Mattson’s apologia may seem egregious, but it is fairly standard stuff in her profession. Americans have become increasingly aware of the way in which professors of Middle Eastern studies whitewash the dangers of radical Islam.
What might be more surprising is the extent to which Mattson publicly and proudly associates with a notoriously Islamist cause like ISNA. This makes it more difficult for her to portray her Islamist leanings as “scholarship.”
As Mattson wrote in a book she published in 2002
, “People of faith have a certain kind of solidarity with others of their faith community that transcends the basic rights and duties of citizenship.” In other words, Mattson implies that the Muslim identity transcends the American identity.
In the same book, she also questions the very character of America. “There is no guarantee,” she writes, “that Americans will rise to the challenge of defining themselves as an ethical nation.”
It is this cynical approach to America, along with her Islamist ideals and associations, that made Mattson a political liability in Denver.
Sadly, she is just one example of the way in which Islamism has penetrated American universities, and even U.S. politics.
– Jonathan Schanzer, an adjunct scholar at www.Campus-Watch.org, is director of policy for the Jewish Policy Center, and author of the forthcoming book Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine.