Archive for January, 2012

The Mayor and His Myopia

by Mohammad Ali Naquvi

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In response to the recent boycott of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s annual inter-faith breakfast this morning by over a dozen NYC Muslim leaders, the Mayor reasserted his support for the NYPD/CIA secret spying program by responding with the following statement:

 

“If you want to look for cases of measles, you’ll find a lot more of them among young people,” he said, according to an Associated Press account. “That’s not targeting young people to go see whether they have measles or not.”

 

It’s thoughtful of the Mayor to use an analogy, so that the rest of us can try to comprehend the wisdom of an illegal spying program on everyday Muslims.  I remember when I was studying for the SAT in high school, my course review teacher explained a simple test to see if an analogy works. You need to substitute the pairs of words into the same sentence, he told us.  So in this case, the pairs would be:

 

cases of measles : young people :: terrorists : Muslims

 

Since the Mayor has already provided us with a sentence, let’s just substitute in the second pair of words to see the brilliance of the analogy:

 

“If you want to look for [terrorists], you’ll find a lot more of them among [Muslims],” he said, according to an Associated Press account. “That’s not targeting [Muslims] to go see whether they [are terrorists] or not.”

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19

01 2012

BDS comes to Penn

by Ahmed Moor

The past few years have seen the BDS movement electrify campus activism – a bright spot on the landscape of Palestine advocacy. The movement has enabled students around the country to engage constructively with the big moral question of our era – apartheid in Palestine. Thanks to BDS, thousand-mile expanses no longer stand in the way of direct non-violent action.

Still, the movement has some way to go before it can boast the levels of support that the South African call once enjoyed. That’s part of the reason that students at the University of Pennsylvania are organizing an on-campus BDS conference there. The two-day event will take place on the weekend of February 4th and 5th and will examine ways to strengthen campus-based activism.

As you can imagine Zionist groups have reacted badly to the news. The Jewish Exponent picked up the story, while the Israeli Foreign Ministry-affiliated Stand With Us organization has already posted a smear targeting Penn BDS on its website (see here and here for Ali Abunimah’s and Alex Kane’s posts about SWU’s fabricated quotes). Other groups have also contacted university officials in an attempt to abort the conference and silence dissenting voices.

The University – my alma mater – has been clear in its unequivocal support of Israel, but it has also emphasized its commitment to free speech. So while no moves have been made to block the conference the administration hasn’t been supportive either.

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01 2012