Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Carl Cohen pisses into the wind

I agree with Prof. Cohen's statements below but why he thought it would do some good to address them to President Mary Sue Coleman of the University of Michigan rather perplexes me. He must have little understanding of the compulsions that drive his fellow academics. I am sure Mary Sue does, though. Post below lifted from Keith Burgess Jackson's blog -- which see for links

As a defense of race preference, the alleged compelling need for racial diversity is entirely without merit. That defense has been advanced and accepted only because there is no other way, under the U. S. Constitution, to rescue the drive to expiate white guilt. We are told repeatedly, by people who seem not to fear embarrassing themselves, that diversity is the very heart of educational excellence. The compensatory payments by race that cannot otherwise be defended are saved by a dreadful argument.

That the diversity defense is no more than a stratagem is made manifest by the history of this controversy. Diversity was hardly ever mentioned until the compensatory justification was thrown out by the courts. The evidence in the Michigan cases (Grutter and Gratz) exposes and highlights the ruse. If a "critical mass" of minority students (what was claimed to be a compelling need) in the black minority requires, let us say, 50 blacks among the entering law school class, how can it be that only 25 are needed for a critical mass of Hispanics? And only five for a critical mass of Native Americans! I wish not to offend, President Coleman, but candor compels the admission that all our talk about using preference to achieve a "critical mass" of students in each minority for the sake of educational excellence is-in the words of four members of our Supreme Court-a "sham." It is a device, the only device available with which we can continue to satisfy the inner compulsions of white guilt.

(Carl Cohen, "Open Letter to the President of My University," Academic Questions 19 [fall 2006]: 78-82, at 80-1 [italics in original])

Re-educating Jihadis?

The Saudi way

Abu Suleiman fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and endured more than four years' captivity in Guantanamo Bay. But now, thanks to an extraordinary experiment in his native Saudi Arabia, he has been reintegrated into society. Aged 33, he recently married, has a job as an analyst for a stockbroker and is full of regret for his past. His conversion from jihadist to model citizen is part of a re-education campaign in the birthplace of al-Qaeda, where hundreds of Islamic terrorist suspects are being released into society after intense indoctrination to lead them back into Islam's mainstream. "I prefer to forget what happened to me in the past - it destroyed my life," said the reformed militant who speaks English learnt from his American military jailers.

His story is typical of hundreds of young Saudi men who have been drawn to the cause of militant Islam. At 20 he left home to join the Mujahidin and went to the Philippines before settling in Afghanistan, where he fought alongside bin Laden until the final battle in late 2001 at Tora Bora, the al-Qaeda mountain stronghold. "He [bin Laden] was a quiet guy but he could create magic when he talked," said Abu Suleiman, who asked not to be identified by his real name. As the battle intensified, the young Saudi recalled that bin Laden was the first to flee the area, escaping to the Afghan province of Gardez. Abu Suleiman and many others were captured by Pakistani forces, who handed him over to the Americans.

The former jihadi admitted that when he was sent home last year, among 65 Saudis repatriated from Guantanamo, he feared the worst. The kingdom has a poor human rights record and opponents of the regime can languish in jail for years, suffer torture and even face the death penalty. Instead, according to Abdulrahman al-Hadlaq, head of the rehabilitation programme, Abu Suleiman became one of more than 700 Saudi militants who have been set free after volunteering to be reeducated. Only nine have since reoffended. "We have found that military action is not the only solution to this problem," Mr al-Hadlaq said. "We are waging a war of ideas."

The multimillion-pound programme employs dozens of clerics, psychiatrists and other specialists, who try to persuade the young men that their behaviour goes against the fundamental teachings of Islam.Once free, the Government helps former inmates to find work and in some cases even a wife.

Arguably the toughest job falls to people such as Sheikh Muhammad al-Najeemi, who is in charge of religious indoctrination. He tells the men that jihad (holy war) is admissible in Islam only if it is waged with the consent of the country's leader, the permission of both parents and if a fatwa (religious decree) is issued. It can take weeks to convince a prisoner. "Sometimes you have tough questions to answer, like why was it permitted to wage jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan but not the Americans," said Sheikh Muhammad. He explains that the situation is different. The Soviet Union conquered Afghanistan and imposed a communist, atheist regime. Saudi Arabia encouraged men to go and fight, but today Riyadh supports the Islamic Government in Kabul.

Western diplomats in Saudi Arabia are impressed with the campaign, which they say has contributed to the defeat of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Four years ago, when the group launched a wave of attacks against government targets, scores of people were killed. Western workers fled in their thousands. The authorities struggled to cope and there were doubts about the regime's survival. Today, the expatriates are back, the atmosphere in Riyadh, the capital, is relaxed and the number of terrorist incidents has declined sharply.

Nevertheless, a hard core of the estimated 1,400 security detainees has refused to enter the reeducation programme. Many are takfirs, Muslim fanatics who do not consider Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan true Islamic nations and therefore justify killing fellow Muslims. Clerics admit that it is difficult to win a theological debate against what they describe as an irrational ideology. "We are winning, but it is a very slow. It is going to take a few more years," said Mr al-Hadlaq.


The perennial incorrectness of attractive women

The film star Russell Crowe is facing a backlash from male fans after bowing to pressure from his wife and sacking scantily clad cheerleaders from his rugby league team in Australia. Crowe, 41, best known for macho roles in films such as Gladiator and Cinderella Man, banned the pompom-twirling cheerleaders from his South Sydney Rabbitohs team, in which he bought a 75% stake last year, because his wife Danielle, 37, disapproved of them. Crowe presented his decision as a "progressive" move for the game. Cheerleaders "make women feel uncomfortable", he said, "and it makes blokes who want to take their sons to the football uncomfortable".

A "multicultural" band of 16 male and female drummers replaced the cheerleaders at last Sunday's match in Sydney's Telstra stadium. "We examined game day and wanted to contemporise and make the focus football," explained Crowe. "The whole idea of percussion will be exciting for the crowd." As the players ran on, the drummers beat out an accompaniment that sounded like tribal war drums. But they idled on the sidelines for much of the match, occasionally building up a chant.

Their performance split the sexes. While 59% of women in a poll on the Sydney Daily Telegraph website agreed that the pompom girls should go, 61% of men gave the drummers the thumbs down. "I've been to so many games when Souths are getting crushed," said David Reynolds, a fan, "and there's nothing better than seeking solace in a bunch of beautiful girls to take your mind off the debacle." The only consolation for the pompom girls was to see themselves on the YouTube website, where hundreds of videos pay homage to their technique.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


No comments: