Phi Beta Cons

What Went on in One Islam Course

A student at Florida State University, Matthew Hickman, enrolled in a course on Islam taught by Professor Vincent Biondo. Some of the highlights of his pedagogy, according to Hickman:
·        he’d make wild allegations such as, “Islam was responsible for the European Renaissance,” or, “Muslims invented the light bulb”
·        He never taught the dominance that Muslim men exert over Muslim women, or that in some Muslim nations converting to Christianity is punishable by death. He defined Islam as an entirely peaceful religion, and when violence occurred it was the fault of the ethnocentric West.
·        he excused Muslims that rioted, burning down businesses and firing at law enforcement…
·        When a Muslim man living in America was arrested for child molestation, Prof. Biondo equivocated, “That’s part of the Muslim culture.”
·        he defended Muslims that rioted and vandalized over cartoon depictions of Mohammed…
·        he equated Guantanamo Bay Naval Station to a concentration camp…Of course, there is no comparison, as there are no firing squads, no gas chambers, and no rape rooms at Guantanamo, and Muslims detained there are provided with Korans and allowed to practice their religion.
·        he informed the class that in England, “The schools forced Muslim children to participate in Christian prayer”…[Upon being questioned] Prof. Biondo finally relented, “Well, it wasn’t really prayer…it was a moment of silence for someone that had just died.” There was a collective noise of realization, as the class understood that Prof. Biondo had just lied about the events he referenced. A moment of silence is not prayer—it’s not Christian, Islamic, or Jewish—but a universal sign of respect.
This is valuable testimony. What is the extent of such bias in the classroom? How many students are being subjected to it? The substitution of what this student calls “fantasia” for education on so vital a topic must end.


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