Senator’s sex scandal shuts feminist daughter’s mouth

February 12, 2013
Alicia-Menendez

(WND) While Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is fighting for his political life following revelations that he and a wealthy donor are under FBI investigation for Dominican Republic trips the senator took on the eye doctor’s private plane as well as accusations he engaged in sex with under-age prostitutes while there, one prominent supporter has been conspicuously silent – his media-star daughter Alicia Menendez, a Democratic Party adviser.

Alicia Menendez is the former co-director of “The Vagina Monologues,” an episodic feminist play comprised of soliloquies read by women dealing with matters including sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the various common names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. She is a former Harvard gender studies major who is a host on “Huffpost Live” and a frequent guest on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

Known for her outspokenness, even on matters involving her own prominent family, she once wrote that her “gringa” mother claimed to be Dominican in a past life.
Alicia Menendez’s mother, the former Jane Jacobsen, teaches sex education in the Union City school district. She and her former husband were divorced in 2005. The divorce documents are sealed.
Alicia Menendez came to fame for being a feminist. It was her 2005 senior thesis on gender studies that got her media attention; The New York Times and U.S. News and World Report gave her work mentions. The 87-page thesis, “To Whom Many Doors are Still Locked: Gender, Space, and Power, in Harvard Final Clubs,” decried a culture of male domination at the Ivy League school.
“Establishing yourself as a big man on campus is pretty formulaic, but there’s no such woman at Harvard who has done that to a positive capacity [sic],” Menendez told the student newspaper.
“The Harvard campus can be a very lonely place,” she explained. “And meeting beautiful, smart, socially adept women here is not an easy task.”
She was especially critical of Harvard’s men’s clubs, which she says relegated women to being “perpetually guests” on the campus social scene.
The thesis, obtained by WND through Harvard’s library, is focused on the injustice that the women’s clubs don’t have their own building.
“Tired of discussing the inequalities of ownership of space in private forums, it became my objective to examine the role of final club buildings and their implications for the men and women who are a part of the final club community,” she wrote in the introduction to her “ethnographic study.”
She added: “As a woman, as a feminist, as an ethnic minority … I recognize that I am not supposed to be a part of this supposed elitism, but I am,” she wrote.
As for her topic on “gendered power and social space,” she writes, “I did not choose this subject; it chose me.”
The feminist screed about the clubs includes buzzwords and phrases such as “male role models,” “homosocial legacies,” “male privilege,” “single-sex group identification,” “objectification,” and “Lolita fetishism.”
Alicia Menendez continued to write on gender issues after she graduated, ever quick to write on the latest political sex scandal. In 2008 she was fascinated by the prostitution story of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
“As the updates streamed in, I got a good look at how the story was shaping,” she wrote at the time. “Eliot Spitzer did something very wrong but fairly ordinary: he hired a prostitute. It’s only so extraordinary because of who Eliot Spitzer is and what Eliot Spitzer purports to stand for.”
She remained fascinated by Spitzer’s sex scandal and others, even going so far as to write whimsical online advice for politicians going through them, titled “What to Do When Scandals Hit”:
“Admitting that you’ve done something wrong is the first step. If you’re there, that’s half the battle,” she wrote. After trying to find a true friend, she enumerated a few dos and don’ts. “Don’t give yourself room to lie (any more than you already have). Don’t rely on half truths. And please, please don’t over share.”
That post (and others like it) have been scrubbed from the website that she co-founded. Perhaps she’s trying to follow her own advice offered as a candidate’s daughter in 2008: “The cardinal rule for candidates’ children, whether they choose to hit the campaign trail or not, is the same: Don’t do anything stupid.”

Repeated attempts to reach Alicia Menendez by email and Twitter were unsuccessful.(MORE)


American Colleges Are Over $205 Billion in Debt, Harvard is $6 Billion in Debt

December 23, 2012

(Daniel Greenfield) The Student Loan Bubble is bad, but interestingly enough, as this New York Times article points out, the loan problem extends all the way up the ladder to the institutions of higher education who never seem to have enough money.

Remember that our financial experts come out of a system that is this deep underwater and they have a heavy investment is bailing it out.

Overall debt levels more than doubled from 2000 to 2011 at the more than 500 institutions rated by Moody’s, according to inflation-adjusted data compiled for The New York Times by the credit rating agency. In the same time, the amount of cash, pledged gifts and investments that colleges maintain declined more than 40 percent relative to the amount they owe.
While Harvard is the wealthiest university in the country, it also has $6 billion in debt, the most of any private college, the data compiled by Moody’s shows.
At the Juilliard School, which completed a major renovation a few years ago, debt climbed to $195 million last year, from $6 million in inflation-adjusted dollars in 2002. At Miami University, a public institution in Ohio that is overhauling its dormitories and student union, debt rose to $326 million in 2011, from $66 million in 2002, and at New York University, which has embarked on an ambitious expansion, debt was $2.8 billion in 2011, up from $1.2 billion in 2002, according to the Moody’s data.
The pile of debt — $205 billion outstanding in 2011 at the colleges rated by Moody’s — comes at a time of increasing uncertainty in academia. After years of robust growth, enrollment is flat or declining at many institutions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. With outstanding student debt exceeding $1 trillion, students and their parents are questioning the cost and value of college. And online courses threaten to upend the traditional collegiate experience and payment model.

Student debt turns out to be only 5 times as high as the accumulated college debt, and that’s only at the colleges rated at Moody’s. What would happen if we added up the entire pile of debt for all institutions of higher education in the country? Somehow I think we would arrive at some very scary numbers.
The system is broken and spending its way deeper into debt. Tuition costs have risen dramatically and hardly made a dent in the tremendous piles of debt accumulated over the last decade.
It would seem as if Academia’s brokenness amplifies the brokenness of its graduates. It acts as a predictor for the entire broken system. Academia is a deadbeat metaphor turning out deadbeat students in a deadbeat nation.

Harvard borrowed $1.5 billion to pay its bills rather than selling off assets at a sharp discount. Its interest expense more than doubled from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2011, to nearly $300 million.

“The financial crisis has acted like a tidal wave that, as it receded, exposed certain vulnerabilities with a new clarity,” Harvard officials said in the November annual report.

That’s a fancy way of saying, “We’re morons.”


South Dakota’s New Mining Grads Beat Harvard for Pay

September 18, 2012

Media_httprapiddevelo_sgcqa(Rapid Development)South Dakota’s New Mining Grads Beat Harvard for Pay(Higher Ed Bubble Update: South Dakota Overtakes Harvard | Power Line)Harvard University’s graduates are earning less than those from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology after a decade-long commodity bull market created shortages of workers as well as minerals.
Those leaving the college of 2,300 students this year got paid a median salary of $56,700, according to PayScale Inc., which tracks employee compensation data from surveys. At Harvard, where tuition fees are almost four times higher, they got $54,100. Those scheduled to leave the campus in Rapid City, S.D., in May are already getting offers, at a time when about one in 10 recent U.S. college graduates is out of work.

Everything our parents said was good is bad.
-Woody Allen


Harvard Sex Week

March 25, 2012

Harvard Never Learns (Legal Insurrection) Sex-Positivity and Slut-Pride: Sex Tips for a Modern World from Good Vibrations: Join HLSRJ and Good Vibrations for a short discussion of sex-positivity, a demo of lube and some popular sex toys, then Q&A. Free Food!

As if the one state solution event that didn’t invite any Zionist groups for a Jewish one state were not biased as is. I suppose the sluts are now preparing to blow Hamas and Fatah together.

(Palestine Today) and (Challah) reports that Egypt has said that Fatah and Hamas are both “fully responsible” for the failure of reconciliation. An Egyptian official said that the two movements have “failed completely” in the implementation of the Cairo Agreement and the Doha Declaration. The official also said that the two factions have made things more complex and have moved further away from a solution. The same official said that the bickering between Hamas and Fatah undermined all the efforts to complete the reconciliation process and form a unity government. According to the official, if Fatah and Hamas continue to bicker (they have) then Egypt will be forced to stop hosting reconciliation meetings in Cairo.

Makes it more dramatic… the slutty vaginas indoctrinated in arrogance are excited already… I mean what is a bunch of feminists hanging out with out terrorists to make things interesting so that they can blame the plight of women on Jews and Western civilization, but somehow I think the marriage will work out like the marriage of Fatah and Hamas. I guess gay marriage really is like straight marriage. Oh well… you always can rape a college educated liberal in Tahrir Square. Where is Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda when that happens?

Harvard Never Learns

March 8, 2012
(Stephen H. Norwood h/t Doc’s) This past weekend Harvard hosted a One-State Solution Conference, designed to promote the dissolution of Israel. It is only the latest example of that university’s longstanding practice of facilitating the spread of anti-Semitism.
The virulently anti-Israel Harvard student organizations that sponsored the event, including the Palestine Solidarity Committee, Justice for Palestine, the Palestine Caucus, and the Arab Caucus, acknowledge in the program that the One-State Solution Conference would not have been possible without the support of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and funding from the Harvard Provost’s Office and the Center for International Affairs.

Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust and her administration did not express any concern over the conference’s heavily biased and non-scholarly nature. Not one of the speakers is known to be sympathetic to Israel, and many are prominently involved in the campaign to boycott Israel’s universities and to pressure American schools to divest any holdings in corporations that do business there.
Benny Morris, a leading scholar of the Arab-Israeli conflict, has described keynote speaker Ilan Pappé, a supporter of Israel’s minuscule Communist party, as “at best… one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest.”
Harvard Law School professor Duncan Kennedy, the opening speaker, has denied that Hamas is committed to Israel’s destruction, even though the Hamas charter accuses Jews of plotting to take over the world, and claims they caused the two world wars and the French and Bolshevik revolutions.
Unfortunately, there is nothing new about Harvard’s tolerating and even assisting anti-Semitic propagandists. In 2000, Harvard’s Divinity School accepted funds from United Arab Emirates dictator Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to endow a professorship in Islamic Religious Studies named for him. The dictator had already established a Zayed Centre in his own nation that condemned Israel’s existence and promoted Holocaust denial. Harvard planned faculty exchanges with the Zayed Centre.
No Harvard administrator or professor publicly criticized the university’s acceptance of the sheik’s funds. The endowed professorship was withdrawn only because a graduate student, Rachel Fish, mobilized public support against it.
By contrast, the Harvard administration refused to host an academic conference on American responses to the Holocaust that the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies proposed in 2004. Many of the world’s leading Holocaust scholars are affiliated with the Wyman Institute. The institute asked me to present the keynote lecture, on Harvard’s response to Nazism. As a courtesy, I sent then-Harvard president Larry Summers a detailed summary of my lecture. Summers’s office replied several months later that it would not host the conference. It emphasized that no Harvard administrator would attend if it were held elsewhere. Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies was delighted to serve as host.
My lecture focused on how Harvard and other elite universities forged friendly ties with Germany’s Nazified universities, helping the Hitler regime improve its image in the West. Harvard sent a delegate to Heidelberg University’s 550th anniversary celebration in 1936, a Nazi propaganda festival orchestrated by Josef Goebbels. This occurred after Germany’s universities expelled their Jewish faculty members and the Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their citizenship. Heidelberg University promoted Nazi “racial science” and “Aryan Physics.”
Harvard warmly welcomed to its campus Hitler’s foreign press chief Ernst Hanfstaengl, a fanatical anti-Semite. Harvard president James Conant called anti-Nazi protesters who demonstrated against Hanfstaengl’s visit “ridiculous.” Harvard Law School dean Roscoe Pound accepted an honorary degree from Berlin University, personally presented by Nazi Germany’s ambassador, Hans Luther. Harvard Law professor Felix Frankfurter unsuccessfully pleaded with Conant not to allow the ceremony to be held on campus.
Sadly, there is consistency in Harvard’s complicity in helping Nazi Germany present itself as civilized during the 1930s; accepting funds from a Holocaust denier, Sheik Zayed; trying to suppress a scholarly conference on the Holocaust; and now serving as a platform to promote the destruction of the Jewish state.
Stephen H. Norwood is professor of history at the University of Oklahoma and author, most recently, of “The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses” (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Harvard under fire over Israel

February 21, 2012

I’m very curious. What Jewish “One State Solution” advocates were invited to the conference? It was insinuated by Moor that they were. Also Moor argues that Walt isn’t even for a one state solution. So is the conference really against Jewish autonomy or is it for one state? It is hard to see this conference as being what it claims and it is also hard to swallow that the Harvard academic community is too stupid to get this.

Student-run conference eyes one-state solution (h/t Doc) By Leah Burrows
A controversy has arisen over a student-organized conference at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government focused on a one-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Pro-Israel groups and the Kennedy School dean have criticized the conference agenda for lacking balance.
The conference’s purpose is to consider the feasibility of a single state that could encompass Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, according to organizers. It would result in the end of Israel as a Jewish state and, depending on its borders, eventually leave Jews in the minority.
The One State Conference, which is scheduled for March 3 and 4, is co-sponsored primarily by graduate-student groups, including Justice for Palestine, the Palestine Caucus and the Association for Justice in the Middle East.

Scheduled speakers include Stephen Walt, co-author of the controversial book, “The Israel Lobby”; llan Pappé, an Israeli historian who has accused his nation of ethnic cleansing; and Diana Buttu, a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
“This is a who’s who of the anti- Israel crowd,” said Rob Leikind, director of the American Jewish Committee Boston chapter. “If the organizers had invited people from a range of points of view to talk about the merits of the one-state solution, that is one thing. But there is a common thread among those present in that they have all been strong opponents of Israel, and they think that Israel should not exist in the way it does.”
Combined Jewish Philanthropies, CAMERA, Harvard Students for Israel and the Israeli Consulate to New England have also raised concerns about the conference.
In response, David Ellwood, dean of the Kennedy School, released a statement distancing the university from the conference.
“I want to emphasize once again that Harvard University and the Harvard Kennedy School in no way endorses or supports the apparent position of these student organizers or any participants they include. We hope that the final shape of the conference will be significantly more balanced,” the statement read.
Ahmed Moor, a graduate student at the Kennedy School who has been planning the event for the past year, rejected the notion that the conference should include two-state supporters.
“If I was holding a two-state conference, I wouldn’t be asked to invite people who are Kahanists, for instance, or Greater Israel types or one-staters for that matter,” Moor said. “One thing we are allowed to do as individuals, as groups of people, is circumscribe the range of the conversations we choose to have. And that’s what we’ve done here. We want to talk about one state.”
Moor said he did not expect conference participants to whitewash the challenges of the onestate solution. Several of the speakers, including Walt, do not view a one-state solution as viable, Moor said.
“In putting forth any kind of positive political program on the horizon, I think it’s important to grapple with the realities of the situation,” he said.
The university said that the event has received support from “modest” funds set aside for student conferences. Beyond that, neither Harvard nor Moor would detail other sources of funding.
“Students typically come forward with general ideas in many circumstances long before they have invited specific people or finalized a program, and generally administrators try to be supportive of student ideas for events that they are planning,” said Melodie Jackson, associate dean for communications at the Kennedy School.
Jackson noted that the conference was one of several studentorganized events at the Kennedy School this semester. Others include the Jewish Caucus Seminar Series, and The Israel Conference scheduled for April, organized by Israeli students from around the university.
Harvard Students for Israel, an undergraduate group, said it planned to write letters and op-eds in student publications against the one-state conference. However, the group said it had no plans to protest at the event.
“We want to make it clear that [the one-state solution] is a minority opinion,” said Joshua Lipson, co-president of Harvard Students for Israel. “[The conference] is presenting the one-state solution as something mainstream, when what we are seeing is something that is genuinely radical. Whether we are dovish or hawkish, we think is pretty radical to think that a sovereign state should be dismantled without discussing why it should not.”
Lipson and many of the conferences critics, emphasized that the student groups had every right to discuss a one-state solution, but expressed hope they would include a diversity of viewpoints.
“We all understand and respect academic freedom, but this is really not doing good to anyone,” said Shai Bazak, consul general of Israel to New England. “To put an end to the Jewish homeland and the Jewish people in the state of Israel, it’s something that no one with clear mind really endorses.”
For Moor, the one-state solution is an avenue for equal rights, not the destruction of the Jewish people – and that is worth a conversation, he said.
“It seems like there is a lot of pressure to abort the conversation perhaps before we’ve had a chance to engage with one another in good faith,” Moor said.

Taqiyya for Kids

January 23, 2012
(How, Big Chief says, “Allah Akbar!”)

Did you know that the Muslims married the Iroquois? If you are a student in Newton Massachusetts this is what your Harvard influenced education teaches you. Blue States… the greatest ignorance in America. The real sign of arrogance and intolerance is how people in Massachusetts think of the rest of our country who do not teach their children that Muslims discovered America.

Janet Tassel, AMERICAN THINKER (Thanks Ted Belman / Docs Talk)

It was the first week in October in Newton, an upscale suburb of Boston, and Tony Pagliuso’s daughter, a sophomore at Newton South High School, was visibly disturbed. When Tony asked her the problem, she showed him a passage from the chapter she was assigned in her World History Class. It was a chapter called “Women, an Essay,” from a supplemental text called The Arab World Notebook. In a paragraph devoted to women “in the struggle for independence from colonial powers,” we find:
Over the past four decades, women have been active in the Palestinian resistance movement. Several hundred have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed by Israeli occupation forces since the latest uprising, “intifada,” in the Israeli occupied territories.
Pagliuso assured his daughter that this was “total propaganda,” and took the matter up with the young teacher, a Miss Jessica Engel, who couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. The material had been “vetted” and was deemed “appropriate,” she said, “and would stay in the curriculum. After all, she continued, the head of the history department had gotten this material at an outreach workshop of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard!

Thence to the principal, Joel Stembridge, who glared at Pagliuso and asked, “How do you pronounce ‘Pagliuso’?” and dismissing him brusquely with a refusal to apologize, added: “If you’re unhappy with this, you should know that next year we’re planning to teach material that will be even more inflammatory to your sensibilities.” (Where is Ferris Bueller when you need him?) Since Miss Jessica Engel had devoted one day each to Judaism and Christianity while spending 2 ½ weeks on Islam, Tony wasn’t sure how much more inflammatory things could get.
A couple of weeks later, nine stalwart Newton citizens presented themselves at the Newton School Committee meeting, where superintendent David Fleischman, and even the mayor, Setti Warren, were present. The citizens were courteously received, and as it happens Fleishman announced shortly thereafter that indeed the chapter “didn’t meet the learning goals of the class” and had been removed from the curriculum.
“Didn’t meet the learning goals” is Eduspeak for “What the hell is this and how the hell did it get in?” The answer to the latter is, as noted, Harvard, which, as it happens, held a seminar on Israel and Palestine at Newton South in April 2011. And Newton is far from the only community to take its lead on matters Islamic from Harvard. Public and private schools all over Massachusetts send teachers to the Outreach Center at Harvard for guidance and (free) materials. The program, like the Center for Middle Eastern Studies itself, is heavily Saudi-funded.
The answer to what it is can be found in a number of places. In 2005, responding to a complaint from a teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, the American Jewish Committee published a thorough critique of the Notebook (the full report Propaganda, Proselytizing, and Public Education, is available at the AJC website), thanks to which Anchorage stopped using the book. As background, the AJC report explains:
The Arab World Studies Notebook was first published in 1990 under the title Arab World Notebook [apparently Newton was using this edition], but was updated and republished in 1998 with its current title. The funding for the publication was provided by the Middle East Policy Council, formerly the Arab American Affairs Council….The Notebook was published in conjunction with Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR), founded by Audrey Shabbas, who penned many of the articles…as well as the editorial commentary throughout.
Who is this Audrey Shabbas? The moving spirit behind AWAIR, she says all she wants from teachers is to “let you step with me to the inside, to see what a Muslim worldview looks like and feels like, so you can bring it back to your students.” This from an adoring 2002 interview posted, fittingly, at Saudi Aramco World.
A little earlier than the AJC’s report, in 2003, William J. Bennetta, president of The Textbook League, produced a preliminary assessment of the Notebook. He gives a little background:
The Middle East Policy Council, a pressure group based in Washington. D.C…adopted its present name in 1991. The MEPC’s activities include the sponsoring of “teacher workshops” that allegedly equip educators to teach about “the Arab World and Islam. AWAIR, which operates from Abiquiu, New Mexico, distributes printed items and videos for “ALL LEVELS-Elementary to College” and runs the “teacher workshops” sponsored by the MEPC.”
But on to the meat in Mr Bennetta’s scathing report:
The promotion of Islam in the Notebook is unrestrained, and the religious-indoctrination material that the Notebook dispenses is virulent. Muslim myths, including myths about how Islam and the Koran originated, are retailed as matters of fact, while legitimate historical appraisals of the origins of Islam and the Koran are excluded. [Audrey] Shabbas wants to turn teachers into agents who, in their classrooms, will present Muslim myths as “history,” will endorse Muslim religious claims, and will propagate Islamic fundamentalism. In a public-school setting, the religious-indoctrination work which Shabbas wants teachers to perform would clearly be illegal.
Or, in the words of Tony Pagliuso, “total propaganda.” What is striking, though, is how amateurish the chapter on women is. Taqiyya — telling falsehoods for Islam — is a well-known tool of Islamic propagandists, but this shoddy merchandise is so riddled with lies and half-truths that no respectable Arab merchant in the shuk would hang it in his market. Just a sample:
Women’s Rights in Islam. There is no basis in Islam for the subjugation of women or their relegation to a secondary role. Far in advance of women’s emancipation in Europe, Islam made revolutionary changes in the lives of women in 6th-century Arabia.
The alert reader will observe that there was no Islam yet in 6th-century Arabia, Muhammad himself having been born in about 570, and having been tapped by the angel Gabriel no earlier then about 609. Then too we think of the unpleasantries swept under the Oriental carpet — such as permissible rape, clitorectomies, honor killings, child marriage, indeed the whole sorry gamut of women’s trials under Islam, including those specifically decreed by the Koran. As Robert Spencer sums up:
–Women are inferior to men, and must be ruled by them: “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other” (4:34).
–It [the Koran] likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: “Your women are a tilth for you to cultivate so go to your tilth as ye will” (2:223).
–It declares that a woman’s legal testimony is worth half that of a man: “Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” (2:282).
–It allows men to marry up to four wives, and also to have sex with slave girls: “If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” (4:3).
–It rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: “Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females” (4:11).
–It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65.4).
“Such a verse might have made its way into the Koran,” writes Spencer, “because of the notorious fact that Muhammed himself had a child bride.” That would be Aisha: As the hadith says, “The prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).” Newton’s Notebook chapter mentions Aisha in passing, that she heroically promulgated Islam after the Prophet’s death, but neglects to tell us how old she was when Muhammed found her, as the story goes, playing on a swing.
It turns out, not surprisingly, that most of the Notebook is as slipshod, even farcical, as the chapter on women. But it is no less dangerous for being slovenly. As the AJC report confirms, “Teachers are subjected to heavy propaganda, both in the Notebook and in the teacher workshops sponsored by MEPC and conducted by AWAIR, in which the Notebook is the primary source material….The Notebook critiques other educational materials for being Eurocentric; yet it provides students with a completely Muslim-centered perspective.”
Worst of all, educationally speaking, in addition to inventing history, the Notebook is guilty of two cardinal sins, according to the AJC: “It uses no qualifiers to differentiate between fact and interpretation; and it fails to clarify that, like the stories behind many other religions, some of the stories within traditional Islam are disputed or unverifiable.” The all-important qualifier, “Muslims believe,” or “Islam teaches that” is entirely eliminated. Imagine all the Miss Engels in the world preaching to the class, “And God chose Abraham.” Or “Jesus performed miracles.”
Other innovations from the Notebook, these concerning what the author calls “the Israeli ‘fetish of Jerusalem’”:
When people talk of Jerusalem and consider the historic rights over the city and claims to it, they are not talking about the European-type colonial suburb-turned-city which foreign Jews built next to the historic religious city-shrine, even though they called it Jerusalem too. They are talking about the walled city, fully built up, containing a small Jewish quarter, it is true, but almost exclusively a home to Christian and Muslim Palestinian Arabs.
Yet the “Old City,” the Jerusalem that most people envisage when they think of the ancient city, is Arab. Surrounding it are ubiquitous high-rises built for Israeli settlers to strengthen Israeli control over the holy city.
Other colonial suburbs were built by foreigners in Arab countries, but today no one suggests that Algiers, Tunis, Casablanca, etc., may be rightfully claimed by the Europeans who settled there during their colonial period of recent history. Only in the case of Jerusalem does colonialist thinking still predominate.
How many high-school students would be able to repudiate “facts” like these? Or total falsehoods such as, “In 1948, between 50 and 70 percent of Palestine’s Christians were driven from their ancestral homes with the creation of the Jewish state”?
Moreover, in an earlier version, we are told “that Yasir Arafat was president of a newly declared State of Palestine, that the United Nations General Assembly had voted to recognize this state in 1988, and that the Canaanites were the ancestors of many present-day Palestinians.” Sandra Stotsky, a professor at the University of Arkansas, deals with these gems and others in her 2004 report for the Fordham Foundation, The Stealth Curriculum, which has now been updated for a new book published by Palgrave MacMillan. She points to one article, ascribed to Audrey Shabbas and Abdallah Hakim Quick, titled “Early Muslim Exploration Worldwide: Evidence of Muslims in the New World Before Columbus.” The article claims that Muslims from Europe were the first to sail across the Atlantic and land in the New World, starting in 889… [and that]West African Muslims had not only spread throughout South and Central America, but had also reached Canada, intermarrying with the Iroquois and Algonquin nations so that, much later, early English explorers were to meet Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.
Stotsky interjects, “The idea that English explorers met native Indian chiefs with Muslim names in the middle of the Northeast woodlands sounds almost like something a Hollywood film writer dreamed up for a spoof.” (Mel Brooks, of course.) Interestingly enough, the Algonquin Nation itself demanded a retraction of this “indefensible” farce. But seriously, as Stotsky continues, “What is most astonishing about this ‘historical information’ is that it seems not to have been recognized as fake history by all the satisfied teachers that MEPC claims have participated in its workshops over the years.”
Ay, there’s the rub. Thanks to the Tony Pagliusos of this world, perhaps more parents will rear up on their hind legs and shout, “Who’s teaching my kids? And what in God’s name are they teaching?”