MLA Statement on ‘Islamophobia’
The Executive Council approved the following statement in December 2015.
MLA After the terrible (Muslim) shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, we have witnessed a sharp rise in Islamophobia, the intense hatred and fear of Islam and those identifying with the religion and its culture. This includes, but is not restricted to, targeting Arabs and Arab Americans.
In the United States there has been an upsurge in attacks upon and censorship and harassment of those who, as part of their scholarly work, teach about Islam. The MLA condemns any and all violations of free speech and academic freedom, including those based on race, religious affiliation, and ethnicity. We especially deplore the firings and intimidation of those teachers who aid in our understanding of Islam.
MLA Statement on Exclusion of Syrian Muslim Refugees
MLA Given its commitment to universal academic and educational freedom, which can only be enjoyed under broad conditions of personal and collective health, safety, and access to social, political, economic, and educational institutions, the MLA condemns the unilateral decision of Governor Greg Abbott to deny refugees from Syria entry to the state of Texas. We equally condemn similar measures undertaken in other states.
We view this act as a form of collective punishment levied upon a desperate population fleeing precisely the terrible forces that the governor rightly condemns. We share the sentiments of the UN Human Rights Commission: “A world that welcomes Syrians can help defeat extremism. But a world that rejects Syrians, and especially Muslim refugees, will just feed into their propaganda.”
Maybe it’s because the MLA has been trying to pass an anti-Israel boycott?
The Modern Language Association just voted at its Annual Conference to postpone a boycott resolution vote until 2017.
Legal Insurrection At the 2014 annual meeting a resolution critical of Israel’s alleged breach of Palestinian academic freedom barely passed the House of Delegates, but then failed when the resolution was sent to the full membership.
There was no boycott resolution to be voted on this year. Given that even a condemnation of Israel failed last year, hopes to advance the anti-Israel, anti-academic freedom agenda will have to wait for two years. The vote to confirm this delayed timetable was not a surprise.
According to one person in the room during discussion of the delay, the boycotters came “off as silly. Especially after events like this weekend.” [referring to attacks on Jews in Paris by Islamic terrorists]
Yet the efforts continue by the boycotters. Expect sessions at next year’s annual meeting devoted to vilifying Israel based on distorted facts, as happened this year as well at an earlier breakout session.