by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Some University of Arizona students have the misfortune of dealing with an instructor who holds odious views about the U.S. military, as documented by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon.
A University of Arizona instructor is facing criticism for claiming that the U.S. military is “a greater threat” than the Islamic State (IS) and for portraying American soldiers as anti-Muslim rapists who commit crimes on par with—or even worse than—IS itself.
University of Arizona instructor Musa al-Gharbi—who also serves as an academic affiliate at the university’s Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC)—drew the controversial comparison between IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) and U.S. soldiers in a recent column arguing that America’s moral outrage at IS’s crimes is hypocritical.
Al-Gharbi’s comments, published in the online publication TruthOut and several other places, attracted outrage from experts who said that taxpayer funds should not be supplementing a university that encourages such dialogue about current events.
“It would not be a stretch to say that the United States is actually a greater threat to peace and stability in the region than ISIS—not least because U.S. policies in Iraq, Libya, and Syria have largely paved the way for ISIS’s emergence as a major regional actor,” al-Gharbi wrote in an October column entitled, “How Much Moral High Ground Does the U.S. Have Over ISIS?”
Al-Gharbi goes on to argue that U.S. soldiers commit atrocities, including rape, that are on a level with the crimes committed by IS’s radical militants. …
… Critics of al-Gharbi’s inflammatory comments said that the University of Arizona should immediately condemn his views.
“It is a crime that my tax money in Arizona is going to fund [al-Gharbi’s] radical ideas,” M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), told the Washington Free Beacon.
Jasser, who engaged in a lengthy back and forth with al-Gharbi about the article, said that the University of Arizona must be “held publicly accountable” for its scholar’s views.
“The University of Arizona must answer to Arizonans as to how that fits within the American mission of the state-funded university,” Jasser said. “Is the University of Arizona proud of having a professor who is helping disseminate ideas which radicalize American Muslims against our own troops?”
Somewhere, Ward Churchill must be smiling.