Middle East Studies Under Scrutiny in U.S.
When Rashid Khalidi took over the newly established Edward Said Chair of Middle East Studies at Columbia University last fall, the appointment was generally viewed as an academic coup for the school, which had succeeded in wooing away a prominent Middle East expert from the University of Chicago, a longtime rival. But Khalidi soon became the target of an Internet campaign that questioned his patriotism. Conservative critics zeroed in on his outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq and his public expressions of sympathy for the Palestinian cause. “Columbia vs. America,” declared a story on Campus Watch, a Web site dedicated to revealing the alleged bias of mainstream Middle East studies programs at U.S. colleges and universities. The New York Sun dubbed Khalidi “the professor of hate.” Full Story