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Wednesday, August 16

The land of the free - but free speech is a rare commodity

"It used to be said that academic rows were vicious because the stakes were so small. That's no longer true in America, where a battle is underway on campuses over what can be said about the Middle East and US foreign policy."

"Douglas Giles is a recent casualty. He used to teach a class on world religions at Roosevelt University, Chicago, founded in memory of FDR and his liberal-inclined wife, Eleanor. Last year, Giles was ordered by his head of department, art historian Susan Weininger, not to allow students to ask questions about Palestine and Israel; in fact, nothing was to be mentioned in class, textbooks and examinations that could possibly open Judaism to criticism."

"Students, being what they are, did not go along with the ban. A young woman, originally from Pakistan, asked a question about Palestinian rights. Someone complained and Professor Giles was promptly fired."
Read the rest of the story here, at the Observer.

I did not hear about this incident from any news source in the US yet, did you? Maybe I missed it? This isn't good -- how could this happen here... at an American university? Who is in charge of our colleges and universities? Is it the ones who sit on the Boards of these institutions of higher learning? Who has that kind of power to be able to fire someone over a classroom discussion of current world events? I don't get it....
Maybe this is just an isolated incident?

BTW -- I picked up a forgotten site in another interesting story at the
observer blogs. I used to visit
Watching America all the time -- very informative.

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