Daniel Pipes has been invited to speak on “Radical Islam and the War on Terror” at the University of Toronto by a newly formed local chapter of his Middle East Forum -an organization that “promotes American interests in the Middle East” and monitors criticism of US and Israeli policies in the media and academia. We feel obliged to inform the university community and the residents of this city that Pipes is someone who has used freedom of speech in order to restrict the academic freedom of those whom he attacks from his position outside the academic world.

The Middle East Forum once singled out “unpatriotic professors” on its Campus Watch website, creating a list that challenged the basic principles of academic freedom and university autonomy. In the United States, Pipes has supported a bill introduced to Congress recently (H.R. 3077) that calls for establishing an International Higher Education Advisory Board with broad investigative powers “to study, monitor, appraise, and evaluate” activities of Middle East and other area studies. This means academic funding will no longer be offered on the basis of merit but on the basis of party politics. This severe violation of the autonomy of our colleagues in the US should be denounced by academics the world over.

Pipes has a long record of xenophobic, racist and sexist speech that goes back to 1990. After the end of the cold war, Pipes warned that “Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…. all immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most” (National Review, Nov. 1990). In 2000 Pipes wrote of African-American Muslims, “black converts tend to hold vehemently anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic attitudes” (Commentary, June 2000). After the universally condemned rapes and tortures in Abu Ghraib prison came to light, Pipes felt it appropriate instead to explain that “Fear of Western erotic ways ends up constraining Muslim peoples in the political, economic, and cultural arenas. Sexual apprehensions constitute a key reason for Islam’s trauma in the modern era” (New York Sun, May 2004).

Genuine academic debate requires an open and free exchange of ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance. We, the undersigned -professors, librarians, and students-are committed to academic freedom and we affirm Pipes’ right to speak at our university. However, we strongly believe that hate, prejudice, and fear-mongering have no place on this campus.

Prof. Sara Abraham, Dept. of Sociology, UTM
Prof. Glenn Adams, Dpt. of Psychology, UTSC
Sophie Afriat, Dept. of History
Prof. Emeritus Jonathan Barker, Dept. of Political Science
Sarah Barmak, Dept. of Philosophy and English and editor, The Varsity
Prof. Daniel Bender, Dept. of History, and American Studies
Auri Berg, Dept. of History
Prof. Megan Boler, Theory and Policies Studies, OISE
Prof. Joseph Carens, Dpt. of Political Science
Prof. Carol Chin, Dept. of History and International Relations Programme
Dennis Choquette, Editor-in-Chief, The Varsity
Prof. Frank Cunningham, Dept. of Philosophy and Political Science
Prof. Emeritus Chandler Davis, Dept. of Mathematics
Prof. Emerita Natalie Zemon Davis, Dept. of History
George Dei, Dept. of Sociology and Equity Studies, OISE
Prof. Arti Dhand, Dept. and Centre for the Study of Religion
Katie Edwards, PhD cand., Dept. of History
Asya El-meehy, PhD cand., Dept. of Political Science
Chris Ernst, Dept. of History
Prof. Peter Fitting, French and Cinema Studies
Prof. Maureen Ford, OISE
Prof. Harriet Friedmann, Dept. of Sociology
Prof. Michael Gervers, Dept. of History and Medieval Studies
Dr. Amal Ghazal, Dept. of History
Prof. Kanishka Goonewardena, Dept. of Geography and South Asian Studies
Prof. Emeritus James A. Graff, Dept. of Philosophy
Prof. Allan Greer, Dept. of History
Prof. Vassos Hadzilacos, Dept. of Computer Science
Prof. Rick Halpern, Dept. of History and American Studies
Prof. Paul A. Hamel, Faculty of Medicine
Prof. Jens Hanssen, Depts. of History and Near and Middle East Civilizations
Prof. Amir Hassanpour, Dept. of Near and Middle East Civilizations
Prof. Eric Hehner, Bell Chair in Software Engineering, Dpt. of Computer Science
Prof. Geoffrey Hinton, Dept. of Computer Science
Prof. Nancy S. Jackson, Adult Education and Community Development, OISE
Hazem Jamjoum, Faculty of Law and Dpt. of Political Science
Prof. Lisa Jeffrey, Dept. of Mathematics
Prof. Jennifer Jenkins, Dept. of History
Prof. Malavika Kasturi, Dept. of History
Whitney Kemble, Dept. of History
Prof. Paul Kingston, Dept. of Political Science and Near and Middle East Civilizations
Prof. Emeritus, Martin Klein, Dept. of History
Prof. Thomas Lahusen, Dept. of History & Centre for Comparative Literature
Prof. Michael Lambek, Dept. of Anthropology and Social Sciences
University Professor Richard B. Lee, Dept. of Anthropology
Aleksandra Luczak, Dept. of History
Blair Kuntz, Librarian, Robarts Library
Prof. Audrey Macklin, Faculty of Law
Prof. Kenneth Mills, Dept. of History and Latin American Studies
Mostafa Minawi, Dept. of History
Amina Mire, Ph.D. cand, Dpt. Sociology and Equity Studies, Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies
Prof. Shahrzad Mojab, Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, Dept. of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology, OISE
Prof. Jennifer Mori, Dept. of History
Prof. Andreas Motsch, Dept. of French Studies and Literary Studies Program
Prof. Michelle Murphy, Dept. of History, Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies
Prof. Wambui Mwangi, Dept. of Political Science and African Studies
Deb Neill, Ph.D. cand, Dept. of History
Prof. Melanie Newton, Dept. of History and Caribbean Studies
Prof. Linda Northrup, Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
Prof. Mary Nyquist, Dept. of English and Women’s/Gender Studies
Prof. Matthew Price, Dept. of History
Prof. Denise Reaume, Faculty of Law
Marsha Reid, Dept. of History
Prof. Stephen Rockel, Dept. of History and African Studies
Prof. Peter Rosenthal, Dept. of Mathematics
Prof. Sara Salih, Dept. of English
Matthew Shogilev, Dept of History
Prof. Roger Simon, Dept. of Sociology and Equity Studies
Prof. Gavin Smith, Dept. of Anthropology
Jiri Smrz, Ph.D. cand., Dept. of History and Russian and Eastern European Studies
Cara Spittal, Dept. of History
Prof. Gopal Sreenivasan, Dept. of Philosophy
Ola M. Szczecinska, Dept. of History
Prof. Nhung Tuyet Tran, Dept. of History
Scott Trevithick, PhD. cand., Dpt. of History
Prof. Alissa Trotz, Depts. of Sociology and Equity Studies, Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies
Dr. Livia Varga, Dept. of Humanities, UTSC
Prof. Lynne Viola, Dept. of History and Russian Studies
Prof. Rinaldo Walcott, Canada Research Chair of Social Justice and Cultural Studies
Prof. William Walker, Dept. of History and International Relations Programme
Prof. Emeritus Mel Watkins, Dpts. of Economics and Political Science
Prof. Andrew Watson, Dept. of Economics
Prof. Michael Wayne, Dept. of History and American Studies
Prof. Derek Williams, Dept. of History and Latin American Studies
Prof. Cynthia Wright, Institute for Women’s Studies, U of T and York U
Gokce Yurdakul, PhD cand., Dept. of Sociology

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