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Student groups demand apology after professor’s ‘Islamophobic’ article

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Student groups demand apology after professor’s ‘Islamophobic’ article

Screenshot | The DePaulia

Screenshot | The DePaulia

Screenshot | The DePaulia

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An ethics professor who is no stranger to controversy has found himself once again in the firing line of upset students following the publication of a recent op-ed in which he argues that Israel “has the moral right” to annex all of the West Bank and strip Arabs living in Israel of their right to vote.

Jason Hill, a professor in the philosophy department and a director of teaching practicum, wrote in the right-wing online magazine The Federalist that Israel can and should annex the West Bank, and made a mistake by not doing so right after the Six-Day War in 1967.

“The point I wanted to make in the article is that Israel, which has an unequivocal, categorical right to exist, made an altruistic mistake of making the Palestinian people their moral and political problem in the first place,” Hill told The DePaulia.

Hill argues under a subheading titled “The Palestinian Authority is a Terrible Government” that “a strong argument can and ought to be made to strip Palestinians of their right to vote—period.” He also writes that “not all cultures are created equally” and that some are “abysmally inferior or regressive.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently won his re-election campaign, has been facing criticism of his policies toward Arabs in Israel in recent weeks. Shortly before the election, he vowed to completely annex the West Bank, an announcement that pleased the Israeli right.

Hill and the article began to take flak almost immediately after it was published. A Palestinian DePaul student posted a tweet critical of the article, in which she says the article argues in favor of the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, which has gathered more than 1,100 retweets by the time of publication.

“I had to read [the article] twice to believe what I was seeing because it was so blatantly racist and mean,” Sumaya Haydar, the sophomore who wrote the tweet told The DePaulia.

“I have never used the term [ethnic cleansing],” Hill said. “Those are nefarious conclusions that people are drawing from a misreading of this article.”

A coalition of activist student groups, including the DePaul chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, United Muslims Moving Ahead, DePaul Socialists, Students Against Incarceration, College Democrats and Lambdas, banded together to call on DePaul to condemn the professor and ask for an apology.

“We, the students of DePaul University call upon the administration to censure Professor Hill for his heinous statements against marginalized communities,” the student coalition said in a statement. “His comments create unsafe and uncomfortable spaces for everyone, especially Palestinian and Muslim students […] We are not only seeking censure, but for Professor Hill to commit to racial sensitivity training and to release a public apology for his immoral conduct.

“I love DePaul and I love going to school here, but I think  having people [with views like Hill’s] here is a little problematic,” Haydar said. “I think it will say more about them how they deal with the issue and how they respond to students who have a problem with it.”

The group of students called the article “racist, anti-Palestinian, xenophobic, sexist, and Islamophobic.”

“I think [the blowback from the article] is a residual effect of a great deal of anti-semitism and hatred towards Israel as the only successful democracy in a very illiberal and primitive part of the world,” Hill said.

Hill also took flake for an opinion piece published in July by The Hill in which he argues that “the gravest internal threat to this country […] is leftist professors who are waging a war against America” and that colleges should be defunded and disbanded so than can be rebuilt with “conservative principles.”

8 Comments

8 Responses to “Student groups demand apology after professor’s ‘Islamophobic’ article”

  1. Mark McIntire on April 22nd, 2019 3:05 pm

    Dear DePaul chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, United Muslims Moving Ahead, DePaul Socialists, Students Against Incarceration, College Democrats and Lambdas,

    It’s bemusing to hear a few DePaul weak-minded students calling for censorship of a respected and popular philosophy professor just because he expresses a political and ethical point of view opposed to their own. This is the United States of America, sweethearts, we protect the rights of all our citizens to speak, and teach views that my offend weak minds and spirits. If you are offended by being at a University that exposes you to ideas you don’t agree with, then perhaps University is not for you. Perhaps you belong in some terrorist indoctrination center where no opposition is permitted to their hateful anti-semitic bigotry.

    Your hijacking of terms racist, anti-Palestinian, xenophobic, sexist, and Islamophobic. is a failure. All you want is power over other minds to think the way you do. That will not happen as your thoughts are bankrupt perversions of cultural Marxism.

    Thanks to you, my fragile little darlings, I will welcome Dr. Jason D. Hill on my FREEDOM MATTERS with Mark McIntire interview program where he can explain and defend his views without coercion from deluded social justice fascists.

    — Mark McIntire
    Host: FREEDOM MATTERS with Mark McIntire

  2. John K Wilson on April 22nd, 2019 7:36 pm

    There is no call for censorship here. The petition asks for the university to censure Hill, which means criticizing him, not silencing anyone. It also asks for Hill to voluntarily take sensitivity training and apologize. While there have been many leftist professors (wrongly) fired for far less radical comments (including Norman Finkelstein at DePaul), so far no one is demanding that Hill be fired, and that’s a very good thing.

  3. David Sifter on April 23rd, 2019 8:50 pm

    … But the oh-so-offended ones insist on no rush to ‘sensitivity training’ when cars are burned over cartoons, when journalists are machine-gunned over satirical magazine covers, or when their fellow co-religionists pass out candies to celebrate murderous attacks against civilians shot down in coffee houses and pizza parlors. How hypocritical of these suddenly fearful snowflakes, shuddering over perceived, delusional victimization. Hill has stated an opinion, a viewpoint, an argument. Maybe that’s illegal in Saudi Arabia or Gaza, but we don’t toss people off a roof for that here in the USA. Chew on that.

  4. Hifza Ayaz on April 24th, 2019 1:34 am

    Hi Mark,

    The perimeter of free speech within the United States of America depends heavily on your frame of reference and is tragically a matter of privilege. The terrorist indoctrination center you mentioned was established by the United States through extraordinary rendition, a concerted and vile effort to institute torture tactics where legal protection was extirpated. Also, thank you for calling us social justice fascists, that’s the role we occupy to anyone who feels jeopardized by liquidated hegemony and willingly associates that with Cultural Marxism, which I might add is not at all bankrupt if Professor Hill’s orientalist and racist rhetoric has been condemned. In fact, your paternalistic suggestion that Universities are not for the weak-minded transgress the very rights you emulate.

    -Hifza Ayaz

  5. Lynn Kabalev on April 24th, 2019 2:20 pm

    For all those patronizing the students of DePaul for criticizing Hill’s controversial views, I would like to point out that the student body also has a voice and should also be protected by the right to freely speak. Do not talk down to us as if we are uneducated and inexperienced. We have just as much volume as you do. Yes, some of us are appalled by Hill’s argument, but his values do not define us. We are still an all-inclusive university and we are not embarrassed to attend a school with such a strong, diverse community. Hill has only heightened DePaul’s acceptance of ALL people and our eagerness to spread our compassion and support for each other, everywhere.

    -Lynn Kabalev

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  7. Elizabeth Stein on May 1st, 2019 8:17 pm

    My only wish is that those who provide financial support to DePaul take a very close look at the conduct of all those who are attacking Professor Hill. Perhaps you may instead want to contribute to Jewish/Israeli charities where your support would be greatly appreciated. I am a bit old fashioned…most of my family members were gassed by the Nazis for the sin of being Jewish. Israel was created to protect those who were unable to defend themselves. Thank G-d for that.

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Student groups demand apology after professor’s ‘Islamophobic’ article