Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth Who We Are
9/11 First Responder and
Day of Prayer for Truth
POST 9/11 NOW WHAT?
NEW! Interfaith Dialogue and 9/11 Truth
INTRODUCTION by Dr Kevin J. Barrett, MUJCA-NET Founding Member
NEW BOOK PROJECT 9/11 and the American Empire: Jews, Christians and Muslims Speak Out
Deep Religious Pluralism by Dr David Griffin
KHIDRIA — Land of
This Is What I Get For Listening to the Herald?
By Kevin Barrett, http://mujca.com
On Monday, September 4th, 2006—the first day of the fall
semester, exactly one week before the fifth
Taking the Herald editorial staff’s advice to heart, I did my best to offer a first-rate class on Islam that would not get bogged down in political controversy. By most accounts I succeeded.
Going the extra mile to keep the Herald editorialists happy, I tried to help my fellow academicians weigh my views on 9/11 in the marketplace of ideas. Alongside Jim Fetzer and other members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth (st911.org) I offered to debate any professor on campus—indeed, any professor from any campus—who dared support the 9/11 Commission Report. When the U.W. History Club asked me to defend my views in a debate or panel discussion with members of the U.W. History and Political Science faculty, I agreed enthusiastically. (Please, somebody prove me wrong!) Unfortunately, the History Club discovered that not one U.W. faculty member was willing to defend the official version of 9/11 in a free and open debate. Professor Fetzer and I wound up debating two empty chairs representing the U.W. History and Political Science departments respectively.
Take a look at patriotsquestion911.com. Why are there 100 professors, alongside another 100 or so former military, intelligence, and administration officials—the brave tip of a massive iceberg of under-the-radar truth supporters—who are willing to put their reputations on the line by publicly speaking out for 9/11 truth...whereas not a single U.W. professor can be found who is willing to defend the official fairy tale? The answer is obvious: The official story is indefensible. According to a recent New York Times poll, only 16% of the American people believe it, while a Scripps-Howard poll tells us that 36% (about 100 million Americans) say top government officials committed high treason and conspiracy to mass murder on September 11th, 2001 as a pretext to wage war in the Middle East. A recent letters page in The Nation conceded that their unfriendly article on 9/11 truth triggered the biggest flood of letters in recent memory— and not one letter supported the official story! “Mr. Barrett’s questionable theories” have indeed been tested in the marketplace of ideas—and they have won. The opposition has surrendered without a fight.
So let’s get this straight: I taught a fine class on Islam, took my 9/11 critique to the marketplace of ideas and won, published two books, and treated dogs and little children kindly. How classy can you get?
And yet the Herald isn't satisfied. Conceding that “he emerged from the entire episode with bragging rights, thanks to glowing reviews from his students,” and “fought a good fight and conducted himself professionally,” editorialist Emily Friedman (2/15/07) says that re-hiring me would be “too risky.”
The administration did indeed take a risk last summer by defending my right to voice my political opinions on the radio. They could not have been sure how I would conduct myself in the classroom.
But now—as the 9/11 mythologists never tire of repeating—“everything has changed.” Given my teaching performance during the fall semester, and the sea-change in public opinion toward 9/11 truth, any attempt to bar me from future teaching opportunities at U.W. would represent a cowardly and foolish squandering of hard-earned integrity chips. Thanks to its brave choice last fall, the U.W. will continue to have “sifting and winnowing” bragging rights when future history books are written. As a fairly ordinary individual who has had a footnote in those history books thrust upon me, I have to agree with Emily: I am one “lucky, lucky guy”—as are all of us with the good fortune to be associated with this great university, which may yet live up to its motto: The truth will set you free.
OPINION & EDITORIAL
Rehiring Barrett too risky
• Stay classy, Barrett (September 4, 2006)
• Extremist lectures harmful to UW education (October 19, 2006)
• Fractured fairy tales (October 2, 2006)
• Principled dialogue vital to progress (December 14, 2006)
by Emily Friedman
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Kevin Barrett is a lucky, lucky guy.
Against all odds — from skeptical University of Wisconsin administrators to scathing criticisms by newspapers across the nation — Mr. Barrett survived the fall semester and the controversy surrounding his course, “Islam: Religion and Culture.” In fact, he did far more than simply survive the term: He emerged from the entire episode with bragging rights, thanks to glowing reviews from his students.
To backtrack a bit, Mr. Barrett is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who, over the past year, has garnered a massive amount of media coverage. He believes the Bush administration was behind the terrorist attacks.
But things got complicated when UW hired him as a lecturer — much to the dismay of students, faculty and administrators, as well as legislators like state Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater. Critics worried — understandably — that his outlandish views would reflect poorly on the university and that Mr. Barrett would be unable to separate his own beliefs from the course material.
And now, just as Mr. Barrett’s name had slipped from the headlines for a few months — a void that was surely welcomed by students and faculty alike — he’s back. But this time, in a good way. According to anonymous student evaluations filled out by students who took his course this past fall, Mr. Barrett’s lecture wasn’t so bad, after all.
So I can’t help but wonder, if Mr. Barrett decides to reapply for a position at UW come spring, should the administration take him seriously? Would they dare welcome back the very man they despised just months ago for his ability to drag the university’s name through the mud — and on Fox News, no less?
At the end of the day, it’s hard to dispute that Mr. Barrett fought a good fight and apparently conducted himself professionally within the classroom. What’s more, he’s got the paperwork to prove it.
Students debunked concerns many had expressed that Mr. Barrett would force his 9/11 theories down their throats and also attested to the fact that very little of the course was focused on the conspiracy theories. In fact, one student was quoted in The Badger Herald saying he wished Mr. Barrett could teach an entire course on conspiracy theories.
And the negative evaluations? Most criticized a lack of organization by Mr. Barrett, certainly a common student complaint about professors.
If the decision faces administrators as to whether they should consider rehiring Mr. Barrett, get ready for a bumpy ride. It will surely evolve into an issue — undoubtedly throwing Mr. Barrett back on the front page — certain to affect many parts of the university community.
On one hand, many students may resent an administration that, in a selfish effort to protect the university from additional unwanted publicity, would choose to pass on hiring Mr. Barrett. These students are paying tuition to go here, and they were the ones who actually dealt with Mr. Barrett as a teacher. Shouldn’t their opinions of him matter?
But what about the reality that having such a controversial lecturer on campus may drive away potential students? And what about the probability that more donors will be dissuaded from giving money to the university?
While both sides of the argument have merit — and more points can be made on both sides of the issue — it would be surprising for a university like ours not to care about its image. Although it would be nice to think these student evaluations weighed heavily in the minds of the decision makers, I doubt very much they will.
I am a firm believer in both the power of the student voice and in the marketplace of ideas. I do not question the ability of students to sift through what they do and do not believe in, Barrett or no Barrett. I respect an institution that can keep different lecturers and professors on campus, with their own sets of ideologies, whether I agree with them or not.
But it has become increasingly evident that Mr. Barrett can be a loose cannon, and the risk of rehiring him is too great. Now that we have survived the semester, we would be stupid to not run while we can. To do otherwise would only be asking for trouble.
Emily Friedman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior majoring in journalism and legal studies.
Also by Badger Herald Editorial Board:
• Practice safe surveillance(January 31, 2007)
• Over the borderline (January 29, 2007)
• For better or for worse (January 18, 2007)
• Biting the hand that funds you(January 18, 2007)
• Density plan dense, indeed(January 18, 2007)
• Fractured fairy tales (October 2, 2006)
• Barrett shamelessly exploits position (September 4, 2006)
• Nass, Green wrong in criticism of UW's stance on Barrett (August 8, 2006)
• Barrett the progressive candidate? (April 19, 2002)
by Badger Herald Editorial Board
Monday, September 4, 2006
When University of Wisconsin administrators hired Kevin Barrett last semester, they had no idea what they had signed up for. Since that time, Mr. Barrett has openly and repeatedly voiced his belief that the American government planned the Sept. 11 attacks in order to increase tension between the Muslim world and the West. UW’s decision this summer to retain him has exacerbated poor relations between the university and state Legislature that are unlikely to improve any time soon.
Although Mr. Barrett’s views are highly suspect, the choice to keep him at UW is not. In the past, legislators have rarely interfered with the personnel decisions made by UW, and that should remain the case. The university is lucky to have an array of teachers with different ideologies, and while most avoid including political opinions in their classes, it is impossible for those beliefs to never be expressed in public.
According to UW’s website, more than 1,000 e-mails and calls have been received from concerned taxpayers in regards to Mr. Barrett, and numerous editorials have been penned in newspapers across the state. There is certainly much concern about his position at UW and it is not altogether unfounded.
The question remains whether Mr. Barrett is teaching his class because he loves the subject or if he is trying to create enough hype to advance his own career and views. He has repeatedly displayed an unprofessional demeanor in public appearances while eagerly pointing to the fact that he is employed by UW. One only needs to read his letter to Gov. Jim Doyle, which he signed as “Steve Nass, Reichschancellor, Thoughtcrime Division, University of Wisconsin-Madison,” to question the level of integrity Mr. Barrett brings to the state’s flagship university.
But academic freedom heeds respect, so it is imperative to consider Mr. Barrett’s questionable theories in the marketplace of ideas. This board trusts that the students of UW are more than capable of drawing their own conclusions on the subject, and that they will react properly should Mr. Barrett’s views be presented as fact in his class.