Apparently "1984" isn't required reading at Vanderbilt
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 06:34PM
Jeffrey Fischer

From James Taranto's Best of the Web column, Jan. 20, 2015 (subscription required):

Our friend Carol Swain is back in the news. The Vanderbilt professor of political science and law, whom we defended against the Southern Poverty Law Center back in 2009, had an op-ed in the Tennessean last week titled “Charlie Hebdo Attacks Prove Critics Were Right About Islam.”

As reports, the op-ed has raised a ruckus on campus:

[A] Saturday afternoon protest was organized by Muslim student Farishtay Yamin, who looked on proudly as chants of “Vanderbilt united will never be divided!” and “To reach peace, teach peace!” grew louder. . . .

The overall tone of the protest, though passionate, did not attack Swain personally.

Yamin herself acknowledged after the event that Swain “has substance and that she is an educated woman” and has “a lot of qualifications to be teaching at Vanderbilt.”

But Swain’s speech must be curtailed, Yamin said: “What I’m really trying to show her is that she can’t continue to say these kinds of things on a campus that’s so liberal and diverse and tolerant.”

To be sure, there’s plenty to disagree with in Swain’s op-ed. For example, she declares: “Islam is a dangerous set of beliefs totally incompatible with Western beliefs concerning freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association”—surely an overgeneralization based on particular strains within Islam.

Then again, that astonishing quote from Yamin—“she can’t continue to say these kinds of things on a campus that’s so liberal and diverse and tolerant”—would seem to back up Swain’s generalization. But that isn’t Islam, it’s political correctness.

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