16
August , 2018
Thursday

Email This Post Email This Post

Campaign to Defend Academic Freedom at Columbia College

Posted by Admin On March - 11 - 2014
Why is Palestine taboo at Columbia College?


CHICAGO, IL – Columbia College students, faculty and community members are organizing a campaign to defend academic freedom after Columbia administrators retaliated against an instructor for the content of his course about the Israel/Palestine conflict. The campaign includes a petition (www.chn.ge/MXMtpY); March 11 and 12 call-in days to the Columbia College administration (tinyurl.com/CallColumbia); and a public forum featuring Ali Abunimah, a leading proponent of Palestinian rights (www.tinyurl.com/PalColumbia).

As part of his course, Prof. Iymen Chehade screens the Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras, which depicts popular resistance to Israeli military occupation. After a student alleged that the film showed that Chehade’s course is “biased,” Chehade was summoned for a meeting with Dr. Steven Corey, who is the chair of the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences. Corey told Chehade to teach his course in a more “balanced” manner, and then Columbia College withdrew one section of his course just hours after it had been made available to students registering for classes.

“Academic freedom entails not only the right to speak from a particular perspective, but the freedom from being compelled to engage in a particular type of speech,” said Chehade. “The frequent demand from apologists for Israeli colonialism that any discussion of the conflict be ‘balanced’ would be considered absurd in most other contexts. For example, must every presentation about the African-American civil rights movement include a speaker who will attempt to justify the denial of these rights?”

Ali Abunimah, America’s best known advocate for Palestinian rights and author most recently of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, is lending his voice to Prof. Chehade’s campaign. “For too long, teachers and students who want to speak freely about the situation in Palestine have had to live in fear of retaliation,” said Abunimah. “Calls for ‘balance’ are often ill-disguised efforts to ensure that Palestinian voices are not allowed to be heard without supervision, and that fundamental differences in power between Palestinians and the Israeli state that occupies and colonizes their land are obscured with false parity. Fortunately, this is a new day, and more people are standing up and speaking out against the silencing tactics that have been used on campuses for so long.”

Student and faculty supporters of Chehade and all those interested in the principle of academic freedom are circulating a petition (www.chn.ge/MXMtpY), holding March 11 and 12 call-in days to Columbia College administrators (http://tinyurl.com/CallColumbia), and hosting a March 20 public forum entitled “Why is Palestine taboo at Columbia College?” (www.tinyurl.com/PalColumbia).

The March 20 forum features Prof. Iymen Chehade; Ali Abunimah; John Wilson of the American Association of University Professors-Illinois; and Columbia college students Ava Ginsburg and Ahmed Hamad, who are both members of Students for Justice in Palestine/Jewish Voice for Peace at Columbia College. After the speaker presentations, there will be ample time for audience discussion and debate.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

Recent Posts