Phi Beta Cons

Professor McCloud and PBS

In a recent post I mentioned that radical professor Aminah Beverley McCloud helped land Norman Finkelstein a position at DePaul University, where the latter is battling for tenure. The following is more background on McCloud from Winfield Myers:  

Interesting that you should mention her, as she has been the subject of a great deal of attention lately thanks to her efforts to get filmmaker Martyn Burke’s contribution to the PBS series “America at a Crossroads” pulled from the series. Burke is the producer of the segment, “Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center,” which dealt with the threat that militant Islamists pose to moderate Muslims. As if to prove his thesis, McCloud, who is on an advisory board created by Washington PBS station WETA, showed some rough cuts of the film to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam threatened to sue. WETA pulled the segment.
Burke’s colleagues in the film were Frank Gaffney and Alex Alexiev. The latter wrote about this outrage, and it’s also covered here. My Campus Watch colleague Cinnamon Stillwell blogged on it, with many updates, here. Thomas Ryan wrote an article on McCloud in 2005, and Daniel Pipes wasn’t impressed by her 1995 book, African American Islam.
Your readers may also be interested in a two-part interview McCloud, an African American convert to Islam, gave in 2004: Part One; and Part Two. Something she said in Part One sheds some light on her actions against Burke et al.:

The post-9/11 environment is heavily laden with extreme hatred of Islam and fear of what Muslims will do in the future. This is not to say that there has not been a hatred of Islam and a fear of Muslims. The difference now is that Mr. Bush’s binary rhetoric – us and them, good v evil- has given both the haters and the fearful license to express their feelings without sanction or reprimand. Everyone, including Christian ministers and scholars, Jewish leaders and scholars, even prominent Hindu researchers such as V.S. Naipul can now castigate everything about Islam and Muslims without being held liable for either truth or accuracy.

She was clearly on the lookout for anything to which she objected. And of course she blames the West for terrorism:

The root cause of terrorism is a combination of injustice and greed. President Bush asserted that the people who flew planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon committed acts of terror because they hate our freedoms. I doubt that but I would say that our freedoms have not driven us to act justly in the world or at home. I have not ever read of a powerful society which acted justly being attacked for anything nor have I read of greed leading to anything other than injustice.