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Is 'love and desire in Iran' a threat to US national security?

18 24 0
12.10.2019

The United States Department of Education has recently been incensed by a Middle East studies programme run by two major American universities. Why? Let us explore.

"The Education Department", according to the New York Times, "has ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remake the Middle East studies program run jointly by the two schools after concluding that it was offering students a biased curriculum that, among other complaints, did not present enough 'positive' imagery of Judaism and Christianity in the region."

You will have to read a bit further down the report to discover that what the US Department of Education, led by Betsy DeVos, is really concerned about is the programme's supposed "anti-Israeli bias".

President Donald Trump's civil rights chief in the Department of Education, Kenneth L Marcus, it seems, is now leading a campaign to make all US universities Israel-friendly. Marcus is a Zionist crusader who, as the New York Times puts it, "has made a career of pro-Israel advocacy and has waged a years long campaign to delegitimize and defund Middle East studies programs that he has criticized as rife with anti-Israel bias".

We learn from the report that two courses offered as part of the programme, titled "Love and Desire in Modern Iran" and "Middle East film criticism", particularly angered the Evangelical Zionists led by Marcus and DeVos who are currently in charge at the Department of Education.

Imagine the chutzpah, the nerve, to convene a conference, or offer courses, that include discussions of "Love and Desire in Modern Iran", or even worse "Middle East film criticism" - with taxpayers' money that could be put to far better use building bombs and fighter jets to gift to Israel and sell to the Saudis so that they might slaughter Palestinians and Yemenis. Love and desire in Iran? The cinema of Abbas Kiarostami or Elia Suleiman, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, or Moufida Tlatli? You must be out of your "Eye-Rain-an" mind!

"We do not see how these activities support the development of foreign language........

© Al Jazeera