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9/11 Denial In Academia

We have written on the academic ambivalence towards the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks upon the United States here [1], here [2], and here [3]. The actual memorial even brought outright denial from academe.

Columnist Mark Steyn [4] wrote of a 9/11 non-memorial at Jersey City University while Human Events editor Jason Mattera [5] exposed the efforts of Marietta College administrators to downplay the very American nature of the tragedy.

‘It is still too soon,’ says Midori Yashimoto, director of the New Jersey City University Visual Arts Gallery, whose exhibition ‘Afterwards & Forward’ is intended to ‘promote dialogue, deeper reflection, meditation, and contextualization,’” Steyn wrote. “So, instead of planes and skyscrapers, it has Yoko Ono’s ‘Wish Tree,’ on which you can hang little tags with your ideas for world peace.”

            “If you thought that something as innocuous as putting up 3,000 American flags on school grounds to pay tribute to those murdered on September 11 couldn’t be controversial, you haven’t been to Marietta College,” Mattera wrote in a column which appeared on September 9, 2011.  “Administrators at this liberal arts college in southeast Ohio are threatening to cancel a 9/11 memorial planned by their students if flags from other countries are not observed in the activities as well.”

            “Meanwhile, Marietta officials are hosting 9/11 events on their own [6], but those activities pertain to how American Muslims are treated in a post-9/11 world,” Mattera pointed out.  “On Sept. 13, for instance, the school is organizing a ‘Pizza & Politics’ forum to discuss ‘how Muslims in the U.S. see/experience freedom of speech.’”

“The following day, there will be a faculty-led talk ‘on the misconception of the Arab-Muslim culture in the Western world, and the stereotypes Muslims experience in the U.S.’”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia [7].

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org [8]