Friday, October 27, 2006

Not Your Father’s College Campus

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports, in an article by Anthony Glees, that Britain has become “al Qaeda target No. 1”…He also says that intelligence sources now believe that the activities of the “homegrown” jihadists in Britain are in fact, trained and sponsored from Pakistan.

The title of Mr. Glees’ essay is “Campus Jihad” - and for good reason. It has become a commonplace by now that the level of organized Islamist activity in any Western country takes place on university campuses. That’s where students are radicalized and recruited, that is where jihadists find refuge and support.

Mr. Glees’ report focuses on the many instances in Britain:

I believe a significant number get radicalized and recruited on university campuses. At least 13 convicted Islamist terrorists and four suicide bombers have been students at British universities. Radical Islamist student societies make full use of university resources. They operate Web sites, hosted by university servers, which direct visitors to organizations that glorify jihad and terror. These “religious” groups are given “prayer rooms” on campus, which are also used to disseminate extremist literature and DVDs. Muslim students concerned about these developments tell me that at many of these Islamic societies terrorism is portrayed as justified acts of “resistance.” A leading imam in Birmingham often preaches on British campuses that the London bombers have to be seen as “martyrs.”


British universities prefer burying their heads in the sand of political correctness. When the Foreign Office invited 100 academics to bid for £1.3 million of government funds to participate in a counter-radicalization program, the academics said no. John Gledhill, chair of the Association of Social Anthropologists, welcomed their move, saying last week that “it did appear to be encouraging researchers to identify subjects and groups involved with terrorism . . . that could be interpreted asencouraging them to become informers.” Martha Mundy, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, dismissed the government plans as having “an overtly security-research agenda” starting from the (false) premise that there is a “link between Islamism, radicalization and terrorism.”

And guess who one of the leading lights at the London School of Economics is? Our very own favorite villain, Tariq Ramadan, the very same T.R. who is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the same Islamist who was refused a visa into the U.S. to teach at Notre Dame.

It’s important to remember that the Jihadist movement is transnational. The first thing that its members have to do is to establish sanctuaries. The college campus has become both refuge and recruiting camp.

America hasn’t escaped this fate, either. Saudis have given big money to Harvard, Georgetown, and DePaul University, just to name a few. And don’t forget that poor schmuck who blew himself up at the University of Oklahoma - he of the Pakistani roommate who disappeared the next day.

Don’t you wonder how many of these schools permit military recruiting within their hallowed halls? And how many permit R.O.T.C. programs? I don’t have the answer to these questions, but I’m sure the research would be depressing.

The irony is that these education factories are turning out people who often have trouble finding jobs that will allow them to make enough to pay off their academic debt. Here is the sad story of one man, from the same issue of the WSJ. He is answering a columnist who claimed that those with post-graduate degrees make more money in the long run:

There are consequences for broadening the income gap, such as social unrest and increased violent crime rates. Yet, for my entire 20 year career span, this has been the consistent story, and we have not chosen to change the situation. In fact, we reinforce it with appeals to freewill, individualism and self determination.

I do hold a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from University of Chicago, where I earned many honors for my research. By most expectations, I should be doing well. Unfortunately, it is far from true, and I am not alone. Of my personal classmates, eight in 10 had to leave the field as well. When we graduated, we were told bluntly that there were insufficient students to necessitate added faculty positions, and insufficient federal grants to warrant a research laboratory position. The few that stayed currently earn a modest to lower middle class income. Those that left went to government, financial, legal, and entrepreneurial sectors. I chose the latter. Many of us retrained, including me collecting an M.B.A on top of the Ph.D. Again, the M.B.A. should indicate a strong career, but somehow my timing seems to be off. Unfortunately, I gradated in 2001, shortly after the collapse of the consulting business, and followed by the collapse of the professional labor market due 9/11. Five years later, I am still scraping by with various entrepreneurial and part-time endeavors. Stats add that nine in 10 fail. I am only on my fourth endeavor which has fallen short of the required goals.

Hope drives behavior more than facts. My hope springs internal, and so I will continue to strive to find my job/create a working company. But, at some point, I will become an electrician. Physicists are usually pretty good with electricity. We did discover it.

The university factories in this country are corrupted. It is not insignificant that women students now outnumber men in college, or that women are frequently walled into self-selected ghettoes of “gender” studies. However, it is a cultural fact that when the number of females in a given field is greater than the number of men, the latter leave the field. No doubt some psycho-social ethnologist can tell us why. Lionel Tiger, perhaps.

Our culture is under assault from within and from without. While this is hardly unique, when such occurrences have been recorded in history, the outcome for those bearing the brunt is not pretty.

Jihad and college. It’s not your father’s campus anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since this article happens to mention Tariq Ramadan, one wonders 'who' filled the post as Henry R Luce professor of religion, conflict and peacebuilding at Univesity of Notre Dame? Was it another
'qualified' islamist or 'qualified apologist' (i.e. Karen Armstrong-esk, CAIR approved etc.).