Phi Beta Cons

“Obsession” Versus Jihad

What is the importance of the recent alleged threat by Pace University administrators (in the words of the New York Post) “to sic the cops on a Jewish-student club if it went ahead with plans to screen a critically acclaimed film about radical Islam,” titled “Obsession,” after Muslim students complained that the film adversely portrayed Islam?
As the Post editors say, this incident illustrates the now common practice on campuses of “selective support of free speech” and their use of even “coercive tactics” to suppress ideas which might challenge the reigning radical ideologies.
Pace’s pressuring of students to postpone the screening also exemplifies how our educational system since the 1980s has deprived us of information vital to the nation’s national security.
Walid Phares calls this void, in particular regarding the jihadist threat, “immense,” amounting to what he calls “an educational breach of historical dimension” and “an academic lobotomy” – one that has most of us ignorant of “the roots, development, rise, logic, strategies, methodologies and literature of the movements that targeted the US” and thus unable “to absorb the basics of [our] rising enemy.”
The suppression of “Obsession,” then, bears on our survival. Read Phares’s weighty analysis of the danger of such suppression and his strategic plan for counterterrorism education.