Bankrupt Academia strikes again, this time in Arizona. Nicholas Damask, Ph.D., is a political science professor who wrote a doctoral thesis on Terrorism. He’s qualified. But when a student took exception to some questions about Islam and Terrorism on a quiz, things quickly went sideways.
Professor Damask’s troubles began during the current Spring semester, when a student took exception to three quiz questions. The questions were:
- Who do terrorists strive to emulate? A. Mohammed
- Where is terrorism encouraged in Islamic doctrine and law? A. The Medina verses [i.e., the portion of the Qur’an traditionally understood as having been revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career]
- Terrorism is _______ in Islam. A. justified within the context of jihad.
Damask explained: “All quiz questions on each of my quizzes, including the ones in question here, are carefully sourced to the reading material. On this quiz, questions were sourced to the Qur’an, the hadiths, and the sira (biography) of Mohammed, and other reputable source material.” And indeed, the three questions reflect basic facts that are readily established by reference to Islamic texts and teachings and numerous statements of terrorists themselves.
But that’s not woke. The college is all bent out of shape, but that’s hardly Professor Damask’s biggest problem. He has had to pack up his family (including his 85-year-old parents and 9-year old grandson and get out of town. Why?
“The irony here,” says Damask, “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.”.
What phone call? The one where the college was explaining to him the problem with implying that Islam was in any way connected to violence or Terrorism.
“During one call with [Kathleen] Iudicello,” [Scottsdale Community College’s Dean of Instruction] Damask recounts, “she stated that my quiz questions were ‘Islamophobic,’ that before continuing to have any further class content on Islamic terrorism I would likely need to meet with an Islamic religious leader to go over the content, and that I would likely need to take a class (perhaps at Arizona State) taught by a Muslim before teaching about Islamic terrorism.”
The School even wrote an apology for him, which he refuses to give. Part of this new reality, which has come at a price.
Damask’s introduction to the new Leftist academic world in which identity trumps truth has been bitter. “The College,” he says, “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.”
Colleges stopped caring about truth a long time ago. It just took this long for it to catch up to Prof. Damask. I just hope he takes his new awareness and applies it productively. Maybe Michael Rectenwald can offer some advice?
| PJ Media