The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Gatekeeper

The story came out earlier, out here on the Right, that a professor Areej Zufari (who happens to be Muslim) may or may not have retaliated unfairly against a student Marshall Polston who spoke out against how she was handling her class. The student pushed back, the professor claimed to be "in fear", and the student got suspended. I wasn't going to say anything until I had read a sample of this student's prose. Zach Swaim has now posted this.

As I read Polston's email, I find it disorganised and ill-written, and scattered with attacks against Zufari's professionalism... much like, er, the average blogpost here. Polston also uses loaded terms like blitzkreig, and basic grammatical errors like we're for were, which I am pretty sure I never did in college and which I try very hard not to post here. However I also find Polston's email good on the facts. I appreciate that Polston knows enough Biblical scholarship to lay down the Wellhausen. Polston should have read Fleming.

Moving on to Zufari, I see no case in her claim of "fear". This is not an objectively provable fact in any case. People in authority have been using this specious claim for years that I've noticed, "but I feeeeelz harassed", and it's never been anything other than a weapon against people they want to silence. The one patch of decency I see in Zufari is that she didn't claim "Islamophobia" or "alt right" - yet.

I really think that Polston could have something to contribute in Near Eastern scholarship - if he calmed down and learnt to write. (For sample of my prose as a sophomore: here.) But Zufari isn't interested in helping him; she is trying to slam the gate on him. If you want to know how come skeptical readers of history are not seeing more Crones or Cooks or Calders, it starts early.

UPDATE 4/16/2017: I caught the College Fix doing poor journalism last year. But on this story, their reporters at least sought comment from the prof. Anyway: salt-grains, use 'em.


posted by Zimri on 17:22 | link | 0 comments

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