Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jihad supporters on campus

Below is an email from David Horowitz []

On Monday night, I spoke at the University of California-Santa Barbara about Islamo-Fascism - the ideology of the radical Muslims dedicated to our destruction. Throughout the talk I was heckled, jeered, and cursed - standard treatment on our campuses for anyone trying to rally students to defend America against the jihad. Leading the attempt to disrupt my appearance were members of the Muslim Student Association and their sympathizers.

Tuesday I spoke at the University of California-Irvine - a school that right now in the midst of a weeklong celebration of jihad and terror. The occasion - although it seems these days that supporters radical Islam don't need an excuse to call for violence against Israel and America- was what members of the Muslim Student Association the Nakba or "catastrophe," which is what they call the creation of Israel 60 years ago.

At both universities I called on the Muslim Student Association to denounce the calls for genocide that come daily from Iran's Ahmadinejad and from the leaders of Hamas and Hizbollah. Neither group would take this stand.

Nor is this virulence restricted to universities in California. You'll see in this email that I've reproduced the cartoon attack on me and on the Freedom Center's work in exposing the threat of jihad in America - by the Muslim Student Association at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

This cartoon is right out of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Take a good look at it. The anti Semitic hate for anyone who dares disclose what is at the heart of the Islamo-fascist movement oozes off the page. How dare I, or anyone, expose the professors and students on our campuses who serve as apologists for the butchers of jihad?

Of course that is precisely what we're doing with our Terrorist Awareness Project (TAP), and, more specifically, our recent Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on campuses across the nation - including Wisconsin-Milwaukee. We are exposing the secret agenda of pro-terrorist supporters across the nation, especially on the campuses of our universities. And we're also showing how the Muslim Brotherhood, godfather to al Qaeda and Hamas, helped create the Muslim Student Association and other Muslim student groups as part of its stealth jihad against American institutions.

Founded in Egypt in the late 1920s, the Muslim Brotherhood has long used violence as the primary means to its end -- strict compliance to Sharia law, death to all Jews, the oppression of all non-believers, and Muslim rule across the globe. That the ultra-radical, rabidly violent Muslim Brotherhood lurks behind the scenes of Muslim Student Associations across the nation should be of concern to every American!

The theme of our most recent lslamo Fascism Awareness Week was a "Declaration Against Genocide" - the genocide against the Jews first called for by Islam's prophet Mohammed and echoed with increasing menace by radical Islamists in the Middle East and on American college campuses today.

How serious are they about this new genocide? The Muslim Student Association at the University of Southern California has the call for genocide on its website, verbatim. "The Prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time [of judgment] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!"

Radical Islam is fascism by another name. And across our nation, our universities - funded by your tax dollars - are harboring what amounts to indoctrination cells for Islamo-Fascism. These universities are allowing these Muslim Student Associations to masquerade as harmless cultural and religious organizations, rather than the front groups for jihad that they are. Not only this, university administrators and student governments are funding these MSA chapters so that they can preach hate and incite violence.

So, today, following my encounters with hatred at UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Freedom Center is launching a campaign dedicated to exposing the bond between the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim Student Associations!

We've just published a pamphlet, The Muslim Student Association and The Jihad Network which details the relationship between the violent Muslim Brotherhood and American MSAs. We need to get this into the hands of college students concerned about this front group for terror, and to university administrators, policy makers and members of Congress. This is the first step of our fall campaign to send speakers onto more than 100 university campuses to engage the Muslim Student Association in its lair.

You can get a copy of the pamphlet and donate to David's campaign here

The great difficulty of real scholarship in America today

By America's premier Herman Melville expert, Professor Hershel Parker

When I started research on my dissertation in 1962 I met two candidates for the PhD at Columbia who were amused that Northwestern was offering doctorates and curious about what kind of dissertation I was writing that would involve my going to New York City. When I told them I was going to the New York Public Library or the New-York Historical Society every day to read nineteenth-century newspapers and copy out nineteenth-century letters about Melville and politics, they were dumbstruck. They had a great story to regale their fellow students and their teacher Richard Chase with at Columbia, this guy from the Midwest going to the libraries every day and looking at old newspapers and manuscripts! In 1962, a graduate student going to the archives as if the New Criticism had never triumphed! Almost every graduate student in the Ivy League knew that biographical and historical evidence was irrelevant to interpretation, just as the early New Critics had said in the late 1940s. And here I was coming all the way to New York to look for biographical information! They were too polite to laugh outright, but the way they kept rolling their eyes at each other showed they thought this was the quaintest damned thing they had ever heard. It probably was.

'In 1962 and for many years afterwards I would find that no scholar had ever called for a box of documents or that no one had called for it since one of my teacher's colleagues had consulted it in the 1940s. During the 1940s Stanley T. Williams at Yale had looked at the low quality of work on Melville and had determined that his best graduate students would do biographical-historical dissertations on Melville. When Williams retired in 1953, biographical scholarship died at Yale. Taught by one of Williams's students, Harrison Hayford, I built much of my career on meticulous establishment of chronology. Once in the 1970s, as I explain in my and Brian Higgins's Reading Melville's 'Pierre; or, The Ambiguities' (LSU Press, 2006), p. 199, I laid out the known documents in sequence and helplessly quoted to myself Mr. Compson from Absalom, Absalom!: 'It just does not explain.' Then I realized that none of us had seen one of the documents in full, and that document, sent to me from Houghton Library, solved the puzzle. My devotion to chronology remains: my computerized expansion of the 900 page The Melville Log (1951) (the work of a film scholar, Jay Leyda, not a professor of English) runs to around 9,000 pages. In the long course of transcribing nineteenth-century manuscripts and items from newspapers and books for my electronic New Melville Log in the 1980s and 1990s, I discovered dozens of wholly unknown episodes in Melville's life.

'While I was pursuing my own way, the New Critical repudiation of biographical and historical research continued under different guises, and more virulently. The original New Critics of the 1940s had been trained as scholars back in the 1920s and 1930s. They were ruling out consideration of biographical information in criticism, but they were quite familiar with their authors' biographies. Charles Feidelson, who replaced Williams at Yale in American Literature, had not been so rigorously trained, and each successive generation of teachers and each successive critical movement moved farther and farther away from scholarship until at last Yale was represented by Richard Brodhead and then by Wai-chee Dimock.

'Even textual critics avoided scholarship or at least gave others a way of avoiding it. James Thorpe in the 70s then Jerome McGann in the 1980s championed not texts closest to the author's original intention but texts that got published with the help of family, friends, editors, and publishers--the 'socialized' product. The great appeal of McGann's approach in the 1980s was that it reduced or eliminated work: all the new textual editor really needed to do was identify a text supervised by an editor and base his edition on it. Certainly the textual editor did not need to try to read a difficult manuscript in order to recover what the author wrote, for McGann had repudiated the idea of the author as fiery creator and ultimate authority.

'My own Flawed Texts and Verbal Icons (1984) was less appealing because it celebrated the author's creative process as I established it from working with manuscripts and revisions. In Much Labouring: The Texts and Authors of Yeats's First Modernist Books (1997), David Holdeman said that I 'might almost be regarded as 'McGann's 'anti-self' (to use a Yeatsian term)': 'Like McGann, Parker contests the ontological assumptions of Greg-Bowers editing and of the criticism it underpins, but he interests himself entirely in authorial texts and meanings, constructing a hermeneutics that privileges manuscripts and those early creative processes that he believes are affected least by sociohistorical contexts.' No editor wanted to hear about the creative process. One follower of McGann, Jack Stillinger, in the revealingly entitled Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius (1991), called me the 'most extreme theorist of textual primitivism to date'; my greatest sin, he thought, was believing that 'genuine art is coherent.' Jonathan Wordsworth, another primitivist, and I should have rushed to embrace late, watered-down, dumbed-down 'socialized' texts.

'In the 1970s the latest chic form of the New Criticism was 'Reader Response Criticism,' which once again banished the author from consideration. What counted was the Almighty Reader, the true maker of the meaning. The trouble was that the author kept recurring because his or her name was attached to books. Roland Barthes in 1967 published his influential 'Death of the Author,' and in 'What is an Author?' (1977) Michel Foucault argued for denying the existence of the author while acknowledging an 'author function.' Yet inexplicably Foucault kept cautiously copyrighting his own books just as if he were the real author.

'In the 1970s and 1980s, American imitators of the French Deconstructionists played at dismantling texts but did no textual investigating of their own and ignored all the challenging examinations of major American novels then going on. New Critics and Deconstructionists alike preferred the Appleton The Red Badge of Courage (the product of the social process in which the editor, Ripley Hitchcock, made cuts which had disproportionately massive effects in the little book) while not wanting to read the original version (almost all of which could be reconstructed, I decided, and was in due course reconstructed by my student Henry Binder). Crane critics rushed to defend the expurgated Red Badge, on which they had built their reputations. Now, Mike, people who live in the real world rather than the Ivory Tower understand censorship when they see it. Hitchcock's arrogant hacking away at Zane Grey's texts is well documented, and Jon Tuska in his Foreword to his restored version of Zane Grey's Shower of Gold (2007) happily quotes me as the authority on what Hitchcock achieved with his censoring.

'In the 1980s the latest fad, 'New Historicism,' sounded far more rigorous than 'New Criticism' but it was not new 'Historical' research, not at all. Typically, a New Historicist like Wai-chee Dimock, hired by Richard Brodhead at Yale, acted as if all historical research had stopped early in the 20th century, say the 1930s. Real historians had done nothing after that on Manifest Destiny, she was sure. New Historicists (by now who was surprised?) dismissed the author and consciously tried to repress mention of the author lest he push the Almighty Critic out of the limelight. What was important was not Shakespeare the creative genius and real-life theatre man of his time but the general Zeitgeist, in which a particular author (and an author's particularities) were not of significance. Uniqueness and creative power was always to be distrusted and suppressed. The place of power was held by the Critic, and only Critics gained tenure.

'You can observe the perversely misused power of the academic establishment in strange places. Look at the horror Michael D. Coe coolly describes in Breaking the Maya Code (1992). After the dazzling work of amateurs (at 18 David Stuart was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship!) and some unruly, atypical scholars in deciphering the Maya hieroglyphs, most of the tenured Maya archaeologists turned their backs on the new discoveries. Coe reports that most field archaeologists 'are almost totally illiterate in the Maya script' and few 'if any' know the living Mayan tongue.' They can't read the hierglyphs and don't want to because the writing is primarily about kings, and they want to talk Marxist talk about the masses. As Coe says, 'Imagine someone calling himself an Egyptologist who couldn't read a hieroglyphic inscription, or a Sinologist tongue-tied in Chinese! How can illiterate scholars pretend to study a literate civilization?'

'Richard Brodhead either did not know that Melville had finished a book in 1853 and another in 1860 or else he lied about it in 2002 when he ignored decades of scholarship in order to make it seem that I had made these books up--which of course meant that I was not to be trusted on anything. In order to preserve the status quo in scholarship (that is, the 1921 status) he trashed me as a 'demon-researcher' on a voyage fated to sink, like Ahab's. Late in 2003 Robert Steel boasted that he was bringing a fine scholar to Duke. He brought the Brodhead who in 1996 had published THE SCHOOL OF HAWTHORNE without bothering to look in Sterling Memorial Library to see who had been enrolled in that class other than a few famous white men. In reaction, I gather from the preface, the forces of political correctness came down on Brodhead so brutally that he never risked their wrath again.

'The repudiation of the great creative genius continues. In the 11 April 2008 TLS Raymond Tallis looks at the latest form of this extreme exaltation of the Critic over the author, the invoking of 'neuroscience' in literary criticism: 'Norman Bryson, once a leading exponent of Theory and a social constructivist, has described his Damascene conversation, as a result of which he now places the firing of neurons, rather than signifiers at the heart of literary criticism.' As Tallis says, for many years now the literary work 'becomes a mere example of some historical, cultural, political, or other trend of which the author will have been dimly aware, if at all. The differences between one author and another are also minimized.' New terms (neurons!), old follies. Underlying all of these critical approaches which succeeded the 1940s New Criticism have been attempts to deny original creative genius (that is, to repress or expel the author from consideration, particularly an author with fierce originality) while exalting Critics themselves as the masters of the texts they are teaching.

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