Wednesday, July 05, 2006

But not as a college course 

I have no problem with this guy saying he thinks the planes could not have caused the collapse of the World Trade Center. And if he wants to say it in on a college campus, all the better -- where else should these ideas be expressed and examined. In a course? Well, if it's to have an objective search for truth, that's fine too.
He says 14 of the 16 weeks [of his Introduction to Islam course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison] will have nothing to do with politics, but in the remaining two weeks, he will cover what he calls the ''so-called war on terror''.

''And I will present different interpretations of the war on terror, In I think a pretty detached way and encourage students to debate those interpretations and to support whichever one they personally find most persuasive and let them make up their own minds.'' Barrett says.
But Ann Althouse is right to "have a huge resistance" to this when the man makes statements like this:
I certainly wouldn't expect them to [agree with his 9/11 theory.] At least not all of them. On the other hand I would expect some of them would once they look at the evidence because the evidence is overwhelming.
I wonder then whether he is pursuing this for educational or political purposes? The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel shows that he's after the latter, by looking at the website of the organization the professor has started:

"The 9/11 lie was designed to sow hatred between the faiths," Barrett has written on the organization's Web site.

"Either we discuss the compelling evidence that 9/11 was an inside job, or there is precious little to talk about."

If you are going into a college classroom saying that "if you don't agree with me there's precious little to talk about", you are no longer teaching. Good for Provost Patrick Farrell for arguing that the university has "an obligation to ensure that his course content is academically appropriate, of high quality, and that his personal views are not imposed on his students." But sir, don't stop there!