First Plagiarism, Now Lying: What’s Happening to America’s Universities?

Rutgers Law School

Those who claim to be “marginalized” have all the power – and use it ruthlessly.

Here’s another good reason not to plunk down $126,584 (that’s the total for four years of tuition unless it goes up between now and 2027) to send your kid to Rutgers. Long considered to be one of America’s premier universities, the beloved alma mater of Mr. Magoo is now a sinkhole of woke indoctrination, with academic standards sinking lower than Old Joe Biden’s ethics. A professor at Rutgers Law School has lied openly in an academic paper and has refused to back down, knowing that she will face no consequences from an administration that is as corrupt and compromised as she is.

In this, of course, Rutgers is like virtually every other university in America today. First, there was the remarkable public self-immolation of the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania during a congressional hearing; then Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, was forced to resign after her repeated plagiarism was revealed, although she claimed that her resignation was due to “personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus,” and many in the academic establishment and elsewhere bought her nonsense.

These incidents, however, were just the latest and highest-profile manifestations of an intellectual and spiritual rot that is everywhere. One small example of it came in a recent pseudo-scholarly study from Rutgers University Law School’s Center for Security, Race, and Rights, entitled “Presumptively Antisemitic: Islamophobic Tropes In the Palestine–Israel Discourse.”

This “study” is 65 pages of Marxist agitprop, woke psychobabble, and pure fantasy, all thrown together in a thick propaganda stew that’s designed to show “how race and racism infect foreign policy and the treatment of minority communities who espouse unpopular views or dissent from the political orthodoxy, including the defense of human rights for all.” If the authors of this twaddle, Mitchell Plitnick, President of ReThinking Foreign Policy, and Sahar Aziz, Distinguished Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Center for Security, Race and Rights at Rutgers Law School, were remotely honest, they would say that “race and racism” affect the treatment of minority communities by getting them coddled, treated with kid gloves, and accorded all manner of special perks.

They aren’t honest, however, and so they paint a gloomy and wholly fictional picture of how support for Israel and opposition to the people who perpetrated and applauded the Oct. 7 Hamas massacres is all driven by racism and “Islamophobia.” In attempting to make this case, Aziz and Plitnick invoke the left’s old bogeyman of the “Islamophobia industry,” a supposedly massively well-funded (they play fast and loose with the numbers here) cabal of hatemongers who spend all their time vilifying Islam and Muslims because it’s so darn lucrative and gets you fame and influence as well pots of money.

This is a 180-degree inversion of the truth; in fact, those who have spoken truthfully since 9/11 about the motivating ideology behind jihad terrorism have been smeared, defamed, vilified, marginalized, deplatformed, demonetized, and threatened (as well as on occasion actually physically attacked). But Aziz and Plitnick need their villain group to fill out their portrait of Muslims in the U.S. as victims of hatred, harassment, and discrimination, and so they fasten on, among others, me. After their falsehoods about the amounts of money “Islamophobic” groups receive, they add: “Some of these groups work directly with the Israeli government or in the United States to vilify Palestinians. One example is Jihad Watch, a project headed by Robert Spencer, a man who explicitly states his goal of fomenting hatred of Muslims.”

Now, hold on there! In fact, I have never stated, implicitly or explicitly, that my goal is “fomenting hatred of Muslims.” I have never stated this because it isn’t true, and that isn’t my goal. My goal is to elucidate the teachings and practice of Islam accurately, as the nature of those teachings and practice have become a matter of pressing importance for numerous foreign and domestic policies.

But Aziz and Plitnick go on to adduce what is apparently my explicit statement about fomenting hatred: “In his 2017 memoir, Spencer wrote, ‘There are, in short, very good reasons to be an Islamophobe, that is, to be concerned about Islam for the devastation that it brings into the lives of human beings both Muslim and non-Muslim.’”

Does that say anything close to anything about fomenting hatred? I was discussing the term “Islamophobe,” and saying that if it was “Islamophobic” to note that Islam sanctions misogyny, antisemitism, violence against unbelievers, and the like, there were very good reasons to be “Islamophobic.” The idea that criticizing an ideology is equivalent to hating those who hold it is either incredibly stupid or nakedly dishonest. Since Aziz and Plitnick are academics, I’m leaning toward dishonest, but ya never know.

The point here, however, is much bigger than me: it’s that these people can lie with impunity and know nothing will happen because they’re in an environment where their intellectual critics are so demonized that virtually anything they say about them is acceptable. My attorney wrote to them demanding a public retraction, but they ignored his letter because they know they can. They aren’t marginalized; they have all the power. Rutgers won’t do anything; after all, it would be “Islamophobic” to take any action against Sahar Aziz.

It was just another day in the decay of America’s universities. Conscienceless liars and far-left apparatchiks such as Aziz and Plitnick are in charge everywhere. Mr. Magoo was proud of having gone to Rutgers (class of 1928, when it was cheaper and more honest), but there is no reason for such pride anymore. Don’t give them a dime.

Robert Spencer

Photo: Wikimedia

To read more articles by Robert Spencer click here.

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About the Author

Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 26 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest books are The Critical Qur’an and The Sumter Gambit. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.