Dr.Swamy and Harvard

Contents


FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) write on Harvard firing of Dr. Swamy. 1

Diversity USA writes to Dr. Faust. 5


Harvard Cosmopolitans Gone Wild.. 8

Save India From Corruption writes to Dr. Faust. 10

Harvard Faculty 1, Free Speech 0  By Charlotte Allen. 12

Misrepresentation by Harvard Faculty Members Diana Eck and Saugata Bose to Harvard Administration  16

Does Free Speech Exist at Harvard? The Case of Economist Subramanian Swamy  by Jerry Gordon from New English Review.. 22

Richard Benkin,  Independent Human Rights Activist writes to Dr. Faust. 25

Harvard, please explain?  By Sekhar Vemula. 27

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation write to Dr. Faust. 28

APPENDIX. 37

Subramanian Swamy’s column in DNA.. 37

Harvard Org,  “Coalition Against Bigotry at Harvard’  Demand that Harvard end its association with religious extremist Subramanian Swamy. 40

Harvard’s ‘Coalition against Bigotry’ Statements on Dr. Swamy Op-Ed, Dec 7, 2011 and Aug 5, 2011  41

Harvard Stands By Swamy, Writer of ‘Distressing’ Op-Ed, Aug 6, 2011. 42

Harvard Faculty Debates Free Speech,  Harvard Magazine,  Nov-Dec 2011. 44

A Summer School Instructor and Speech. 45

Harvard Crimson report, Dec 7, 2011. 49

So Long Swamy, Harvard Crimson impudently justifying the firing, Dec 12, 2011. 50


 

FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) write on Harvard firing of Dr. Swamy

 

 

http://thefire.org/article/13921.html

Harvard Faculty Fires Economics Professor over Political Article Published in India

December 8, 2011

by Adam Kissel

Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) has effectively fired a controversial economics professor by canceling all of his courses due to an op-ed he published in India in the wake of the July 13 Mumbai terrorist bombing. Although Harvard’s administration had defended Professor Subramanian Swamy’s rights after intervention by FIRE, FAS blatantly and shamefully violated them in its meeting on Tuesday. Anyone reading the op-ed will have no trouble detecting why it was controversial, but this action by the Harvard faculty places speech and academic freedom in danger at Harvard.

On July 16, 2011, Swamy published an opinion piece in the Indian newspaper Daily News & Analysis in response to series of terrorist bombing in Mumbai on July 13 that killed 26 and injured 130 people. The column makes several suggestions about how to “negate the political goals of Islamic terrorism in India,” advocating that India “[e]nact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion,” “[r]emove the masjid [mosque] in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites,” and “declare India a Hindu Rashtra [nation] in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus.”

In response, a group of Harvard students began a petition against Swamy, demanding that Harvard “repudiate Swamy’s remarks and terminate his association with the University” on the ground that he is “a bigoted promoter of communalism in India” whose column “breaches the most basic standards of respect and tolerance.” The petition concludes that “Subramanian Swamy can have no place in the Harvard community.” Harvard Summer School Dean Donald H. Pfister reacted to the controversy by stating, “We will give this matter our serious attention.”

FIRE wrote President Drew Gilpin Faust on July 27, stating that “students certainly have the right to request that Harvard violate its own promises of free expression, but Harvard must not accede to such demands.” Indeed, we wrote, Harvard is obligated to uphold the promises of free speech contained in the “Free Speech Guidelines” adopted by FAS in 1990:

 

Curtailment of free speech undercuts the intellectual freedom that defines our purpose. It also deprives some individuals of the right to express unpopular views and others of the right to listen to unpopular views.

Because no other community defines itself so much in terms of knowledge, few others place such a high priority on freedom of speech. As a community, we take certain risks by assigning such a high priority to free speech. We assume that the long-term benefits to our community will outweigh the short-term unpleasant effects of sometimes-noxious views. Because we are a community united by a commitment to rational processes, we do not permit censorship of noxious ideas. We are committed to maintaining a climate in which reason and speech provide the correct response to a disagreeable idea.

Members of the University do not share similar political or philosophical views, nor would such agreement be desirable. They do share, however, a concern for the community defined in terms of free inquiry and dissemination of ideas. Thus, they share a commitment to policies that allow diverse opinions to flourish and to be heard.

 

Although President Faust did not respond directly to FIRE’s letter, Harvard released a statement around August 1 defending free speech in line with the promises made by FAS:

It is central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr. Swamy and of those who disagree with him. We are ultimately stronger as a university when we maintain our commitment to the most basic freedoms that enable the robust exchange of ideas.

It seemed that Harvard and FIRE were in agreement on this issue. After all, how would the situation presented here be any different in principle from the firing, say, of a communist professor for his beliefs, which might include the violent overthrow of the U.S. government? Both the U.S. and Harvard have had experience with what we now call McCarthyism, and few are eager to return to that.

 

Harvard’s admirable promises now stand in sharp and unflattering contrast to the action by FAS on Tuesday, led by Professor Diana C. Eck, as reported on Wednesday by The Harvard Crimson. (Disclosure: I once worked for Professor Eck as a nonresident tutor at Harvard’s Lowell House.) According to Crimson journalists Radhika Jain and Kevin J. Wu:

 

“Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line by demonizing an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places,” Eck said, adding that Harvard has a moral responsibility not to affiliate itself with anyone who expresses hatred towards a minority group. “There is a distinction between unpopular and unwelcome political views.”

Did Professor Eck really say, “There is a distinction between unpopular and unwelcome political views”? How exactly would one objectively define that difference?

This hypocritical action by FAS was made worse by Eck’s faulty rationale for punishing a professor who had expressed his views. The Crimson article adds that “[m]any faculty determined Swamy’s article was not a product of free speech-but of hate speech.” This assertion has no meaning from a rights perspective. There is no exception for “hate speech” either at Harvard (a private university bound by its own promises) or in the First Amendment, and there can be no agreement on what constitutes “hate speech” since it cannot be determined objectively.

Equally indefensible is the contention that Swamy’s article was an incitement to violence. Yet, this is exactly what the chair of the Philosophy Department, Sean D. Kelly, said, according to the Crimson:

“I was persuaded … that the views expressed in Dr. Swamy’s op-ed piece amounted to incitement of violence instead of protected political speech,” he wrote in an email to The Crimson.

Yet the op-ed comes nowhere near the careful definition of unprotected “incitement” announced by the Supreme Court in 1969. According to the Supreme Court, for speech to be considered “incitement,” it must be “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and [be] likely to incite or produce such action.” Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). See also Hess v. Indiana, 414 U.S. 105 (1973) (holding that a protestor who shouted, “We’ll take the fucking street later” was not guilty of incitement because his “threat” “amounted to nothing more than advocacy of illegal action at some indefinite future time.”).

There are permissible reasons to cancel a professor’s courses, but the Crimson article suggests that FAS did not act on any of them. Instead, FAS broke its own promises. Harvard must reverse FAS’s violation of its moral obligation to uphold freedom of speech. It would be most preferable for FAS to remedy its own mistake. Failing that, higher-ups at Harvard must act to protect Harvard’s integrity. Harvard has already embarrassed itself far too much over free speech issues in recent years.

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Diversity USA writes to Dr. Faust

 

DIVERSITY-USA

A National Democratic Think Tank on Minority Issues

3145 Gilbert Ave., Roseburg, OR 97471

Ph & Fax 541-957-8414

 

 

Dr. Drew Faust, President, Harvard University

Office of the President    , Massachusetts Hall

Cambridge, MA 02138                                                    Dec. 9, 2011

 

Dear Dr. Faust,

 

Sub: A Hero, Victim of Harvard Bigotry.

 

When I checked my mail last night and found that Harvard University, one of the leading Ivy League educational institutions in the world, had decided to drop economic courses taught by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a world renowned economist, I was simply stunned. How could one of the top educational institutions in our country go so wrong is beyond me? In view of the fact that only a few months back the University had upheld the right of freedom of expression of Dr. Swamy and rejected the pleas of his biased and distortionist opponents, the reversal of the initial decision raises many troubling questions.

 

 

We firmly believe that the initial decision by the University was right, pragmatic, based on justifiable facts. Its reversal on the grounds of hatefulness, communalism, narrow mindedness, anti-Indianism and anti-Hinduism demonstrated by some of the faulty zealots is simply reprehensible. These fellow travelers have seriously ruptured the credibility of a prestigious educational institution and tarnished its good name. Please note that a billion plus Indians worldwide particularly Hindus have noted this “backward and regressive step” by the University with utter disappointment and disdain. To say the least it has irreparably damaged the good reputation of your institution.

 

 

In paragraph 2 of his original article under reference Dr. Swamy has clearly stated that “Islamic terrorism is India’s number one national security problem….and already the successor to Osama bin Laden as the al-Qaeda leader has declared that India is the priority target for that terrorist organization and not the USA” (see attachment A). It should be obvious that Dr. Swamy’s imaginary hatred of Muslims is not the issue. But Muslims must face the reality of their civilizational war against Hindus and their aim of creating a Caliphate in Asia with India as its major constituent that is at the root of the conflict. Towards the concluding portion of his analysis Dr. Swamy has summarized the goals of the Islamic terrorism in India. He believes that their number 1 goal is to overawe India on Kashmir. To combat this goal of terrorists Dr. Swamy proposed removal of article 370 of India’s national constitution and creating Panun Kashmir for the exiled Hindu Pandit community and look for an opportunity to liberate the portion of Kashmir which was illegally occupied by Pakistan. And if Pakistan continues to back terrorists, India should assist the Balauchis and Sindhis to get their independence.

 

 

Clearly the central issue raised by Dr. Swamy in his so called objectionable analysis (which became the reason for cancellation of his courses) is the “abrogation of section 370 of the Indian Constitution so the national constitution and the body of laws built under it became applicable to Jammu & Kashmir State like other states and union territories of India. That would considerably improve the law and order situation and afford protection to disenfranchised ethnic minorities. Needless to say that section 370 (which was supposed to be a temporary section) gives special status to this state and therefore, the Indian Constitution and the laws framed there under are not applicable in it. Dr. Faust, abusing the current communally shaped state authority the 20% Sunni Muslims of the Kashmir valley, mostly followers of Wahabi Islam and Osama Bin Laden, who enjoy a monopoly of political, economic, legislative and administrative power, have turned this state in to a virtual “Talibanistan” and have imposed “Sharia” as the law of the state. Thousands upon thousands of non-Muslims have been killed in Muslim induced ethnic cleansing, genocide, massacres, kidnappings and forcible occupation of their movable and immovable properties. More than 75,000 Kashmiris have lost their lives in this civilizational crusade unleashed by radical Islam. In their  quest for wholesale Islamization of the state, more than a million non-Muslims have been driven out of the state courtesy of Wahabi crusaders and their supporters in the establishment.  These oustees have become homeless refugees in various parts of India and the globe. Dr. Faust, I am myself a Kashmiri American and the lives of seven members of my family were prematurely cut short during the avalanche of the Islamic terrorism. It was Dr. Swamy who raised his voice against this human tragedy but alas the policy makers at Harvard failed to see it.

 

 

You must know that Kashmir is progressively assuming the status of another Kabul, Kandahar, Peshawar and Islamabad as a center of Islamic Jihad. Recognizing the fast deteriorating conditions on the ground the Obama Administration has also warned the Indian authorities about the spread and linkage of Indian Taliban with Pakistani Muslim terrorist outfits. In the US itself a Pakistani agent, G.N.Fai, of Kashmiri origin who has admitted to having accepted instructions and millions of dollars from the Pakistani spy agency, ISI, for influencing the US policy towards Kashmir and Pakistan, was recently arrested in Virginia. All these indicators reveal that unless speedy and preventive measures are taken Kashmir may be developing in to yet another radical Islamist volcano ready to explode.

 

 

By demanding the abrogation of section 370 of the Indian Constitution Dr. Subramanian Swamy has been trying to reverse the dangerous advance of Wahabi Islam in the Indian sub-Continent and in the process saving the US from having to deal with one more nasty, bloody and complex development in the world. It will be foolhardy on any body’s part to ignore the fact that India, despite being known as a Hindu country, has the second largest Muslim population in the world and the Indian Republic borders Pakistan, the epicenter of Islamic terrorism with multi-continental reach. How unfortunate and regrettable it is that Dr. Swamy is being banished because he showed the wisdom, fortitude and guts for doing the right thing by fighting the Jihadis before it was too late. The UN, US, UK, NATO and the rest of civilized world are following similar policies towards the Jihadis and the radical Islam. But Harvard seems to be adopting a negative policy for extracting a price from Dr. Swamy for following their lead.  We must not ignore the fact that it was these Johnnies ( Pakis and Arab Sunnis ) who plotted and executed the first ever attack on mainland USA on 9/11 killing more than 3,000 innocent Americans.

 

 

Dr. Faust, I hope you understand the basis of our anger, frustration and disappointment against Harvard University’s decision to exclude Dr. Swami’s courses from your summer offerings. In our opinion the latest decision of Harvard has provided the greatest boost, encouragement and authentication to the forces of Islamic Jihad every where particularly in the most volatile Indian sub-continent. By this thoughtless action, your decision makers have not only violated the University’s covenant of free speech and academic freedom, the University has clearly appeared to have taken the side of the soldiers of the civilizational conquest who have taken everything from us and are now threatening the very integrity and sovereignty of India – the largest democracy of the world.

 

 

Honoring the sacrifices of a million non-Muslim humans who were driven in to exile from Kashmir by the followers of Osama Bin Laden and Wahabi Islam and more than 75,000 Kashmiris whose lives were consumed by the Islamic terrorism, we request you to kindly re-examine the matter dispassionately and reinstate the summer courses taught by Dr. Swamy. How shameful and unfortunate it would be if the promoters of Wahabi Islam, radical Jihad, the Bin Laden doctrine and the decision makers of the world famous Harvard University stood side by side as comrades-in-arms against the free and democratic world. That is exactly what your University’s decision about cancelling the courses taught by Dr. Swamy conveys. Let better sense prevail and let the decision making process of your University not be allowed to be hijacked by some radical individuals acting under foreign influences.

 

 

I would appreciate if you kindly inform me of the actions taken in this regard and inform me of your decision. I can be reached atdrjagankaul@rosenet.net and/or via phone at 541-957-8414.

 

 

Sincerely yours

Dr. Jagan Kaul, (Rtd) Prof Int’l Law; Chairman Diversity-USA

 

Attachment A
Dr. Swamy article in DNA (Indian news media)
APPENDIX

Subramanian Swamy’s column in DNA

(DNA has removed this from their website)

 

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Harvard Cosmopolitans Gone Wild

http://www.themoralliberal.com/2011/12/13/harvard-cosmopolitans-gone-wild/

 

Subramanian Swamy

By Carl L. Bankston III

Harvard economics Professor Subramanian Swamy has become the center of controversy at the university. Professor Swamy left teaching at Harvard during the regular academic year to enter politics in his home country, but continued to return to Cambridge to teach summer courses. Earlier this year, Professor Swamy published in the Indian newspaper Daily News & Analysis. In reaction to the Mumbai bombing by Muslim terrorists, Professor Swamy advocated declaring India an officially Hindu country and taking steps to enforce its Hindu identity.

Although Swamy did not identify himself as a Harvard Professor or link his ideas in any way to that institution, the ever-vigilant and concerned Harvard community soon learned of his publication of objectionable views. Students and parents petitioned the university to end its connection with the wayward academic, professing their adherence to the free expression of ideas, but asserting that Swamy had gone beyond the limits of acceptability. I have often noted that advocates of censorship in this country generally proclaim loudly their belief in the principle of free expression and then exclude whatever they don’t like from this principle because it “goes too far.” The petitioners also raised questions about Swamy’s ability to treat all students equally (another common strategy by enforcers of conformity), even though there is no evidence at all of his ever discriminating against non-Hindu students at Harvard.

This past week, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences responded to the controversy by cancelling Professor Swamy’s two summer courses. Diana L. Eck, the Harvard professor who made the proposal to cancel the classes reiterated the view that the university had to cut its ties to Swamy because his ideas involved limiting human rights and denying freedom of religion. The admirable Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has asserted Professor Swamy’s right to advocate radical social change, a right that he shares with Communists or adherents of other ideas that many might see as “going too far.”

 

Summer courses are assigned at the pleasure of the university and the university does have the right to cancel courses it does not want to offer. Nevertheless, Harvard’s faculty body clearly made a very bad decision here. At the most basic level, an employer is making a decision about the continuation of an employee on the basis of political activities completely unrelated to the job, there being no support whatsoever for the claim that Swamy “might” be unfair to some students. Beyond that, FIRE is correct that the university is a special kind of employer, one that has a moral obligation to protect and promote intellectual pluralism. In a university, ideas that someone finds objectionable should be rebutted, not silenced or excluded. But this case actually goes beyond the open expression of views on campus. Harvard’s Arts & Sciences faculty, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, is taking action to officially repudiate an article published in a newspaper in India about politics in India by an Indian citizen.

Anyone aware of my own paper trail should expect me to uphold the right of individuals in Massachusetts or anywhere else to hold informed, semi-informed, and utterly uninformed opinions and judgments about everything under and beyond the stars. While we cannot extend the protections of the U.S. Constitution to people outside the U.S., as human beings we can certainly be certainly be concerned about how our fellow human beings treat other humans everywhere and at all times. But I cannot see why the organization of the faculty at Harvard, as an institutional entity, should have any business taking positions on what are acceptable or unacceptable opinions for Indians on political and social questions in India.

 


The Moral Liberal Sociology Editor, Carl L. Bankston III is Professor of Sociology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.  He is the author and co-author of a number of books and numerous articles published in academic journals. An incomplete list of his books includes: Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States (with Min Zhou, 1998), Blue Collar Bayou: Louisiana Cajuns in the New Economy of Ethnicity (with Jacques Henry, 2002), and A Troubled Dream: The Promise and Failure of School Desegregation in Louisiana (2002), Forced to Fail: The Paradox of School Desegregation (hardback, 2005; paperback, 2007), and Public Education – America’s Civil Religion: A Social History (2009) (all with Stephen J. Caldas). View Professor Bankston’s full bio, here. He blogs at Can These Bones Live?

 

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Save India From Corruption writes to Dr. Faust

 

Save Indian Democracy

Save India From Corruption

Web:
http://SaveIndianDemocracy.org
http://SaveIndiaFromCorruption.org

Dr. Faust
President
Harvard University
Harvard, MA

 

Dear Dr. Faust,

It is deeply troubling Harvard chose to drop Dr. Subramanian Swamy courses from summer offerings due to pressure from few faculty members who might be ideologically opposed to Dr. Swamy.   You had initially stood for his free speech rights and we are concerned that you have not intervened to address this.  There is enormous indignation in the community to such action by Harvard.   Please take few minutes to consider the following:

a) It does not appear that anyone from Harvard approached Dr. Swamy to give his response?  As a premier institution standing for free speech rights, is this not the basic thing to do?

b) Crimson article (http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/12/7/faculty-final-meeting/) mentions,  

“[Swamy’s position on disenfranchisement] is like saying Jewish Americans and African Americans should not be allowed to vote unless they acknowledge the supremacy of white Anglo Saxon Protestants,” said History Professor Sugata Bose.

Here is what Dr. Swamy wrote in the article (http://www.dnaindia.com/ analysis/analysis_how-to-wipe- out-islamic-terror_1566203-all):

India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).

How is, ‘accepting the ancestry’ be same as ‘acknowledge the supremacy’?   How can someone teaching in Harvard twist the point so poorly.   This cannot but be a deliberate distortion.  There are several such deliberate distortions not only from viewpoint of Dr. Swamy article, but also from the view point of protection of free speech by Harvard, engaged by Diana Eck and others, that is enumerated in separate letters.
c) Let us take how Harvard conducted itself in similar such past incidents.   In March 2002, Dr. Alan Dershowitz published an article in ‘The Jerusalem Post’, entitled ‘New Response to Palestinian Terrorism”, where he write that in response to terrorism from Palestine, after due notice, Israel should bulldoze all of the buildings in the village.  In spite of major protests,  Harvard stood by Dr Alan’s right to free speech.   How about the publishing of Danish Cartoons in student newspaper.   Is there anything in Dr. Swamy’s article close to this?   Is it because he is a brown person, he can treated this manner so unceremoniously?   Is this not a blatant case of racism?  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Dershowitz ).  Is Harvard anymore a champion of free speech?

 

Maybe someone can explain Harvard acceptance of 20 million dollar from Saudi prince, who part of the ruling dynasty without any democracy,  where women has little rights, not even to drive, where there is no freedom of religion whatsoever and conversion invites apostasy.
Note:  Those who are reacting to Dr. Swamy article has little knowledge of India’s history or chose to ignore it and posing themselves as Human Rights activists.   Before any statement be made on Dr. Swamy article, it is imperative to understand the context of his article.

India is facing relentless home grown terrorism that just between 2004 to 2008 the number of terror victims and incidents is next to war torn Iraq  (http://www.slideshare.net/truthaboutsoniagandhi/sonia-and-terrorism ).  Security agencies have extreme difficulty apprehending the culprits because they are harbored by the Muslim community.  The tragedy is even after more 3400 deaths, India did not catch a single terrorist!!  This is compounded by the vote bank politics in India.   Relentless illegal immigration from Bangla Desh into north eastern state of West Bengal created a mini-pakistan where non-Muslims are leading a daily battle of survival, for their property, for their live and honor of their women.

According to famous American historian, Will Durant, the period of Islamic Conquest as the ‘bloodiest story in the history of mankind’ (http://opposemosqueatgroundzero.wordpress.com/911-sioa-rally/) .

 

 

d) Dr. Swamy is close to his two daughters and one of his two daughters is married to an Indian Muslim and from what we learnt they live in same house.  In Aug 1987 Dr. Swamy undertook a fast unto death (http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Human-rights/2006/hashimpura.html) to demand inquiry into illegal killing of Muslim youth by Police.   It is travesty of justice to call him anti-Muslim and shows the ignorance and bigotry of those in Harvard who supported this action.

 

e) Has those who took this decision look at the context of this article?   ‘Article 370 abrogation, restoration of temples that were demolished during Islamic rule’ are being debated for many decades in India from all sides.  Dr. Swamy has every right to express his views as Indian citizen.
f) What Dr. Swamy wrote about is about events in India and his views are published in India.   It is not about economy.   How can this be of concern to Harvard?   Let us say, if tomorrow a Harvard scholar expresses some views on any topic, would it be appropriate to persecute that person in India.

g) Dr. Swamy is the unparalleled champion of India today fighting the corruption against enormous odds risking both his and his family’s lives.  Freeing India from corruption is paramount to even US interests.  For e.g. a recent multi-billion dollar defence deal that is mired in controversy is estimated to cause loss of 22,000 high tech jobs in US.   US laws does not allow for paying bribes and US is believed to lost the contract because of these restrictions.  It is so shameful that Harvard chose to take such unfair action at such a time hurting interests of both nations.

h) Many times it has become a habit of some left minded faculty members labeling those who express their protest as fanatics and fundamentalists.   This will do no good just as it would if Harvard is categorized as bigoted and racist.  We need to view this together dispassionately.

 

As mentioned, there is indignation and deeply hurt feelings pertaining to this action of Harvard.   It does not help if administration is not involved in this action, because if mistakes are committed anywhere, administration has responsibility to repair.   We have to ensure this does not happen again.  We sincerely hope you will take corrective actions immediately.

Several members of community from various organizations would like to meet you in person.  Please respond to SaveIndiaFromCorruption.org@gmail.com or call 732 939 2060.

 

Thanking you.

 

Sincerely yours,

Satya Dosapati
For Save India From Corruption,  Save Indian Democracy

http://SaveIndiaFromCorruption.orghttp://SaveIndianDemocracy.org

 

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Harvard Faculty 1, Free Speech 0
By Charlotte Allen


From Minding the Campus, Reforming Our Universities

http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2011/12/Harvard_Faculty_1_Free_Speech_0.html

The Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) has done it again. This is the group that effectively drove former Harvard president Lawrence Summers out of office over a 2005 remark of his about possible differences between the sexes that didn’t sit well with hard-line feminists on the Harvard faculty. The FAS voted its “lack of confidence” in Summers’s leadership, and he tendered his resignation in 2006. Last week the FAS maneuvered another forced departure on political grounds. It voted to eliminate two Harvard Summer School courses taught by Subramanian Swamy, a former economics professor at Harvard who now lives in India but who has regularly traveled to Cambridge to teach in the university’s summer school.

The reason? An anti-Muslim op-ed article that Swamy wrote for an Indian newspaper three days after the July 13 bombings by Muslim terrorists that killed at least 21 people in Mumbai. Harvard has a set of guidelines, adopted by the FAS in 1990, that are supposed to protect the freedom of speech of the university’s students and faculty members. But the FAS decided that Swamy’s op-ed, which included a call to get rid of more than 300 Indian mosques, “crosses the line by demonizing an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places,” in the words of Harvard Comparative Religion Professor Diana L. Eck, who proposed the amendment excluding Swamy’s courses at the Dec. 6 FAS meeting.

Under Harvard’s governance system a faculty vote on curriculum offerings is final and does not require the approval of Harvard’s administration. Eck’s amendment, carving out an exception to an otherwise routine approval of the summer school curriculum, and passed by a reportedly overwhelming faculty vote (FAS meetings are closed to the public), neatly bypasses Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust and other top Harvard officials who have stood by Swamy up until now. In September a petition spearheaded by Eck and bearing at least 457 signatures, 68 of them from Harvard undergraduates, called on Harvard to “repudiate Swamy’s remarks and terminate his association with the University.” The university issued a statement declaring that it is “central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr. Swamy and of those who disagree with him.” The statement continued: “We are ultimately stronger as a university when we maintain our commitment to the most basic freedoms that enable the robust exchange of ideas.” Harvard’s economics professors voiced no objection to Swamy’s continued presence on the faculty of the summer school, where the two courses he was to teach covered elementary economics and the economics of the Indian subcontinent. No students had complained about political bias in Swamy’s classrooms.

An Op-Ed That Would Not Allow All Hindus to Convert

Nonetheless, even the most committed free-speech advocates would likely find Swamy’s op-ed, published in India’s Daily News and Analysis, disturbing to say the least. It is a call for India to rename itself “Hindustan.” In Swamy’s blueprint not only would hundreds of mosques be closed, but non-Hindus would be stripped of their voting rights unless they acknowledged “that their ancestors were Hindus,” as Swamy wrote. Those who refused, as well as “those foreigners who become Indian citizens,” could remain in India, but without the right either to vote or to hold elective office. Swamy’s op-ed also argued that India “[e]nact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion,” and that non-Hindus who “re-convert” to Hinduism be required to belong to a Hindu caste.

Swamy’s outrage at Islamic terrorists was understandable. The July 13 bombings had been preceded by another series of Muslim-linked bombings in Mumbai in 2008 that had left 173 people dead. Muslims had conquered and ruled large sections of India beginning in the twelfth century, and from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century the Muslim Mughul empire covered most of the subcontinent. The 300 mosques that Swamy slated for destruction in his op-ed were apparently built on the sites of Hindu temples destroyed by Muslims during their long reign over India. Although the overwhelming majority of today’s Indians practice Hinduism, Muslims have made significant demographic inroads during recent decades, at Hinduism’s expense. In 1961 about 83 percent of India’s population was Hindu, compared with 80 percent right now. Islam’s share of India’s population has grown from 11 percent to more than 13 percent during the same period, thanks to high birthrates and illegal immigration from neighboring Bangladesh. India shares a border with Pakistan, refuge of the slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Although technically a U.S. ally, Pakistan is currently in peace negotiations with the terrorist Taliban. With militancy on the rise among the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims, it is not surprising that India’s Hindus fear becoming the targets of escalating violence in the future. In his op-ed Swami wrote: “Islamic terrorism is India’s number one problem of national security.”

Still, the “Hindustan” that Swamy envisioned in his op-ed is essentially a Hindu mirror image of the Muslim Brotherhood’s blueprint to replace secular-democratic societies in Muslim countries with an all-Islamic societies to be governed by the Koran and sharia law. Radical Hindu nationalism is now a major force in Indian political life. A Hindu-nationalist political party, Bharatiya Janata, has swiftly grown to become the second-largest in India. (Swamy is president of a different party, Janata, from which Bharatiya Janata split off in 1981). Some Indian states already forbid conversions from Hinduism. Hindu-nationalist mobs have bashed mosques and killed hundreds of Muslims. They have also targeted India’s 24 million Christians, since Hindu nationalists regard Christianity as a foreign colonialist import–even though some of India’s Christian communities date back to Christianity’s earliest centuries. There have been murders of Christian missionaries, burnings of churches and Christian-owned stores, and waves of anti-Christian violence in 2007 and 2008 that included an attack on Mother Teresa’s religious order, the Missionaries of Charity. India’s 17 million Sikhs have also been sporadic targets of Hindu-nationalist bloodletting.

Despite Swamy’s strong support for the Hindu-nationalist agenda, his July 16 op-ed did not endorse attacks against non-Hindus or their places of worship, Diana Eck’s reference to inciting “violence” at the Harvard FAS meeting notwithstanding. Nor did Swamy call for future violence against Muslims by India’s Hindus. His op-ed was instead a call for radical political changes in India to be brought about by democratic processes, in which mosque removal would be carried out by the government. Those contemplated political changes might be controversial (as they were, even in India) and repugnant to those who believe in religious freedom, but Swamy had as much right to make them as the communists who have joined forces with the Occupy movement in America to advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government. One might hope that India never turns into “Hindustan,” while refraining from penalizing a Harvard professor for hoping that it will, in a newspaper opinion piece published thousands of miles away from his Cambridge classroom in the aftermath of a series of fatal bombings.

No Censorship of Obnoxious Views

It was for this reason that Faust and other top Harvard administrators apparently supported Swamy’s right to continue teaching at Harvard after the initial effort in July to have him removed. They might have been spurred to steadfastness by a July 27 letter to Faust from Adam Kissel, a 1994 Harvard graduate and vice president of programs at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Harvard FAS had written, “We assume that the long-term benefits to our community will outweigh the short-term unpleasant effects of sometimes-noxious views. Because we are a community united by a commitment to rational processes, we do not permit censorship of noxious views.”

But that was the Harvard administration, and Harvard’s FAS seems to have a way, as it did with Lawrence Summers’s presidency in 2005, of having the last word. There was, as might be expected, an element of selectivity in the FAS’s righteous indignation. Diana Eck’s remarks focused entirely on the “demonization” of India’s Muslims, while pointedly ignoring the consequences for India’s Christians under Swamy’s blueprint–even though Swamy’s op-ed had included a disparaging reference to India’s Christian president, Sonia Gandhi, as “semi-literate.” Muslims are a fashionable victim group in today’s academia, while Christians are not. Contrast the FAS’s harsh treatment of Swamy to the reluctance of faculty and administrators at the University of Colorado-Boulder to take any action against former ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill for blaming the U.S. for the 9/11 Muslim terrorist massacre, and for calling the thousands of 9/11 victims who worked at the World Trade Center towers “little Eichmanns.” Churchill was fired from the university in 2006–but for scholarly plagiarism (he subsequently sued the university, and his appeal is pending before the Colorado Supreme Court).

Regarding the Swamy matter, it is tempting to say, “A plague on both your houses,” and focus sympathy on a more appealing victim of an ideological witch hunt. But one must remember that Swamy was effectively fired from Harvard because some people didn’t like something he said outside his classroom–and that ought to chill the bones of anyone who regards freedom of expression as an important academic value.

One quote of Charlotte Allen’s article was misattributed:  “Kissel had written, ‘We assume that the long-term benefits to our community will outweigh the short-term unpleasant effects of sometimes-noxious views. Because we are a community united by a commitment to rational processes, we do not permit censorship of noxious views.’” Those were the words of the Harvard FAS, not Adam Kissel.” The mistake has been corrected. –Ed

 

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Misrepresentation by Harvard Faculty Members Diana Eck and Saugata Bose to Harvard Administration

 

Please find below detailed misrepresentations made by Dr. Diana Eck and Dr. Sugata Bose on Dr. Swamy article to Harvard administration.   There is also concern of India corrupt Indian political administration against which Dr. Swamy is fighting with enormous risk to his life and that of his family,  could have influence on Harvard in this  matter.  Who is the loser?  Harvard or Dr. Swamy?

Diana Eck wrote to Dr. Faust  (per article below):

“Freedom of expression is an essential principle in an academic community, one that we fully support. Notwithstanding our commitment to the robust exchange of ideas, Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line into incitement by demonizing an entire religious community, demanding their disenfranchisement, and calling for violence against their places of worship. Indeed, India’s National Commission for Minorities has filed criminal charges against Swamy, whose incendiary speech carries the threat of communal violence. When Harvard extends appointments to public figures, it behooves us to consider whether the reputation of the university benefits from the association. In this case, Swamy’s well-known reputation as an ideologue of the Hindu Right who publicly advocates violence against religious minorities undermines Harvard’s own commitment to pluralism and civic equality.”

Item 1:

What Diana Eck is saying:

Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line into incitement by demonizing an entire religious community,

What Dr. Swamy said:

We need a collective mindset as Hindus to stand against the Islamic terrorist.The Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. That they do I will not believe unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus.

Misrepresentation

If Dr. Swamy is demonizing the entire community, why would the article say that Muslims of India can join Hindus in fight against Islamic terrorist. Did Diana care to read the article carefully before making such blanket allegations?

Item 2:

What Diana Eck is saying:

…   demanding their (Muslims) disenfranchisement,

What Dr. Swamy said:

If any Muslim acknowledges his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her as a part of the Brihad Hindu Samaj (greater Hindu society) which is Hindustan. India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).

Misrepresentation:

Dr. Swamy is saying those who do not accept their ancestry of Hindus, they should be disenfranchised.    Ancestors of all Muslims in India are Hindus and unless they want to associate with Wahabbi intolerant version of Islam, they should not have problem with this.  In fact, Muslim leaders in India are now crying loudly to their community for not to be influenced by Wahabbi versions which is causing their young to take up to terrorism.   Please read this articlehttp://twocircles.net/2011oct16/deoband_wahabi_ideology_encouraging_islamic_extremism_india_sufi_groups.html.

NOTE: Sadly, people like Diana living in comfort of Harvard and America should live in certain parts of  India,  more so as minorities in Islamic countries.   They have no clue what it is that non Muslims face where Muslims are majority.   In 1989, overnight 350,000 Hindus were driven away at threat of murder and rape calling loudly over the Mosques throughout the state from the only majority Muslim state of India, Kashmir and 20+ years later they are living in make shift camps as refugees in their own nation, sometimes several families in a single room.   (Read the heart breaking account in Hindu American Foundation report endorsed by leading congressmen and senatorshttp://www.hafsite.org/sites/default/files/HHR2010.pdf ).   Between 2004 to 2008, just 4 years, 3400 were killed and not a single terrorist was caught because they are harbored by Muslim community.   Does Diana know that Pakistan had 25 % of Hindus in 1947 and today less than 1% and there is an ongoing genocide in Bangla Desh where 30% was reduced to less than 10% since 1947.   Even a 8 year old girl has to live under threat of a rape.  Does she know that in the name of Love Jihad in Indian state Kerala,  many thousands of Hindu and Christian girls are encouraged by Mosques with amenities like cash and car  to allure and marry as many as possible, impregnate them and even use them as terror bombs in areas like Pakistan?  Read it here http://opposemosqueatgroundzero.wordpress.com/911-sioa-rally/.   The tragedy of last few years where not a single terrorist was caught and 3400 Indians (overwhelmingly Hindus) were killed (and many thousands were maimed and living life of a vegetable) is here http://www.slideshare.net/truthaboutsoniagandhi/sonia-and-terrorism .

ITEM 3:

What Diana Eck is saying:

…  calling for violence against their places of worship.

What Dr. Swamy said:

Remove the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites.

 

Misrepresentation:

This is total lie and I question Diana’s scholarship and intentions. Masjid is place of prayers and NOT a place of worship. Even Saudi Arabia says a Masjid can be removed if necessary.   These Masjids were build right across the temple wall, at times right inside the temple grounds to force the Hindus to convert during brutal 800 year Islamic rule.  During Islamic rule of India, 80 million Hindus perished and literally, I mean literally hundreds of thousands of temples were simply demolished and Mosques build on them or the material is used as foot steps for Mosques build to insult Hinduism.   Diana should do some reading of  famous American historian Will Durant who called the Islamic conquest of India is the ‘bloodiest story of mankind’.     This is utterly insane for someone being a Harvard professor indulging in such misrepresentation.

ITEM 4:

What Diana Eck is saying:

….. whose incendiary speech carries the threat of communal violence…… who publicly advocates violence against religious minorities undermines Harvard’s own commitment to pluralism and civic equality.”

What Dr. Swamy said:

His speech is given at http://www.dnaindia.com/ analysis/analysis_how-to-wipe- out-islamic-terror_1566203-all (also given below).  Diana should point out what are incendiary (in addition to above three points)

Misrepresentation:

Not a single disturbance was seen in India due to his article.  If there is any disturbance and raking up the issue, it is not India or Indian Muslims, it is so called Human Rights activists of Harvard. Dr. Swamy’s own daughter is married to a Muslim to whom he is very close to and even believed to live in same house.  In 1985, he undertook fast unto death for demanding inquiry into illegal killing of Muslim youth by Police (http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Human-rights/2006/hashimpura.html). This kind of statements are not just hollow, but an attempt to outright lies and misrepresentation.

ITEM 5:

What Diana Eck is saying:

…  it behooves us to consider whether the reputation of the university benefits from the association(of Dr. Swamy).

How did Harvard conduct itself in similar such past incidents?

Let us see how Harvard conducted itself in the past.  In March 2002, Dr. Alan Dershowitz published an article in ‘The Jerusalem Post’, entitled ‘New Response to Palestinian Terrorism”, where he write that in response to terrorism from Palestine, after due notice, Israel should bulldoze all of the buildings in the village.  In spite of major protests,  Harvard stood by Dr Alan’s right to free speech.   How about Danish cartoon reprinted in Harvard student newspaper.   Is there anything in Dr. Swamy’s article close to this?

Is it possible because he is a brown person, he can treated this manner so unceremoniously?  Or is it possible the donation from Saud Arabia or even pressure from corrupt Indian administration that Dr. Swamy is fighting against at great risk to his life and that of his family.   Is there a blatant case of racism?  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Dershowitz ).   Did Diana Eck speak against Alan Dershowitz, Danish cartoons (even if she was not in Harvard at that time)?

What Sugata Bose said per Harvard Crimson:

What Bose is saying:

“[Swamy’s position on disenfranchisement] is like saying Jewish Americans and African Americans should not be allowed to vote unless they acknowledge the supremacy of white Anglo Saxon Protestants,” said History Professor Sugata Bose.

What Dr. Swamy said:


India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).

Misrepresentation:

How is, ‘accepting the ancestry’ be same as ‘acknowledge the supremacy’?   Sadly this speaks poorly of an Harvard professor.

 

 

What Ali Asnani said per Harvard Magazine

What Ali Asnani is saying:

Ali Asani—professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures; chair of Near Eastern languages and civilizations; and director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program—asked whether anyone had queried Muslim students about their comfort level with a teacher who had, in print, expressed Islamophobic views. His question went unanswered.

(In a subsequent conversation, Asani said, “If students know a professor is Islamophobic, how are you going to guarantee that the person’s prejudices are not going to be reflected in grading and evaluating student work?”—a problem that has been studied in other contexts, he noted. Swamy’s views do matter, Asani maintained: “He’s in a classroom before students with a lot of backgrounds, some of them perhaps Muslim.” What safeguards are there? he asked. If this question about student perceptions and comfort had not been pursued, he said, it was important for the faculty to know that: such teachers’ views are not separate from the classroom context.)

Ali Asnani, need to explain:

Ali Asnani is funded by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Suadi Arabia, a prince of a kingdom that practices absolute intolerance of religions where one not just cannot build places of worship of other religions, but cannot even engage in worship, sometimes even in private places,  where women has no rights, even to drive.   Billions of dollars are pumped from Saudi Arabia funding the terrorism worldwide and Saudi practices the most intolerant of Islam.  On what basis Ali Asnani is making such statements. If Dr. Swamy article will be an issue in teaching, then what about his position being funded by such Saudi establishment?   How would that make his students feel about his courses?

 

Then let us take the case of Diana Eck, who is believed to be a lesbian.  There may be some students who are not comfortable with it.  Would that be a criteria.

Did Indian Government exert pressure on Dr. Swamy to undermine his fight against enormous corruption in India at a great risk to himself and his family?

There are also many rumors that the corrupt administration of India against which Dr. Swamy is relentlessly fighting at the risk to his life and that of his family, has exerted pressure on Harvard for two reasons.

1) To undermine Dr. Swamy efforts against rampant political corruption in India that according to well known intellectual Brahma Challaney, threatening the very existence of India as a nation.  Dr. Swamy is making enormous progress and the whole country is with him on this war.

2) To use this incident as an occasion to get minority votes. (The same vote bank politics Government used not to apprehend a single terrorist in 4 years even after 3400+ terror related deaths).

View the heart breaking story of India corruption below where 80% of India earn less than 2$ a day due to massive political corruption, which Dr. Swamy is the leading champion of India today. (This had 160,000 hits across different versions).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giAqjxvyRLw
(Slides for the presentation:  http://www.slideshare.net/whattrulyhappened/corruption-inindia2010andbefore)

What should Harvard (Dr. Faust) do?

Dr. Faust need to look closely at the misrepresentations, study the whole matter dispassionately and decide the further action.   Saying that the decision was taken at the Department level does not help in a matter of such significance. Dr. Faust also need to look at other activities of those like Dr. Witzel whose representation of Hindus and Hinduism in many occasions showing at best lack of scholarship and at worst outright bigotry.

Who is undermined by this action?  Harvard or Dr. Swamy?

Dr. Swamy is highly respected individual in India today fighting the relentless war on rampant corruption.   He is considered a hero of India.  By undermining Dr. Swamy,  Harvard undermined itself.

We leave it to Dr. Faust to take time to study the material and take the right decision.

==========================================

 

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The Iconoclast

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Does Free Speech Exist at Harvard? The Case of Economist Subramanian Swamy  by Jerry Gordon from New English Review



Indian Economist Subramanian Swany

 

http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/39449

 

With thanks to Judy B.

 

I received this article from a friend in Connecticut that appeared in today’s edition of Inside Higher Education it confirmed that some of the faculty and students at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts are self appointed monitors supporting the OIC agenda of punishing blasphemy.  That translates to any criticism of Islam is grounds for dismissal.

 

The Inside High Education article, “Over the Line: Harvard kills courses by controversial summer school instructor” is indicative of how dhimmified the groves of academia at elite American universities can be when the subject of Islam comes up.  In Prof. Subramanian Swamy’s case it is because he has nationalistic views on how to deal with Muslims in his native India.   The Harvard Faculty, while professing support for freedom of speech, doesn’t think it applies in the Swamy case, because he is “destructively” attacking another of India’s great faiths, Islam.  This despite the fact that the Economics faculty at Harvard thought him eminently qualified to teach his courses. It was left to the Harvard faculty Indian religious expert to press for a faculty vote to cancel Swamy’s summer school courses.

 

Note these aspects of the controversy as reported in theInside Higher Education article:

 

In an unusual move, Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted this week to eliminate two summer school courses in economics because of anti-Muslim statements the instructor made in an op-ed published in India.

When word about the op-ed spread in July, some Harvard students demanded that Subramanian Swamy be fired. At the time, Harvard pledged to look into the situation, but noted that it is “central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr. Swamy and of those who disagree with him.” But faculty members this week cited the nature of his statements as justifying the move to kill his courses rather than permit him to return to Cambridge.

 

The op-ed ran in Daily News & Analysis (and while that newspaper no longer has the piece online, it can be readhere). The piece, a response to a bombing by Muslim terrorists in Mumbai, said that India could wipe out terrorism by taking certain steps, such as declaring India a Hindu state where “non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus,” or demolishing mosques, or banning conversion from Hinduism to any other faith. Swamy was once an economics professor at Harvard, but he returned to his home in India, where is an outspoken nationalistic politician. But he has come back to Harvard each year to teach in the summer school.

[. . .]

An account of the meeting in Harvard Magazine said that the economics department chair, John Y. Campbell, told the faculty that his economics colleagues considered Swamy to be “competent” to teach the courses, and that none of the students who took his courses last summer had complained about him. The only student who mentioned the op-ed in a class evaluation rated the course favorably. The department had “expressed its view that it would not take a collective position on academic freedom or on matters of speech, hate speech, or Harvard’s reputation — issues on which there were a wide range of views, in this case, within the department,” Campbell was quoted as saying.

 

The proposal that eventually carried — to decline to authorize Swamy’s courses — was made by Diana L. Eck, a scholar of India’s religions. According to the Harvard Magazine account, she stressed that this was much more than an issue of a professor having some controversial views. She called Swamy’s views “destructive” and said that his ideas involved limiting the human rights of others and denying freedom of religion. In light of the nature of his comments, she also wondered why his courses hadn’t been “quietly dropped,” rather than included in the proposed offerings for the coming summer.

 

She also quoted from a letter she and other Harvard faculty members sent to President Drew Faust last summer. The letter said in part: “Freedom of expression is an essential principle in an academic community, one that we fully support. Notwithstanding our commitment to the robust exchange of ideas, Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line into incitement by demonizing an entire religious community, demanding their disenfranchisement, and calling for violence against their places of worship. Indeed, India’s National Commission for Minorities has filed criminal charges against Swamy, whose incendiary speech carries the threat of communal violence. When Harvard extends appointments to public figures, it behooves us to consider whether the reputation of the university benefits from the association. In this case, Swamy’s well-known reputation as an ideologue of the Hindu Right who publicly advocates violence against religious minorities undermines Harvard’s own commitment to pluralism and civic equality.”

 

At least one American group, Philadelphia-based Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has risen to Prof. Swamy’s defense.

 

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has spoken out against Harvard’s taking any action against Swamy on the basis of his op-ed. The organization’s blog noted that Swamy’s op-ed calls for radical social change in India, but FIRE noted that American principles of free expression extend to calls for radical social change. As an example, it cited the legal right for people to call for the United States to become a communist country.

“We tolerate the widest possible range of political, social, cultural, and religious views because, for one thing, we trust in the marketplace of ideas to eventually sort it all out,” the blog post said.

 

Unfortunately at Harvard, that marketplace of ideas has been censored by philo Islamic dhimmis like Professor Eck. In effect, she and others like her are violating traditional faculty department control over curricula and appointment of scholars to teach based on their credentials and evaluations.

Sic ignominy dhimmitude in American academia.

 

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Tags: Subramanian SwamyIndian economistHindu nationalistHarvard University Facultycriticism of Islam,Inside Higher educationHarvard MagazineEconomics department versus Indian religious scholarsFreedom for Individual Rights in EducationBlasphemy

 

Submit Your Comment

Posted on 12/08/2011 8:04 AM by Jerry Gordon

 

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Richard Benkin,  Independent Human Rights Activist writes to Dr. Faust

 

December 10, 2011

 

Dr. Drew G. Faust

Office of the President

Harvard University

Massachusetts Hall

Cambridge, MA 02138

 

http://www.interfaithstrength.blogspot.com/

 

RE: TERMINATION OF DR. SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY

 

Dear Dr. Faust,

 

As a human rights activist who spends are great deal of time in South Asia, a friend, colleague, and admirer of Dr. Subramanian Swamy, and someone who actually has read the article that led to his termination by a committee of faculty of Arts and Sciences; I vigorously protest, one, that culturally-biased decision and, two, the university’s failure to enforce its own standards of free speech and academic freedom by not overturning or otherwise neutralizing it.  There are numerous methods by which this can be done, but the university has chosen to let stand the committee’s culturally biased and agenda-driven decision.

 

Dr. Swamy’s relationship with Harvard goes back to his student days; his faculty relationship since 1964.  Over that period, he has established a clear track record of academic excellence and intellectual acumen that the University has acknowledged with ongoing appointments that dwarf those of faculty who overturned them.  Yet, the university has acquiesced in throwing that record of excellence aside and deprived Harvard students of a non-Western perspective.

 

At least two of Harvard’s faculty have published and stood by “unwelcome political views,” to use the words of Dr. Diana Eck who instigated this great leap backward.  Dr. Stephen Walt famously co-authored an anti-Jewish slander, The Israel Lobby that still commands the attention of bigots despite vast evidence exposing its flaws and underlying bias.  Professor Michael Witzer was widely accused of hate-speech toward Hindus through his academic writings and statements in connection with his opposition to attempts to remove anti-Hindu references in California schoolbooks.  Their ideology-driven and ongoing efforts to denigrate specific ethnic groups and their representatives, including the Hindu American Foundation, have never been sanction by Harvard faculty. This is the sort of inconsistency contributes to a growing perception in the United States and elsewhere that many academics and through them academic institutions prefer ideology over fact, agenda above principle.  And in fact that is what it appears to be.

 

I strongly urge Harvard to redeem its reputation by instating Dr. Swamy and sanctioning the faculty committee for its actions that fly in the fact of principles of academic freedom.

 

Dr. Richard L. Benkin

President, Forcefield

Independent Human Rights Activist

 

 

 

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Harvard, please explain?  By Sekhar Vemula

 

Interesting?  Dr. Swamy wrote an article that according to Harvard professor Diana Eck emphasized the “destructive” nature of the positions Swamy advocated in India, and characterized the proposals as going well beyond free speech to the advocacy of abrogating human rights, curtailing civil rights, and intruding on freedom of religion.     I read the article too, but if I found objectionable, it is his position that Muslims should be disenfranchised if they do not acknowledge their Hindu ancestry.   Excuse me, I find it so laughable all the esoteric debates of protection of free speech, human rights, protection of religion,  civil rights engaged in the cozy halls of Harvard rooms by faculty living in their little world with little or zero knowledge of the happenings across the world.  Nay, ignorance of what is occurring in their own backyard.

Human rights, women rights,  religious diversity and let us not forget democracy, all this are mouthful words.   Let us see.   Harvard happily accepted a donation of 20 million dollars from Saudi prince S Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz in 2005  to establish a center for Islamic Studies.      Saudi prince is part of the Saudi ruling establishment that enacted laws that give no rights to women,  even to drive, sadly even if raped they need four male witnesses,  where a 5 year old girl is allowed by law to be given in marriage to a 50 year old for settling financial disputes,   where every little Saudi child is being taught,  ‘Jews and Christians are pigs’  and contributed 15 out of 17 well educated Saudi’s who perpetrated 9/11 attack on US due to such education, a country which allowed hundreds of girls die in fire because the girls are not wearing a hijab, .   “Protection of religion”,  Saudi rules which Saudi prince is part of would just not allow any build places of worship of other religions, a Church, a Synagogue, a temple but have curbs on even worshiping at your home.    I guess the color of the green wipes out all the so called high sounding principles.
Now what is ‘Islamic Studies’ I imagine.   Well there it is, Shariah Law.  Wait, does not US have its owns laws for which many thousands have given and continue to give their lives to protect what is enumerated by our forefathers and has withstood the test of time for last more than 200 years.   Has this ‘Harvard Sages’ looked at what Shariah Laws are?   Death Penalty to Gays and Lesbians (Diana, be aware, under Shariah law you will get death sentence),  women to be stoned,  death sentence for apostasy,  Jizya tax on non Muslims, women genital mutilation, cutting of hands and limbs for even small robbery, no music, no art, and it goes on and on.     I see it now,  one hundred years from now, Harvard, the all male institution of Islam creating students who will go out to the wide world to create a Dar Ul Harab, if  it had  not been already,  creating a world of peace and tolerance where there is only Islam.

Talking about free speech versus hate speech?  As FIRE indicated, is there something to distinguish free speech versus hate speech and who would make such a distinction. Diana?  All these people, while they  sit and ruminate the high sounded ideals, worrying about violence in India due to Dr. Swamy article and shooting down Dr. Swamy courses, there was not a single ripple in India for something written widely in India.  Mind you every small thing that happened across the world would create an uproar, burning of buses, stoning Government buildings etc etc but this did not cause a single ripple.   If there is anyone talking about this is Harvard, the great institution that protects the human rights of all people of all religions.   Sadly, little did this ‘Harvard sages’ protecting ‘human rights’ know about Swamy’s own personal life (who has a Muslim son-in-law) or his political life (when he fast unto death for justice to Muslims).   Little do they know India and its history or even the current developments.

Alan Dershowitz is free speech,  Danish Cartoons is free speech,  Saudi prince money is acceptable, but Dr. Swamy is hate speech that he does not even deserve a chance to explain his position.  Harvard, enough is enough, do not embarrass yourself.   You will have more respectability if you at least acknowledge your shortcomings and move on.   If Dr. Swamy decides to sue, not only you lose 20 million Saudi gave, but more importantly your respect.

Sekhar Vemula

 

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Global Hindu Heritage Foundation write to Dr. Faust


http://www.globalhinduheritagefoundation.org/blog/2011/12/12/ghhf-harvard-university%E2%80%99s-decision-to-remove-dr-swamy%E2%80%99s-summer-courses-shocking-hateful-repulsive-and-totally-biased/

In 3000 years of our history people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands, conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards, the Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their lands, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others. That is why my first vision is that of FREEDOM. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India.

It is shocking to read that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) of Harvard University have voted to remove two courses from the Summer School offerings Dr. Subramanian Swamy was teaching for a number of years. The academic university, which is known for championing the free speech, has become pawn of self-professed liberal academicians who feel that Dr. Swamy’s speech was “hateful.”  These academicians appear to have no knowledge about the atrocities committed by the Islamic terrorists, Islamic war on Hinduism, daily infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims into West Bengal, professed killings of non-believers, and satanic verses demanding the destruction of Temples and Hindu Gods.

Dr. Swamy’s article is a peaceful approach to the most dangerous situation that is wrecking India. He did not advocate terrorism, did not mention about the extermination of any religion, did not advocate the forced conversion, did not call for burning the non-believers of Hinduism, did not advocate the demolition of Mosques, did not espouse the imposition of Jizya tax on non-Hindus, and did not declare fatwa on the haters of Hinduism. Any rational, fair minded, freedom loving, objective, logical, pluralistic persons irrespective of their religious affiliation would appreciate and applaud his article on “How to wipe out Islamic Terrorism?”

 

These academicians seem to know more than Dr. Abdul Kalam’s assessment of Hindus, their philosophy, their culture, their religion, their tolerance, their mindset, and their respect for freedom. For centuries Hindus have welcomed almost all the religions with open hands, respected them and allowed them to practice their religion. Jewish people openly declared that the India is the only country that has not discriminated. Like wise Parsees, the descendents of Zoroastrians, were thrown out from their homeland, Persia, to be welcomed by India. Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, and many others religions lived peacefully. In fact, on December 1, 2011 Sri Dalai Lama proudly announced that “I consider myself as a son of India” and carries the message of ahimsa across the globe and says that the country’s spiritual leaders should promote love and harmony in India and outside. Further he observed “that India has so many languages and dialects, yet remains strongly united because there is the freedom of speech and rule of law.”

Additionally, India welcomed with open hands two other religions – Islam and Christianity. These two religions profess their superiority and exclusivity. One is damned in hell if they do not believe in their God. In the name of God, Islamic invaders caused untold atrocities on Hindus.  Suffice to mention the gloomy picture described by Koenraad Elst: “The Muslim conquests, down to the 16th century, were for the Hindus a pure struggle of life and death. Entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. As a contribution to research on the quantity of the Islamic crimes against humanity, we may mention that the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi Sultanate).” Goa inquisition is as bloodiest as Islamic onslaught on Hindus. Genocide of Hindus by these two religions is described in greater details if one is objective and rational. No Hindu would ever think of this kind of brutality, cruelty and viciousness even to their worst enemies, let alone do it.

The decision to remove two courses Dr Swamy was teaching for years is blot on the reputation of the university, blotch on the credentials of the faculty, stain on the objectivity of the faculty, blemish on the faculty’s grasp of the nearly eight centuries Islamic terror, spot on the integrity of the faculty, and a show case for the abuse of academic authority. Arrogance of academic power, pure hatred toward Hindus pluralism, alignment with religion that abhors human freedom and dignity, associating with no-productive petro dollars, and negation of the history of Islamic barbarism are unpardonable offenses committed by the pseudo secular scholars at Harvard.

The so-called liberal faculty members at Harvard thought the Dr. Swamy’s article is equal to incitement of violence and a hateful speech.

Amnesia at Harvard

It appears that many of the faculty members seem to experience Islamic amnesia – they experience memory loss, suffer from forgetfulness, and become totally blank when it comes to Islamic terror that reined India and continue to terrorize many countries. They close their eyes, plug their ears and tape their mouths when it comes to talk about the destruction of thousands of Hindu Temples by the Muslims, killing of millions and millions of Hindus, mass raping of untold number of Hindu women, pillage of national treasures and whole sale conversion of Hindus into Islam at gunpoint.

Would they be willing to remove all the Islamic courses because these courses talk about Terror, violence, destruction and mass killings? The faculty members at Harvard appear to either justify or ignore all the atrocities committed by Muslims on Hindus for more than eight centuries.

Are the Harvard Faculty Jaundiced eyed?

Any persons suffering from the medical condition known as jaundice would see everything as yellow. It means the person with jaundiced eye would have a prejudiced view, usually negative, prejudiced, subjective, biased or critical. The blind association with the so-called liberal thinking may have interfered with the objectivity, rationality, and balanced opinion – the hallmark of academicians – causing them to see Dr. Swamy’s article through jaundiced eyes.

Past History: The human beings are relentlessly tortured to make a decision by between two seemingly contrasting areas of human endeavor, namely, the pursuit of livelihood and the reality of existence. No matter how idealistic one may be, one cannot the escape from the past, present and future. Faculty members at Harvard chose to ignore the past history of the Islamic atrocities in India that experienced the untold misery. As many as 80 million Hindus were brutally murdered, millions of women were raped, millions of people were disfigured, thousands of Temples were destroyed, thousands of Hindu Temples were converted to Mosques including Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar & Kaaba in Saudi Arabia, a number of Mosques were built either on the Hindu religious places or built in front of them, and converted Hindus into Islam. Many people keep moaning and whining about the demolition of Babri Masjid forgetting the 14 centuries of destruction of Temples, mass killings, wholesale rape of Hindu women, and forced conversion of Hindus. Sitaram Goel compiled a list of 2000 mosques that were converted from Hindu Temples. He listed them by the present name of the mosques, the earlier name of the Hindu Temples and the location state by state, for any fair minded to read, digest and comprehend. They would not say a word about the horrific history.

Present status: Similarly the Faculty members decided to overlook the present conditions in India and how Muslims are aggressively planning to convert India in to three Muslim countries. At first SIMI, Indian Mujahideen, ISI from Pakistan, and others are relentlessly creating terror in the major cities killing scores of people, blasting Hindu Temples and Hindu pilgrimage centers and declaring fatwa against any body who criticizes Islam, imposing Jizya tax on Hindus in Muslim dominated cities and making India as part of Dar-ul-Islam (world Islam). For all practical purposes, Article 370 excluded Hindus to own any property. Can any of these distinguished professors find any parallels to this kind of provision in any other country? Will it be acceptable for these Faculty members to exclude Muslims from owning land in any one of the states in India? Nearly half a million Kashmiri Pandits were chased out from their homeland and forced to live in tents. Almost all the districts in West Bengal bordering Bangladesh have millions of Muslim infiltrators tilting the balance toward Muslim state. Rampage and terror continues even today forcing Hindus to flee from their villages. Converting many Hindus into Islam through Love Jihad is continuing openly. The Muslim Clerics openly asking their faithfuls to have eight children to make Kerala a Muslim State. The list goes on.

Future outlook: Like wise the Faculty members should also look at what might happen in the future based on the past history and present conditions. One does not have to be an expert in Islamic Expansion to find out what might happen. Just look around, you will see it. There are as many as 52 Islamic countries where other religions are abhorred or barred from practicing their religion. In Saudi Arabia no body can take even Bhagad Gita or any other Hindu scriptures. It is also a known fact that majority of these countries are undemocratic, mostly controlled and ruled by Islamic fundamentalists and Al Qaeda. Individual rights are denied. One has to submit to Allah, because “there is no God but Allah.” That means they do not accept neither Hindu Gods nor Christian Jesus. There would not be any freedom, pluralism and independence left in those countries. Neither the members of FAS nor an average citizen are worth any more.  In Pakistan, at the time of Independence in 1947, Hindu population was about 20 percent. Today, not even a fraction of one percent is left. They were either brutally killed or converted to Islam. Out of 428 Hindu temples at the time Independence, not even 25 Temples are functional. Similar story continues in Bangladesh. At the time of Independence, Hindu population was between 28-30 percent. Today, Hindus account for less than 7 percent of the population. Most of them were either killed or forced to convert. In India, Muslim population was about 9 percent at the time of Independence; today their population increased to more than 14 percent. Their fertility rate is much higher than any other religious group.

Coexistence is anathema for Islam and to some extent for Christianity. Wherever they went they either terminated the local population, converted them, conducted inquisitions, imposed jizya tax, destroyed the Hindu Temples, or decimated the local cultures. Hindus accept dialogue, discussions, criticism and debate. Hindus do not believe in conversion by any means to hoist the flag of hegemony in other countries. How many faculty members can talk about these 52 plus countries and examine as to how they were able to make these countries Islamic nations? How come they cannot accept the concept of Hindu Nation and call Dr. Subramanian Swamy’s statement as hateful? Can they also declare the Islamic countries as hateful, vicious, and destructive? Have they ever examined the freedom of speech and freedom of worship of the minorities in these Islamic countries?  Is it not their moral responsibility to question the freedom issue in these Islamic countries?

What is expected of Academicians?

Academicians in general are expected to demonstrate honesty, integrity, objectivity, fairness, rationality and professionalism conduct are expected. Their presentation of views and opinions should be couched in scientific evidence. They are also expected to have broad knowledge where they should give both side of the argument, rather than being biased based on affiliation, association, allurement and monetary inducements.

Faculty members have the responsibility of adhering to the Free Speech Guidelines adopted by the faculty. It states that the “Free speech is uniquely important to the University because we are a community committed to reason and rational discourse. Free interchange of ideas is vital for our primary function of discovering and disseminating ideas through research, teaching and learning. Curtailment of free speech undercuts the intellectual freedom…”

When Professor Diana Eck says “Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line by demonizing an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places,” and  “Harvard has a moral responsibility not to affiliate itself with anyone who expresses hatred towards a minority group.”

Professor Sugata Bose states that “[Swamy’s position on disenfranchisement] is like saying Jewish Americans and African Americans should not be allowed to vote unless they acknowledge the supremacy of white Anglo Saxon Protestants”

Being a Historian, Dr Bose should know better than that and compare apples with apples. What a tragedy. These are the professors teaching young students and molding them to hate Dr. Swamy’s article but never open their mouths about the hateful, violent, destructive and demeaning verses in Quran. Hiding behind freedom of speech, they are distorting the views of Dr. Swamy.  Comparing the statement that Muslims accept their Hindu ancestry to Jewish American and African American accept the supremacy of Anglo Saxon Protestant is nothing but a blatant distortion of Dr. Swamy. One wonders about the competency of these professors in teaching at Harvard.

Now the question is what kind of research they have conducted about Islamic terror in India and the satanic verses in Quran. How many of them know that as many as 3400 people were killed by Islamic terrorists in the last one decade? They have failed to follow the guidelines adopted by the faculty – disseminating ideas through research.

These faculty members are not lay people, uneducated, biased and subjective who express their opinions without any scientific research. They are expected to be authority on the subject they speak about. What kind of research they have done and how many of them have done research on Quran and Islamic open war against Hindus in India?

What happened to the moral responsibility of the faculty members in addressing these issues?

Academic abuse of authority

Based on the controversial decision taken at Harvard with regard to Summer School offerings, every University should look at the standard procedure of a group of faculty members approving the courses for that school. This has been a norm for centuries; it is nothing new.  An incident like this opens every body’s eyes and wonder as to “how can it be.”

Decisions are made by the faculty members of a particular School as to whether a course can be offered in a given semester.  In each School there may be as many as 10 – 30 departments representing different disciples. That means if the Economics Department would like to offer Economics 101, decision is made by overwhelming majority of non-economists.  The faculty members in the field of Sanskrit, Comparative Religion, philosophy, Islamic Studies, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Music, Art, Mathematics, Statistics, English and other fields decide depending on their clicks, associations and / or favors. Traditionally the faculty members would follow the recommendations of the department concerned. They have over stepped their boundaries in removing these courses.

Regarding the two courses Dr. Swamy was teaching over the years, the distinguished professors used their biases, prejudices, hatefulness, narrow-mindedness, and vindictiveness in rejecting the courses. There is nothing wrong with the courses except that these courses were to be taught by Dr. Swamy. Many of these faculty members have no clue as to the ground reality in India. Many of them have no expertise in the field of neither Economics nor Islam. But they can dispose these courses even if the God proposes. They are given that kind of authority. It is time for all Academic Universities to probe the academic abuse of their authority.

Can these Academicians call the following verses in Quran HATEFUL?

If these distinguished faculty members consider Dr. Swamy’s article a hateful speech, what would they call the following verses in Quran. Just for their perusal, we listed only few.

What do Professors Eck, Witzel, Kelly, Bose and others say about these verses?

Quran contains many verses that offend the sentiments of Hindus, their worship practices, and their numerous gods because they are considered kafirs (non-believers). These verses create enmity between the religions, create disharmony, create poisonous climate for the destruction of Hind images, belittle the belief system, and encourage killing of non-believers (Hindus). Hindus believe in peaceful coexistence while the Quran believes in total domination with no rights for non-believers.

Idol worshippers

[31:13] Recall that Luqmaan said to his son, as he enlightened him, “O my son, do not set up any idols beside GOD; idolatry is a gross injustice.”

[12:106] The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship.

[4:48] GOD does not forgive idolatry, but He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who sets up idols beside GOD, has forged a horrendous offense.

[4:116] GOD does not forgive idol worship (if maintained until death), and He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who idolizes any idol beside GOD has strayed far astray.

[39:65] It has been revealed to you, and to those before you that if you ever commit idol worship, all your works will be nullified, and you will be with the losers.

[72:18] The places of worship belong to GOD; do not call on anyone else beside GOD.

Idolaters are unclean just because they are idolater

9.28: O you who believe! The idolaters are nothing but unclean, so they shall not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year; and if you fear poverty then Allah will enrich you out of His grace if He pleases; surely Allah is Knowing Wise.

Forcing non-believers to pay tax

9.29: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

2.62, 5.69 : All except Muslims / Jews/Christians / Sabians will go to hell

Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.

Smite the neck and cut fingertips of unbelievers

8.12: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

Smite the neck of unbelievers

47.4: So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.

Now, would the Faculty Cancel courses on Islam?

As documented above, these verses openly advocate the killing of non-believers, destruction of the idols, smiting the necks of unbelievers, the imposition of taxes on nonbelievers, and condemning nonbelievers to hell. How many distinguished faculty members would like to vote on these verses as vicious, inciting, hateful, vicious, and evil? If you cannot vote, how many of them are willing to conduct research on these verses? How many of them are willing to discuss each of these and other verses in Quran openly in the University campus? All the faculty members who voted to scrap these courses from the Summer School denying Dr. Swamy to teach should be honest to their consciousness, integrity, and professionalism. Pascal may have Muslims in his mind when he stated that “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

Reinstate Dr. Swamy, restore credibility, and regain the lost prestige

We earnestly request the President of the University, the faculty, the staff and the students to reintroduce these courses and reinstate Dr. Swamy to teach these courses. It is the right thing, a noble thing and an honest thing to do. Freedom of speech cannot be railroaded by select group of non-experts in the field. The reasons for removal of these courses are based on the supposed hatefulness in Dr. Swamy’s article, then the University should apply the same yardstick to all the Islamic courses based on Quran since it contains hundreds of hateful passages about non-believers.  University’s reputation cannot be a sacrificial lamb for certain vested interested, anti-Hindus and self-professed secular liberals. University is a citadel for research, investigation and reasoning.  The faculty should look at all sides of the issues rather than carried away by personal prejudices, ignorance and associations. It takes courage, guts and nerve to reverse the decision. The faculty and the President have this rare opportunity to correct the wrong. Every body will be a winner. No body will be a looser for doing the right thing.

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation [GHHF]

Our mission is to preserve, practice, propagate and protect our heritage and abolish Endowment Act and free Temples from the government control. If we have to make an impact on our movement to bring changes to preserve our culture, we need you financial support. Your generous donations to continue our efforts to free Hindu Temples from government control, awaken the Hindus about the plight of Hindu Temples and the impending danger of illegal conversion techniques are essential. We are requesting all the individuals and organizations to support financially to continue our movement to free Hindu Temples from the government control and stop these conversions.

Please DONATE. Your donations are appreciated to continue the work.

NOTE: GHHF is exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue code.    Our tax ID # 41-2258630

Please send your tax-deductible donations to:

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, 14726 Harmony Lane, Frisco, Texas 75035

You can go to www.savetemples.org and pay by PAYPAL

For more information Please visit our website:

http://www.savetemples.org

http://www.globalhinduheritagefoundation.org/blog/

GHHF Board of Trustees
GHHF Executive Committee of Dallas

 

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APPENDIX



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Subramanian Swamy’s column in DNA


(DNA has removed this from their website)

http://www.dnaindia.com/ analysis/analysis_how-to-wipe- out-islamic-terror_1566203-all

Analysis: How to wipe out Islamic terror

Published: Saturday, Jul 16, 2011, 8:00 IST | Updated: Sunday, Jul 17, 2011, 18:23 IST
By Subramanian Swamy | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The terrorist blast in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, requires decisive soul-searching by the Hindus of India. Hindus cannot accept to be killed in this halal fashion, continuously bleeding every day till the nation finally collapses. Terrorism I define here as the illegal use of force to overawe the civilian population to make it do or not do an act against its will and well-being.

Islamic terrorism is India’s number one problem of national security. About this there will be no doubt after 2012. By that year, I expect a Taliban takeover in Pakistan and the Americans to flee Afghanistan. Then, Islam will confront Hinduism to “complete unfinished business”. Already the successor to Osama bin Laden as al-Qaeda leader has declared that India is the priority target for that terrorist organisation and not the USA.

Fanatic Muslims consider Hindu-dominated India “an unfinished chapter of Islamic conquests”. All other countries conquered by Islam 100% converted to Islam within two decades of the Islamic invasion. Undivided India in 1947 was 75% Hindu even after 800 years of brutal Islamic rule. That is jarring for the fanatics.

In one sense, I do not blame the Muslim fanatics for targeting Hindus. I blame Hindus who have taken their individuality permitted in Sanatan Dharma to the extreme. Millions of Hindus can assemble without state patronage for the Kumbh Mela, completely self-organised, but they all leave for home oblivious of the targeting of Hindus in Kashmir, Mau, Melvisharam and Malappuram and do not lift their little finger to help organise Hindus. If half the Hindus voted together, rising above caste and language, a genuine Hindu party would have a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the assemblies.

The first lesson to be learnt from the recent history of Islamic terrorism against India and for tackling terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus. It is to undermine the Hindu psyche and create the fear of civil war that terror attacks are organised.

Hindus must collectively respond as Hindus against the terrorist and not feel individually isolated or, worse, be complacent because he or she is not personally affected. If one Hindu dies merely because he or she was a Hindu, then a bit of every Hindu also dies. This is an essential mental attitude, a necessary part of a virat (committed) Hindu.

We need a collective mindset as Hindus to stand against the Islamic terrorist. The Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. That they do I will not believe unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus. If any Muslim acknowledges his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her as a part of the Brihad Hindu Samaj (greater Hindu society) which is Hindustan. India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).

Any policy to combat terrorism must begin with requiring each and every Hindu becoming a virat Hindu. For this, one must have a Hindu mindset that recognises that there is vyaktigat charitra (personal character) and rashtriya charitra (national character). For example, Manmohan Singh has high personal character, but by being a rubber stamp of a semi-literate Sonia Gandhi and waffling on all national issues, he has proved that he has no rashtriya charitra.

The second lesson for combating terrorism is that we must never capitulate or concede any demand, as we did in 1989 (freeing five terrorists in exchange for Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya) and in 1999, freeing three terrorists after the hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC-814.

The third lesson is that whatever and however small the terrorist incident, the nation must retaliate massively. For example, when the Ayodhya temple was sought to be attacked, we should have retaliated by re-building the Ram temple at the site.

According to bleeding heart liberals, terrorists are born or bred because of illiteracy, poverty, oppression, and discrimination. They argue that instead of eliminating them, the root cause of these four disabilities in society should be removed. This is rubbish. Osama bin laden was a billionaire. In the failed Times Square episode, failed terrorist Shahzad was from a highly placed family in Pakistan and had an MBA from a reputed US university.

It is also a ridiculous idea that terrorists cannot be deterred because they are irrational and willing to die. Terrorist masterminds have political goals and a method in their madness. An effective strategy to deter terrorism is to defeat those political goals and to rubbish them by counter-terrorist action.Thus, I advocate the following strategy to negate the political goals of Islamic terrorism in India.

Goal 1: Overawe India on Kashmir.
Strategy: Remove Article 370 and resettle ex-servicemen in the valley. Create Panun Kashmir for the Hindu Pandit community. Look for or create an opportunity to take over PoK. If Pakistan continues to back terrorists, assist the Baluchis and Sindhis to get their independence.

Goal 2: Blast temples, kill Hindu devotees.
Strategy: Remove the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites.

Goal 3: Turn India into Darul Islam.
Strategy: Implement the uniform civil code, make learning of Sanskrit and singing of Vande Mataram mandatory, and declare India a Hindu Rashtra in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus. Rename India Hindustan as a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors were Hindus.

Goal 4: Change India’s demography by illegal immigration, conversion, and refusal to adopt family planning.
Strategy: Enact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion. Re-conversion will not be banned. Declare that caste is not based on birth but on code or discipline. Welcome non-Hindus to re-convert to the caste of their choice provided they adhere to the code of discipline. Annex land from Bangladesh in proportion to the illegal migrants from that country staying in India. At present, the northern third from Sylhet to Khulna can be annexed to re-settle illegal migrants.

Goal 5: Denigrate Hinduism through vulgar writings and preaching in mosques, madrassas, and churches to create loss of self-respect amongst Hindus and make them fit for capitulation.
Strategy: Propagate the development of a Hindu mindset.

India can solve its terrorist problem within five years by such a deterrent strategy, but for that we have to learn the four lessons outlined above, and have a Hindu mindset to take bold, risky, and hard decisions to defend the nation. If the Jews could be transformed from lambs walking meekly to the gas chambers to fiery lions in just 10 years, it should not be difficult for Hindus in much better circumstances (after all we are 83% of India), to do so in five years.

Guru Gobind Singh showed us how just five fearless persons under spiritual guidance can transform a society. Even if half the Hindu voters are persuaded to collectively vote as Hindus, and for a party sincerely committed to a Hindu agenda, then we can forge an instrument for change. And that is the bottom line in the strategy to deter terrorism in a democratic Hindustan at this moment of truth.

The writer is president of the Janata Party, a former Union minister, and a professor of economics.

 

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Harvard Org,  “Coalition Against Bigotry at Harvard’  Demand that Harvard end its association with religious extremist Subramanian Swamy.


http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~slam/petitions/swamy.php

We the undersigned members of the Harvard community are outraged to learn that Subramanian Swamy, an Indian politician whose recent editorial shows him to be a bigoted promoter of communalism in India, also teaches economics at Harvard University Summer School. We demand that the Harvard administration repudiate Swamy’s remarks and terminate his association with the University.

Swamy proposes a truly shocking set of “strategies” for “deter[ring] terrorism” in an op-ed appearing in the July 16th edition of the Daily News & Analysis, an Indian newspaper. These include “declar[ing] India a Hindu Rashtra in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus”; “[r]emov[ing] the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites”; “[e]nact[ing] a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion”; and “[p]ropagat[ing] the development of a Hindu mindset.”

Writing in the wake of the July 13, 2011, bombings in Mumbai, Swamy has exploited this event not only to promote a vision of Indian society based on Hindu supremacy, but to disparage and cast suspicion on the entire Muslim community in India. “Muslims of India,” he states, “are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus.”

While free expression and the vigorous contest of ideas are essential in any academic community, so, too, are respect and tolerance for human difference. By advocating measures that would grossly violate freedom of religion and the unqualified right to vote for different religious groups, and by aggressively vilifying an entire religious community, Swamy breaches the most basic standards of respect and tolerance.

More specifically, Swamy’s comments cast doubt on his ability to treat a diverse community of students with fairness and respect. The highly insulting and stereotypical nature of his comments suggest that he cannot be trusted to regard Muslims — and no doubt other groups–with anything but a jaundiced eye.

Swamy’s views are deeply offensive; they are also dangerous. The measures he proposes–far out of step with the everyday secularism and tolerance embodied by most Indians–would threaten to tear apart the basic fabric of India’s pluralist democracy. And, as Indians know too well, the brand of rhetoric that he employs has fueled violence against religious minorities in the past.

In short, we the undersigned condemn Subramanian Swamy and the views that he has expressed in the strongest terms. Someone who voices such ideas while continuing to teach at Harvard seriously compromises the University’s integrity, undermining its commitment to diversity and tolerance.

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Subramanian Swamy can have no place in the Harvard community.
- Harvard’s ‘Coalition against Bigotry’ Statements on Dr. Swamy Op-Ed, Dec 7, 2011 and Aug 5, 2011


http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~slam/cabh/index.html

December 7, 2011

The Coalition Against Bigotry at Harvard welcomes the vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to remove Dr. Subramanian Swamy’s courses from the Summer School catalog. Members of the faculty recognized that this matter was not about free speech, but Harvard’s association with someone who engages in hate speech and advocates acts of religious violence. Challenging such speech is important in any community, but emphatically so in an academic community that aims to foster inclusive civil discourse.

August 5, 2011

On August 1, 2011, a group of Harvard graduate students submitted to university administrators a petition calling on Harvard to dissociate itself from Summer School professor Subramanian Swamy. The petition was a response to a July 16, 2011, op-ed published in the Indian newspaper Daily News & Analysis, in which Dr. Swamy denigrated all Muslims and advocated acts of hate against them.

As of August 5, 2011, the petition has been signed by more than 400 individuals from Harvard and beyond — this despite the fact that many in the Harvard community are currently away from campus for the summer.

In a statement issued the day before the petition was delivered, a Harvard spokesperson acknowledged the concerns of petitioners but defended Dr. Swamy’s right to free speech. However, the petition is not aimed at silencing Dr. Swamy. Rather, it calls on Harvard to dissociate itself from someone who engages in hate speech, grossly stereotyping all Muslims and advocating the destruction of 300 mosques in India. Dr. Swamy’s comments stand in opposition to the goal of fostering reasoned civil discourse at Harvard.

The strong support for the petition is a call for Harvard’s administration to further address this matter.

 

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Harvard Stands By Swamy, Writer of ‘Distressing’ Op-Ed, Aug 6, 2011


http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/8/6/harvard-swamy-summer-school/

 

By Leanna B. Ehrlich, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Published: Saturday, August 06, 2011

x

Unknown Author

Subramanian Swamy, seen above, is accused of penning an op-ed that is inflammatory towards Muslims.

Harvard is standing by Summer School instructor Subramanian Swamy in the aftermath of his op-ed controversy, admitting that the article he wrote is “distressing” to some but affirming its commitment to free speech principles.

With the stated goal of addressing terrorism in India, Swamy’s article called for the removal of hundreds of mosques, the revocation of voting rights from non-Hindus, and a ban on conversion from Hinduism.

The article provoked controversy, and more than 400 people signed a petition calling on Harvard to fire him.

In a statement, Division of Continuing Education spokesperson Linda A. Cross called the article “distressing” to many Harvard affiliates.

“As an institution of research and teaching, we are dedicated to the proposition that all people, regardless of color or creed, deserve equal opportunities, equal respect, and equal protection,” Cross said. “Recent writings by Dr. Swamy therefore are distressing to many members of our community, and understandably so.”

But Harvard is choosing to stand by Swamy, an economics instructor at Harvard Summer School and political leader in India.

“It is central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr. Swamy and of those who disagree with him,” Cross said in the statement. “We are ultimately stronger as a university when we maintain our commitment to the most basic freedoms that enable the robust exchange of ideas.”

The group that started the petition, which calls itself the Coalition Against Bigotry at Harvard, echoed its support for the University’s endorsement of free speech but clarified in a statement that “the petition is not aimed at silencing Dr. Swamy.”

“Rather, it calls on Harvard to dissociate itself from someone who engages in hate speech, grossly stereotyping all Muslims and advocating the destruction of 300 mosques in India,” the statement said. “Dr. Swamy’s comments stand in opposition to the goal of fostering reasoned civil discourse at Harvard.”

At the Summer School, Swamy teaches Economics S-110: “Quantitative Methods in Economics and Business” and Economics S-1316: “Economic Development in India and East Asia.” The upcoming week is the final week of the summer term.

The article was published in the July 16 edition of the Indian newspaper Daily News and Analysis. Controversy erupted over a week ago when the petition gained momentum.

At the time, Summer School Dean Donald H. Pfister said that the school “will give this matter our serious attention.”

—Staff writer Leanna B. Ehrlich can be reached at lehrlich@college.harvard.edu.

 

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Harvard Faculty Debates Free Speech,  Harvard Magazine,  Nov-Dec 2011


A seemingly routine, even boring agenda for the December 6 Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) meeting at University Hall—three memorial minutes for deceased colleagues, approval of the Harvard Summer School courses, a report on information technology—in fact yielded some of the most vigorous discussions in recent years.

 

Photograph from the Janata Party

Subramanian Swamy

Then came an extended exchange on Subramanian Swamy, a long-time economics teacher in the Summer School, whose opinion essay in an Indian newspaper last summer, titled “How to Wipe Out Islamic Terror” (no longer available at the newspaper website, but reproduced elsewhere) provoked controversy worldwide. In the end, the faculty decided overwhelmingly that Swamy had crossed the line between free speech and hate speech—that the actions he advocated (restricting Muslims’ right to vote, razing mosques, and more) rose to the level of inciting violence and deprivation of others’ rights—and his courses were stricken from the catalog of offerings for this coming summer.

[Note: Under FAS rules, faculty members who speak at faculty meetings may not be identified, cited, or quoted without their express permission. In the following account, identifications are provided where permission has been granted; this account will be updated if other identifications are forthcoming.]

A Summer School Instructor and Speech

Subramanian Swamy, Ph.D. ’65, whose residence is listed in the alumni directory as New Delhi, has regularly returned to Cambridge to teach Economics S-110, “Quantitative Methods in Economics and Business,” and Economics S-1316, “Economic Development in India and East Asia,” for Harvard Summer School. The school’s course listing for 2012 came before the faculty for approval; Swamy’s courses were included.

While teaching at Harvard last summer, Swamy—who leads the Indian political party Janata—wrote an op-ed article for Daily News and Analysis, just after three terrorist bombings in Mumbai on July 13. He advocated, among other measures, that India “remove the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites” (i.e., tear down mosques at presumed Hindu sacred sites); “declare India a Hindu Rashtra in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus” (disenfranchising Muslims and others); and “[e]nact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion” and “[a]nnex land from Bangladesh in proportion to the illegal migrants from that country staying in India. At present, the northern third…can be annexed to re-settle illegal migrants.” In the context of the December 6, 1992, razing of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh—and the ensuing riots that cost more than 2,000 lives across India, 19 years to the day before the FAS debate—Swamy’s language had explosive political consequences in his country.

As the Crimson reported then, students petitioned the University to sever ties with Swamy. That July 27 article noted, “In a statement sent by a spokesperson, Donald H. Pfister, the dean of Harvard Summer School, said that the school will examine the issue. ‘At this point we have only a basic awareness of the situation and have not been contacted by the organizations involved,’ Pfister said. ‘Professor Swamy is a long-time member of the Harvard Summer School faculty who previously was a member of the Department of Economics here. We will give this matter our serious attention.’” In a follow-up article, the Crimson reported, a Summer School spokesperson acknowledged that the article had been “distressing” to many members of the community, but that Swamy’s right to free speech was protected. (Inside Higher Education also reported on the controversy, and on issues raised in the student petition, such as whether Swamy could teach objectively.)

Because course approvals and appointments of outside instructors, such as Swamy, are annual, the time for examining the issues raised last summer naturally fell to the December 6 faculty meeting, where the vote on the summer school courses was scheduled.

Accordingly, the summer school list of courses was presented for approval, with Swamy’s courses included.

Diana L. Eck, Wertham professor of law and psychiatry in society and Master of Lowell House—a scholar of India’s religions, among other fields—then rose to propose an amendment to exclude Swamy’s two courses from the faculty’s approval. She noted that it was unprecedented for the faculty even to discuss the course listing, but felt compelled to vote against approval if the two courses were permitted to proceed. She cited a letter she and 39 other faculty members had sent to President Faust and Dean Pfister last August concerning (as the letter put it) “comments made by Subramanian Swamy, an economist and former Minister of Parliament in India who has been teaching at the Harvard Summer School for many years.” The letter went on to note:

Swamy used the recent blasts in Mumbai to cast suspicion on India’s entire Muslim population. Swamy went on to advocate a shocking series of “counter-terrorism” strategies including the destruction of mosques in India and a denial of basic voting rights to religious minorities unless they “proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus.”

We wish to bring it to the attention of the University administration that a member of our faculty has expressed these extreme views, in a social context that has witnessed episodes of collective violence. We understand that Harvard occasionally benefits from the public profiles of those who teach at the institution, whether they work in business, government, or media. However, we feel that Swamy’s public profile is a detriment to Harvard. Freedom of expression is an essential principle in an academic community, one that we fully support. Notwithstanding our commitment to the robust exchange of ideas, Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line into incitement by demonizing an entire religious community, demanding their disenfranchisement, and calling for violence against their places of worship. Indeed, India’s National Commission for Minorities has filed criminal charges against Swamy, whose incendiary speech carries the threat of communal violence. When Harvard extends appointments to public figures, it behooves us to consider whether the reputation of the university benefits from the association. In this case, Swamy’s well-known reputation as an ideologue of the Hindu Right who publicly advocates violence against religious minorities undermines Harvard’s own commitment to pluralism and civic equality.

We trust that you share our dismay that someone who purveys inciteful speech in this way is teaching in Harvard’s diverse classrooms. We believe that it would be prudent for the Harvard Summer School to be willing to review its appointment procedures in order to ensure that the teachers employed enhance, rather than detract from, the reputation of the university.

In her remarks, Eck emphasized the “destructive” nature of the positions Swamy advocated in India, and characterized the proposals as going well beyond free speech to the advocacy of abrogating human rights, curtailing civil rights, and intruding on freedom of religion. She wondered why the courses had not been “quietly dropped,” rather than submitted for approval in 2012. Swamy’s positions crossed the line to “incitement” and to “demonizing” Indian minorities, and were therefore sharply at odds with Harvard’s pluralism, Eck said. Given President Faust’s planned trip to Mumbai and New Delhi in January, it would be important for people in that country to know where the faculty stood on the views Swamy advocated.

The discussion on the amendment began with a review of how the summer school vets courses. The substantive review depends, in essence, on each department’s view of the merits of a course and the qualifications of the instructor. Although the summer school might view a teacher’s views (as in the case of Swamy) as reprehensible, it had a duty to offer courses as departments determined they were suitable.

A faculty member rose to support the amendment, and asked that the vetting of the course and instructor by the economics department be explained. He noted that Swamy had not published in an economics journal for decades, and that there were surely other qualified teachers for the courses. The speaker agreed with Eck’s characterization of Swamy’s article, and noted, further, that Swamy had proposed annexing one-third of Bangladesh; he further noted the anniversary of the December 6, 1992, mosque razing and riots, and put Swamy’s advocacy for razing 300 more mosques in that context. Swamy’s proposed disenfranchisement of non-Hindu minorities would be comparable to disenfranchisement of American Jews and blacks unless they acknowledged America as an Anglo-Saxon nation. Coming as it did just days after the Mumbai bombing, the speaker said, Swamy’s article crossed the line from free speech to hate speech.

John Y. Campbell, Olshan professor of economics and chairman of the department, rose to explain that within the economics department, the chair takes primary responsibility, with one other person, for reviewing summer courses, and presents them to the department for approval. It is not easy to find summer teachers, he said, and so there is a bias to continue with teachers who have experience with a course and who receive satisfactory course ratings from students. Swamy had been at Harvard in the 1960s; was a legitimate, published economist; and received satisfactory ratings for his summer courses. Only one student even mentioned the op-ed article in reviewing Swamy’s course, and that student rated it favorably. The department had concluded that Swamy was a competent summer teacher, even if a younger and more academically current alternative might be preferable. The department, Campbell said, expressed its view that it would not take a collective position on academic freedom or on matters of speech, hate speech, or Harvard’s reputation—issues on which there were a wide range of views, in this case, within the department. [Note: This paragraph updated December 7, 5:10 p.m.]

Sean Kelly—professor of philosophy and chair of the department—rose to explain the Faculty Council’s 14-0 vote to approve the summer courses of study and bring the list before the faculty. His statement included these views:

Some Council members felt strongly that under no circumstances should an otherwise qualified candidate’s political views be a factor in deciding whether to hire him or her to teach. They felt this was especially true in circumstances in which we were given strong assurances, as we had been both by Chairman Campbell and Dean Pfister, that the political views in question in no way played a role in the candidate’s teaching or the substance of his courses. There was some dissatisfaction from these Council members that we were even having a discussion about the issue. Other Council members felt that this universal principle was too strong, and that there were circumstances in which it is appropriate to use judgment in deciding such cases. In any event, all members agreed that the principle of free speech is one to which a University must be strongly committed, and that it sets a dangerous precedent to fire or refuse to re-hire someone on political grounds alone. Many Council members agreed nevertheless that there are circumstances in which one might naturally be inclined to find so-called political speech disqualifying—such as when it amounts in fact to incitement of violence or perhaps to hate speech, or when it compromises the teacher’s ability to cover course material responsibly. But given the materials available to us [emphasis added], we did not judge any of these to be a factor in the case at hand.

Many Council members agreed that the issues here are delicate. We must balance the University’s identity as a protector of free speech, especially in a political context, with the University’s identity as a protector and promoter of diversity and tolerance. In the end, we felt it was more dangerous for the University to take action against someone on the basis of unpopular or unwelcome political views than it was to run the risk of seeming to be endorsing those views by hiring him for a position unrelated to the expression of them. But we also expected and welcomed a vigorous debate about these issues at the faculty meeting.

(In the subsequent poll, Kelly—and insofar as could be determined, other Faculty Council members present—reversed his vote; as he explained in an e-mail, “For the record, I changed my position on the issue after the discussion at the faculty meeting. I was persuaded, by the addition of new evidence and new context for the interpretation of existing evidence, that the views expressed in Dr. Swamy’s Op-Ed piece amounted to incitement of violence instead of protected political speech. I therefore voted, with the majority of faculty members, not to approve his courses.”)

Arthur Kleinman—Rabb professor of anthropology in FAS, and professor of medical anthropology and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School—rose in his capacity as Fung director of the University Asia Center to offer an “Asianist” perspective on Swamy. He understood the economics department’s judgment of Swamy’s competence as a teacher. But in the context of contemporary India, Kleinman said, Swamy’s article amounted to hate speech and the incitement to violence—matters that would certainly arise in a normal review of a prospective regular faculty appointment. He hoped that the faculty would draw some line. As important as free speech in such instances, Kleinman said, was weighing other evidence: imagine a 1938 appointment, for example, in which a prospective faculty member stood up for Nazism and advocated killing Jews—in which case, he hoped, the faculty would have voted to restrain free speech as it evaluated the candidate. In considering the appointment of Swamy to teach his courses in 2012, Kleinman said, the faculty could choose to use free speech as a cover, or it could address expressed hatred of a minority and incitement to violence.

Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer professor of science and technology studies at the Harvard Kennedy School, who had known Swamy as a graduate student, said that in teaching about India’s development, his teaching was surely touched by his wider vision of the country, its inequalities, and its ethnic diversity. In fact, students had objected last summer—witness their petitions—and expressed their unease. FAS’s decision, she said, affected the reputation of other Harvard schools and faculties as well.

Ali Asani—professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures; chair of Near Eastern languages and civilizations; and director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program—asked whether anyone had queried Muslim students about their comfort level with a teacher who had, in print, expressed Islamophobic views. His question went unanswered.

(In a subsequent conversation, Asani said, “If students know a professor is Islamophobic, how are you going to guarantee that the person’s prejudices are not going to be reflected in grading and evaluating student work?”—a problem that has been studied in other contexts, he noted. Swamy’s views do matter, Asani maintained: “He’s in a classroom before students with a lot of backgrounds, some of them perhaps Muslim.” What safeguards are there? he asked. If this question about student perceptions and comfort had not been pursued, he said, it was important for the faculty to know that: such teachers’ views are not separate from the classroom context.)

After further debate, Eck reiterated her amendment, and noted that the faculty faced not “unpopular” views, rightly protected as free speech, but those that “commend an abrogation of human rights.”

With that, the faculty took a recorded vote on the amendment, but it was passed overwhelmingly, with only a handful of votes against, and so a tally was not reported. The Swamy courses having been stricken, the summer school courses of study were approved—and President Faust could prepare for her initial visit to India with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences having dissociated itself from an instructor who advocated highly incendiary views of that nation’s peoples and politics.

Read the Crimson reports on the meeting here and here.

 

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Harvard Crimson report, Dec 7, 2011

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/12/7/faculty-final-meeting/

SUMMER SCHOOL TROUBLE

A subsequent vote for the approval of the 2012 Summer School course catalog, which faculty acknowledged would normally take no more than one minute, generated a heated debate when Comparative Religion Professor Diana L. Eck proposed an amendment to exclude Swamy’s Economics S-110 and Economics S-1316 from the catalog.

Swamy received significant criticism for an op-ed he wrote last summer in the Indian newspaper Daily News and Analysis, in which he called for the destruction of mosques, the disenfrachisement of non-Hindus in India who do not acknowledge Hindu ancestry, and a ban on conversion from Hinduism.

“Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line by demonizing an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places,” Eck said, adding that Harvard has a moral responsibility not to affiliate itself with anyone who expresses hatred towards a minority group. “There is a distinction between unpopular and unwelcome political views.”

Although Harvard chose to stand by Swamy in August in an effort to affirm its declared commitment to free speech, faculty members shot down his two courses, effectively removing him from Harvard’s teaching roster. Many faculty determined Swamy’s article was not a product of free speech—but of hate speech.

“[Swamy’s position on disenfranchisement] is like saying Jewish Americans and African Americans should not be allowed to vote unless they acknowledge the supremacy of white Anglo Saxon Protestants,” said History Professor Sugata Bose.

Dean of the Summer School Donald H. Pfister explained that courses included in the catalog are chosen by individual departments.

“I find [Swamy’s] position reprehensible, but on the other hand, it is our duty to support departments and their offerings,” he said.

Philosophy Department Chair Sean D. Kelly, who also serves as vice-chair of the Faculty Docket Committee, initially defended the unanimous decision of Harvard’s Faculty Council to keep Swamy on the teaching roster as an effort to preserve free speech at the school and kick the vote to the faculty-wide meeting.

Kelly ultimately voted—as did an overwhelming majority of faculty members—for the amendment to remove Swamy’s courses. The revised catalog was consequently approved.

“I was persuaded … that the views expressed in Dr. Swamy’s op-ed piece  amounted to incitement of violence instead of protected political speech,” he wrote in an email to The Crimson.

 

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So Long Swamy, Harvard Crimson impudently justifying the firing, Dec 12, 2011


There is no room for hateful rhetoric at Harvard

By The Crimson Staff

Published: Monday, December 12, 2011

 

On Dec. 6, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted by a large majority to exclude Indian economist Subramanian Swamy’s courses from this year’s Harvard Summer School offerings. The proposal, brought forward by Comparative Religion Professor Diana L. Eck, referenced Swamy’s inflammatory op-ed published last year in the Indian newspaper Daily News and Analysis. In the piece, Swamy calls for the destruction of mosques as retaliation for terrorist attacks in India, as well as the disenfranchisement of Indian Muslims who refuse to acknowledge Hindu ancestry. Swamy’s op-ed clearly constitutes hate speech, by even the most lenient definition. As a matter of principle, there is no place for hate speech in the Harvard community. Regardless of whether Swamy’s article actually has the ability to incite violence, the worthless, hateful bile contained therein itself ought to disqualify the man from teaching at our University.  The faculty’s decision to remove Swamy from the teaching roster was wise, just, and reasonable.

For better or for worse, the Harvard name has the ability to lend authority, legitimacy, and gravitas to anyone wielding it.  Indeed, Swamy has been known to invoke his status as a Harvard professor to bolster his image in India. Considering that Swamy uses whatever prominence he has as a platform to malign the world’s Muslims, trumpeting a thickheaded and violent brand of Hindu hyper-nationalism, Harvard must not continue to add legitimacy to his name.  Swamy has shown himself to be unfit to be a member of the Harvard community, and we are thrilled that he will not be teaching this summer.

Although Swamy’s words alone would be reason enough to revoke his permission to teach, there is the further concern that his publications may incite religious violence. We live in a world that is already too plagued by sectarian conflict and needless bloodshed; the possibility that a Harvard faculty member would contribute to such tragedy is unthinkable.  Again, there is no place for such a person on the Harvard faculty.  Swamy has argued that FAS’s decision is “dangerous” and infringes on his right to free speech.  Yet, there is an important line between speech that is unpopular and controversial—and which ought to be protected—and that which is needlessly inflammatory and indefensible.  It’s clear which side of the line Swamy’s words fall on.

The Harvard community has an obligation to maintain a minimum standard of decency among its members.  Those who stand for bigotry, hatred, and violence have no place instructing students or wearing the Harvard name.  We commend the faculty for their principled decision.

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