ hostility toward the Jewish state, and Netanyahu has responded positively. To Emanuele Ottolenghi, the improved relations offer an opportunity for joint cooperation against Hizballah, which gets much of its revenue through cooperation with Brazilian drug cartels. In this cooperative effort, Ottolenghi cautions against repeating mistakes made in an earlier outreach to Paraguay:

Hizballah relies heavily on the proceeds of transnational crime networks, especially in the Tri-Border Area [where] Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay [meet], but until recently, Brazilian officials were loath to acknowledge its presence in their country or its involvement in organized crime. [But] Bolsonaro’s top priority is fighting organized crime. Combating Hizballah’s terror finance is a vital Israeli interest. Making the case that Israel’s and Brazil’s interests dovetail perfectly should be easy. . . .

But Israel should be careful not to prioritize symbols over substance, a mistake already made once in Latin America. During 2013-2018, Netanyahu invested heavily in his relationship with Horacio Cartes, then president of Paraguay. Cartes, . . . too, had a genuine warmth for Israel, which culminated in his decision in May 2018 to move Paraguay’s embassy to Jerusalem. Most importantly, from Israel’s point of view, Paraguay began voting with Israel against the Arab bloc at the UN.

However, the Paraguayan side of the Tri-Border Area remained ground zero for Hizballah’s money laundering in Latin America. The Cartes administration hardly lifted a finger to act against the terror funding networks. . . . Worse—when critics raised Hizballah’s [local] terror-financing activities, Paraguayan ministers confronted their Israeli counterparts, threatening to change Paraguay’s friendly international posture toward Israel. [And] as soon as Cartes left office, his successor, Mario Abdo Benítez, moved Paraguay’s embassy back to Tel Aviv. . . . Israel’s five-year investment ultimately yielded no embassy move and no progress on combating Hizballah’s terror network. . . .

Israel should make the battle against Hizballah’s terror-finance networks in Latin America its top regional priority.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Brazil, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Latin America