24 April 2007

Lebanon: Anti-Semitism, Fist-Fights, etc

Check out the following topics freshly picked from the Lebanese blogosphere this week. Enjoy:

A Case of Anti–Semitism?
An intense argument erupted between Prof Marcy Newman, who lectures at the American University of Beirut, and one of her colleagues after she sent out a flyer to AUB faculty announcing that the Lebanese Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid (LCEIA) would be screening two films as part of their campaign. Prof Newman posted her statements and the responses she got from the colleague. It is an interesting debate, considering that it is taking place in the political science department of one of Beirut’s prominent universities:

So apparently I’m a self hating Jew. Maybe I can be the poster child for this. I was called that yesterday by a colleague in the political science department at AUB. I was also called an anti-Semite, which I suppose is the same as self-hating since I am a Semite.

Questions for the Non–Secular
With Lebanon falling rapidly towards sectarian polarization, NightS poses these questions to the “non–secular”:

Questioning your god/faith shouldn’t be a pissing off subject!!
Think about it:
-All the prophets/messengers lived on this earth weren’t born with the faith they spread later.
-They had to think, wonder, analyze and “question” the existing faith to reach the new one.
-If they didn’t “question” anything, they wouldn’t have been what they are to us now.
-People followed them after they were convinced, convincing needed some “thinking” (both sides).
okay so far?!

Read the rest (Barricades and Graffiti, Fist Fights, Politics and Marriage, Virginia Tech) at Global Voices Online.

Image by diamond: "Barrier Art...".


Anonymous said...

great post. Although my views against one group or another are stictly political, i do not believe we can survive as a non secular society. the middle east as a whole is enriched with history for the three major religions. what right does one religion have to tell another that they do not count or are irrelevant?
as for the prof, i commend her on her candor. It is disappointing to see that an intellectual would be referred to as such just because she speaks against injustices. I suppose being referred to as "self hating jew" puts her in very good company, such as noam chomsky, rabbi lerner, lillienthal and many many more. there is a website dedicated to what are reffered to as self hating jews (massada2ooo.com).

Bashir said...

Thanks buckeye.

Leila said...

Looks like the unnamed professor is pissed off about post-modernist theory, cultural studies and the whole intellectual structure of theory since about 1970. Not to mention that he possesses a perhaps knee-jerk attitude towards any critique of globalization?

I love that Dr. Newman is screening documentaries on American fast food. I've written about the issue on my blog more than once - Lebanese students need to know about big agro and big food purveyors. In fact I'm going to blog it all again soon, since Michael Pollan has a new article on the subject in today's New York Times.

When my mother was on the faculty at AUB she knew an American professor who kept a big portrait of George Bush in his office. I wonder if this is the same guy.

Looks like some of America's cultural/intellectual wars are getting played out at AUB in this drama.

However, as a matter of basic email etiquette and flame prevention, it's better not to forward people's email around to gather criticism or make points. A lot of this sniping could have been diffused had people met each other face to face. Dr. Newman invited the guy to show up, and let's hope that he does. Why not also drop by his office with the syllabus? Have a face-to-face conversation?

Email and the internet amplify negative comment.
Signed - Leila (Bedouina)

Sophia said...

I love this piece of art. You should look at Keith Haring's work at artcyclopedia.com


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