There are as many different Muslims as there are unfettered minds

Musa Budeiri, a professor at Birzeit University, the oldest Palestinian University, has been asked by the university to issue an apology to Islamist students who were offended by cartoons posted on his door.  The Islamists distributed leaflets on campus saying that the cartoons were ‘an insult to Islam’ and that the professor should apologize and be punished.

Whilst Budeiri refused to apologise or go abroad for a semester, he agreed to give an explanation for the educational objectives in posting cartoons. He said:

“They have opened up a discussion and have exhibited an ability of students to exercise their empowerment, potentially to ask, question, object, discuss, defend, in order to express their ideas and beliefs. This is something I have always fought for, and tried to convey since the first days of my teaching career, Much more than the ‘knowledge’ confined in the pages of official textbooks.

“It is a shame that instead of pursuing this path, and advancing their ideas by argument and reasoning, and winning as many adherents to their point of view as are convinced, (and these will never constituted the whole community, because people are individuals and not robotic replicas, and each mind is an individual creation possessing its own unique characteristics), they chose to resort to abuse, and threats of physical violence, attempting to appropriate to themselves the sole authority of what Muslims can and cannot think, can and cannot do. There are and will remain as many different Muslims as there are unfettered minds.”

Hear! Hear!

Whilst Budeiri says the university never informed him that he wouldn’t be teaching again as some Islamist students have claimed, he has received no response about his contract for the next academic year, which starts next month.

Clearly, Budeiri must be unequivocally defended as must free expression.

As an aside, you can read the University’s response here. It seems the University has been afflicted with ‘whataboutery’ and prefers attention be focused on the Israeli occupation’s trampling of the Palestinian people’s academic freedom. It also considers defence of its professor as a form of imperialism.

Yes I know, it’s the same old arguments.

Yes, the Israeli occupation is wrong on so many levels – academic, political, human. We need a two state solution and we need it now.

Also imperialism stinks big time, but try and focus will you?

(Link via Rumy Hassan)


  1. Umberto says

    What if the Jews just gave up and didn’t fight back, as they gave up and failed to fight back in any organized fashion in World War Two.

    Then most of them would be killed.

    Would that be enough to satisfy you Maryam, or would you still bitch about the Jews?

    • Upright Ape says

      Maryam, are going to get rid of this troll until he comes clean on what he is smoking?
      Back in the real world: no academic freedom, that is “imperialism”. Yeah, any excuse to suffocate free expression.

      • Goldstein's Pal says

        For all the Jew Haters around here, read up on the SAMPSON OPTION.

        And who is the Upright Ape? The hall monitor or the lap dog?

        • says

          Goldstein’s Pal is being moderated to one comment a day as I do like to let people speak even if their comments are just assinine. This one post is on you upright ape so please enjoy! and until tomorrow.

        • Upright Ape says

          GP, let me tell you about myself. I was born in Iran. My girlfriend is an American Jew. I am very proud of Maryam’s human rights activism but I do not agree with her on everything (eg, I’d take Thomas Payne over Karl Marx any day). I despise Islamism because I have seen what I has done in my country of birth. But equally I despise crackpots like you, branding anyone and everyone hoping for a fair solution to the Middle East conflict a “Jew hater”. You are as much part of the problem as Hamas.

      • says

        Upright Ape, I wish he was smoking something. Not sure why opposing the Israeli occupation is ‘bitching about the Jews’. Oh yeah I know – in the same way that opposing Islamism is ‘bitching about the Muslims.’ Well it’s not. A two state solution is good for both people who deserve to live in security and freedom and without the threat of either Islamic terrorism or Israeli state terrorism.

    • says

      Having looked in the back-end, I see that Umberto, Goldstein’s Pal, Skeptical Skeptic, and Jamie are all the same person so I am banning him as of now. I don’t mind people saying whatever nonsense they want and I haven’t banned anyone yet. I am even willing to moderate the comments of trolls by posting only one a day so that they get their say as a policy but am not going to allow someone using different emails and names to dupe people into thinking they are different people. It’s dishonest. If you want to debate on issues raised on my blog, feel free to do so. However, the least that should be expected is that you are honest in your opinions however disgusting or wonderful they may be.

  2. F says

    Yes, it would be completely imperialistic to educate students on critical thinking skills outside the classroom. As if the U doesn’t also have rules covering this sort of thing (but back off and let it slide because some affront to Islam, perceived, ginned-up, or real is involved).

  3. Bill Yeager says

    ‘an insult to Islam’ eh?

    Yeah, I was chatting to Islam the other day, he (naturally) was well pissed off when I told him that some people said some stuff that he probably wouldn’t like. I didn’t go into details, I just told him to wheel out his righteous indignation and rage (goes without saying) in order to fight back against those who were probably oppressing his ‘right’ to be, um, Islam, or something.

    He told me he couldn’t be arsed to actually turn up and protest as he’s got a few hundred million facebook friends who’d do the heavy-lifting work for him, you know, make death threats, demands to ‘never be offended’, that sort of thing.

    Now, if they’d insulted Islam’s mother, *that* would make it personal and he’d have to get involved . . .

    etc. etc. etc.

  4. Kilian Hekhuis says

    “We need a two state solution” – are you really convinced that’s the best solution? A one-state solution, although in all likelyhood never accepted by the Israelis, would imho be a much better idea (see e.g. also this).

      • Kilian Hekhuis says

        Best for both Israelis and Palestinians. It seems you haven’t followed the link, it discusses (and has linked to an older description) the merits of a democratic single state of Israel/Palastine, in which both Israelis and Palastinians have equal say (through democratic means). One person, one vote. The article compares the situation in Israel to that of South Africa during the apartheid regime. It also explains that a two state solution allows Israel to deport the Israeli Arabs to the state of Palastine in order to perform ethnic cleansing.

        • says

          Sorry I didn’t go to the link. I think people can decide to stay together if they so choose but sometimes so much has happened that it makes it imnpossible. For example, I am against federalism in Iran but when you look at the kurdish question, I would not be opposed to their demanding separation if that is what they so choose.

          • Kilian Hekhuis says

            Well, I don’t know anything about the situation in Iran, but I don’t agree with you when you say “sometimes so much has happened that it makes it imnpossible”. For individuals, yes, this is certainly the case (I’m not opposed to divorce, for example), but for groups of people this doesn’t hold. It is possible, through education, to change the minds of the majority, especially in the long run (think a generation or two). For educated people, it shouldn’t matter that my grandpa killed your grandpa, or my great aunt killed yours. Rational though can supercede old enmity, especially if the new situation is favourable for both parties.

            With regards to the Israeli situation, it is currently Zionism (religious racism) vs. islamism (also religious racism). But if a secular, democratic state were to be created that would give equal rights to all inhabitants, I’m convinced that rationalist (or at least pragmatic) views would prevail in the long run.

Leave a Reply