[Ed. note: This version differs somewhat from than that posted at FPM.]
A lecture last week at the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) offered a delightful mixture of intellectually deficient material mixed with a dash of bigotry.
It was delivered by Joseph Massad, associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University.
People in the private sector compensate for inadequacies by purchasing expensive cars. In academia, they just give themselves long titles.
The topic of Massad's lecture was -- I kid you not -- "Pre-Positional Conjunctions: Sexuality and/in Islam."
While past CNES lectures resulted in Israel-bashing and anti-Semitism, UCLA finally decided to honor its commitment to diversity by attacking another minority group. This time, homosexuals had their turn in the multicultural bile wheel.
This was not a seminar on sexuality in Islam. From inception to completion, it was nothing more than gay-bashing. This was on par with the thesis of Massad's 2007 book, Desiring Arabs, which posits that gay sexuality among Muslims does not exist, but is rather a Western plot designed to undermine the Muslim world.
There were few attendees, with half the crowd consisting of elderly people and the other half students checking each other out to see if they were being checked out. Upon realizing that the lecture was an anti-sex discussion of homosexuality rather than a pro-sex meeting with flowers and Barry White music, a portion of the audience left.
The UCLA devotion to hyper-tolerance offered plenty of intolerance from Massad. Here's a sampling:
"Queer is about resistance to Islam."
"Queer is unknown and should not be demanded of most of the Arabic public."
"There is no Arabic transliteration of queer. It is a judgmental notice of deviance."
Offering up a helping of academic jargon, he described the queer issue as "epistemological" and "ontological."
Massad then claimed: "To the Islamic, hate and sexuality are only translatable to English-speaking people."
I keep forgetting about imaginary Judeo-Christian rape and honor killings.
"Queer is an imperialist term. It is part of the Anglo-American gay agenda."
He finally figured out the Neocon Zionist conspiracy. It spreads homosexuality throughout the Arab world so that Arab nations cannot reproduce. This explains why, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Middle East and North Africa are home to, "the world's second-fastest growing population, after sub-Saharan Africa."
"Queer is an example of cultural imperialism."
"Use of 'gay' in Iran is imperial politics."
Ahmadinejad famously told a Columbia University audience that there are no gay people in his country. One might ask Massad, how the West could have exported gay people if there are none over there?
"There is no such thing as Iran/Arab/Muslim sexuality. Sexuality is an English notion."
Is every single Arab or Muslim the result of an immaculate conception?
He then admitted he was "very interested in talking to people about their sexual experiences if they want to tell me."
This man should not be allowed within 50 feet of a junior high school.
During the Q&A, an audience member brought up Massad's apparent discomfort behind the word "queer." He wanted to know what word should be used instead.
Massad offered up an answer that only a Middle East studies professor pretending to love diversity could support:
"I am not sure any discourse is necessary."
I don't know what a Scotsman has under his kilt or a Muslim woman has under her veil, but when one peeled back the veil behind this lecture, there was nothing but gay-bashing.
Eric Golub is the publisher of the Tygrrrr Express blog. He wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
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