The day after children in Manchester were blown to bloody shreds by
believers in the fundamental teachings of Islam Islamic fundamentalists, a cell-phone recording of Harvard lecturer Naomi Oreskes is raising questions about her fitness to mentor the next generation of America’s leaders.
CliScep has seen the disturbing, undated footage. Harvard University so far chooses to make no comment on Professor Oreskes’ remarks, in which she glowingly praises the extremist Muslim Students Association [MSA] and complains that,
Sadly, the post-9/11 era has been an era of rampant bigotry and racism against Islam and Muslim-Americans.
The MSA is a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood, which reportedly describes its mission as “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Yet if the recording is authentic, Ms Oreskes tells her students that,
It functions as a platform in [sic] which Muslims can help educate fellow students and community members about Islam, and Islam’s true teachings.
Of an upcoming MSA event on campus, she says to the class,
I’m happy to lend my endorsement to this important program. And I encourage you to participate, to all participate in it.
The brave student who secretly recorded the speech later raises his hand during a question-and-answer period.
When called upon, he asks, “Professor Oreskes, how should we respond to the fallacy we often hear from the far-right, near-right, um, libertarians, the center-left and the center and so on, who say that just because Islam isn’t a race, you can’t actually be racist against it?
“I’m not disputing that Islamophobic racism is the real tragedy of 9/11—no—hang on please, I’m not doubting that, I’m just wondering if it’s real.”
Despite the liberal salting of his question with disclaimers, it’s clearly not appreciated by colleagues in the Advanced Scientific Consensus seminar hall, which resounds with impatient groans. At least four classmates can be heard jeering “Sit down!” and “Don’t answer that, Naomi!”
Oreskes, however, seizes on the challenge with apparent relish. Appealing to her cohort of late-twenty-something Harvard students for quiet, she attempts to rebutt the question at length.
“Well, I was always taught there are no stupid questions, so thank you for, you know, proving that wrong. [General laughter, hooting.] No, no, I find it really interesting, I do, that a graduate student who’s apparently considered Harvard material would, um, think a fallacy like that was worth repeating. But I’m very—I’m happy to try to help you get over your misunderstanding, if possible.
“Listen, racism against Muslims in everywhere in the Western world, which is why it’s already cost the lives of three innocent Sikh-Americans, and counting. These law-abiding members of the community spent every waking hour driving taxis [inaudible] put their kids through college, just like your parents. They hated Islamic extremism as much as anyone!
“Yet that didn’t stop anti-Muslim racists—driven by a poisonous ideology that seeks to paint all Sikhs as terrorists—from snuffing out their lives anyway.
“So yeah, I’m aware of this ‘Islam isn’t a race’ myth [that’s been] doing the rounds of the conservative hateblogs. Tell that myth to the families of Javinder Singh, Parbinder Singh-Ghauri or Amrit ‘Sammy’ Singh. Tell that myth to me, who, as a historian of science, is trained to analyze the history and development of consensus opinions [sic].”
The next few seconds are inaudible due to general applause. Oreskes goes on:
“…without sounding elitist, but as a scholar in the History and Philosophy of Ideas [sic], I can assure you that Muslims are a race of Indonesian, Islamic-speaking peoples who inhabit the Mid East—packed like sardines into the tiny sliver that isn’t Israel—where they’re subjected to racism by their fellow man wherever they turn, until they have no choice but to seek a better life in a quote-unquote enlightened country like ours.
“But how’s that American dream working out for you if your surname is Singh?” she asks. “Not so good, is it? Not so good. Come on, thank you everyone, if we can just simmer down and hopefully get to some more constructive questions. Oh, and by the way, young man—and I’m assuming you’re Jewish—the Islamic language has much more in common with Jewish than either of us realizes, or than most linguists like to admit. OK, who’s next?”
It’s not the first time Oreskes’ allegiance to modern, liberal civilization has been questioned. In 2010, at the launch of her wildly-popular conspiracist tract Merchants of Doubt, an LA Times reporter put it to her that the book might be read as anti-Semitic.
“Oh for the—,” snapped the then-UC-San-Diego-based academic. “Some of my best friends are Sem—no, you know what, I won’t give you that satisfaction.
“The book is anti-scientist, not anti-Semite. So it happens to attack the good name of [a tight-knit cabal made up mostly of] Jewish men? How exactly was I meant to avoid that? You can’t throw a rock in the scientific world without hitting a Jew.
“It’s like the Occupied Territories in there!”
Sikhism is not a sect of Islam. ■