Is Islamophobia accelerating global warming? That was the actual title of a lecture given earlier this week at Massachusetts Institute of Technology by a professor Ghassan Hage.
I can’t decide who should be more upset: the Australian taxpayers who are funding this loon’s position as a “future generation professor” at Melbourne University.
Or the alumni (including the Koch brothers, Michael Bloomberg, “Buzz” Aldrin and IM Pei) and donors who must surely now be asking of MIT “I thought the M stood for Massachusetts not Mickey Mouse. What the hell’s happened to the place? Why is student time and university funding by wasted on this unutterable horseshit?”
Actually, the answer to the question is quite simple.
Ghassan Hage fits perfectly the profile required for anyone who wants to get on in modern academe.
Hage, born in Lebanon before moving to Australia, is the author of several books exploring race in Australia, including, “White Nation” and “Against Paranoid Nationalism.” In online essays, he has called airport security an example “in which Westerners require from those they racialize an exact obedience to the letter of the law.”
A supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, he has likened Israelis to “slave owners” in a tweet and has called Palestinian militants “freedom fighters” in an essay. He ended that particular essay, “A Massacre Is Not A Massacre,” sarcastically: “I have such a limited brain and my ignorance is unlimited. And they’re so f—— intelligent. Really.”
For those of you who were unable to attend the lecture, here is what you missed:
This talk examines the relation between Islamophobia as the dominant form of racism today and the ecological crisis. It looks at the three common ways in which the two phenomena are seen to be linked: as an entanglement of two crises, metaphorically related with one being a source of imagery for the other and both originating in colonial forms of capitalist accumulation. The talk proposes a fourth way of linking the two: an argument that they are both emanating from a similar mode of being, or enmeshment, in the world, what is referred to as ‘generalised domestication.’
MIT is ranked number one in the world among universities for research. Annual tuition fees cost $45,000. Graduates can be pretty sure of a good job afterwards.
But why? If I were an employer would I really want to take on a graduate from a department – MIT Global Studies and Languages – which fostered such cod-intellectual gobbledegook?