Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Sue's" Slanted Takes on Free Speech

While the attorneys for Professor Susan O'Malley continue to press her case for silencing Sharad Karkhanis, she is busy defending against the threat of "Islamophobia." CUNY staff, faculty and students, as well as our employers--the general public--recently received invitations to the following event:

"Academic Freedom & The Attack on Diversity at CUNY — An Urgent Conversation
Debbie Almontaser, Professor Susan O Malley, Mona Eldahry...Adem Carroll...
Monday 04/28/2008; 6:00 - 8:00 pmRoom: Social Lounge (5414)CUNY Grad School 365 Fifth Avenue (34 St)...

Around the country, Islamophobic and Anti-Arab attacks on professors have increased, most notably at Columbia and Barnard. This movement to attack and discredit dissent has been called “the New McCarthyism” –shutting down reasoned debate on important issues. Unfortunately this hurtful trend is also significantly represented at CUNY at its Trustee level, in the person of Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, who is also head of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition....

With no factual basis, Wiesenfeld’s STM coalition has been waging a relentless attack on Brooklyn’s Khalil Gibran International Academy, a dual language public school, depicting it as an “Islamist vocational school…with an Arab supremacist mindset in the mold of KGIA’S principal Dhabah Almontaser.” Forced out of her job by right wing tabloids & with no push back from the Bloomberg Administration, Founding Principal Debbie Almontaser has been fighting for her rights. She has been defended by educators, community groups and parents in coordination with Communities in Support for the Khalil Gibran International Academy...

Ms. Almontaser will appear on this panel along with CUNY Professor Susan O’ Malley and others working to expose the attack on academic freedom across the nation:

PLEASE JOIN US: There is some urgency here as these attacks are one tip of a vast ideological iceberg that is also threatening to impact the current election campaign. What does this mean for CUNY students and faculty?

Co-sponsored by MESOMiddle East Students Org:
CISKGIA:(Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy)
For more info contact
Zeeshan SuhailWeblog:"

Here at the Free Speech at CUNY blog, we are not quite sure what a "vast ideological iceberg" would look like--due, perhaps, to the effects of global warming. We are quite sure that Professor O'Malley, Ms. Almontaser and company have First Amendment rights to warn about it, however, and to criticize such critics of the troubled Khalil Gibran International Academy as CUNY trustee Wiesenfeld. We'd prefer that their tone be a little less shrill and a lot more civil, but this is a matter of taste, not law. Free speech isn't always decorous, after all.

Nor should it be dangerous. Thus we continue to marvel at O'Malley's ability to denounce Sharad Karkhanis' exercise of his First Amendment rights as libel, while at the same time attacking her political and ideological opponents with unabashed glee.


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