The irony is never ending in higher education these days. College administrators are so steeped in the ideology of political correctness that they fail to miss an opportunity to help make their opponents’ argument for them. Such was the case after a Jihadist recently Tweeted death threats at a campus screening of Indoctrinate-U. Students at McGill University in Montreal are outraged at the politically correct response of Morton J. Mendelson - the Deputy Provost of Student Life & Learning at McGill. And they should be outraged by his cowardice.
For those who aren’t aware, Indoctrinate-U. is a documentary by my old friend Evan Coyne Maloney. The film exposes the liberal bias and politically correct nature of universities. During its showing, a Muslim student in the audience produced a series of violent messages on Twitter. Here are some examples:
“I should have brought an M16.”
“I’m watching a Zionist/Conservative propaganda film at a secret Zionist convention, in case anyone’s confused.”
“This experience has hardened me into a soldier for freedom and truth. These savages will not rule me. They will not win.”
“My blood is boiling. I want to shoot everyone in this room.”
Ok f---k it, I’m going to destroy the Jew-WASP consortium.”
(Note to Media: I have screen shots of all of these Tweets if anyone is interested).
In typical Muslim Jihadist fashion, Haaris Khan, the author of the Jihadist Tweets is retreating from his statements. He has since apologized and said that his Tweets were “taken out of context.” He says he owns no weapons and has never fired a gun. He also said his sister-in-law is Jewish. He stopped short of saying that when he needs a good doctor he always looks for one with a Jewish name.
Earlier in the year, Haaris Khan published a bizarre opinion piece condemning a newly founded student newspaper with conservative leanings called the Prince Arthur Herald. Quite naturally, he published the condemnation in the traditionally liberal leaning McGill Daily. In the piece, he makes it clear that he supported the paper when it was initially proposed. But, then, after reading a few issues he withdrew that support because the paper had proven to be “pro-Israel.”In the piece, he lectures the conservative paper saying “Being provocative is one thing – being thuggish is another.” He goes on to say that journalists need to “stick to principles of fairness, justice, responsibility, and prudence.”
Obviously, Kahn is an imprudent and irresponsible thug incapable of judging his own behavior objectively. How about the university administration’s capacity for objectivity? What kind of judgment do they make of Haaris Kahn after his violent anti-Semitic campus outburst? Judge for yourself after reading the response of Deputy Provost Mendelson: “Given the article in this week’s Tribune and other media reports about a McGill student’s posts to Twitter that contained disturbing and threatening messages, I want to reassure the McGill community that the University takes such incidents extremely seriously.
In all such cases, we report the incident to Montreal police, who investigate and determine whether further action is needed. In addition, the University quickly refers the matter to the appropriate disciplinary officer, who determines if a student needs to be excluded from campus in order to protect others and who can also pursue disciplinary action. In addition, we have a threat-assessment team that reviews such cases in a timely fashion.
We are aware that some who learned of the messages were very concerned about their safety, and understandably so. We have tried to reassure them. There have been suggestions that the University should have issued a broader alert to the community about the messages. But we must avoid causing needless panic or delivering ‘false alarms’ that could lead to complacency in the event of real threats in the future.
McGill took a number of actions in this case, many of them behind the scenes – not simply to satisfy the demands of Quebec’s privacy law, but because we want some of our responses to remain confidential to shield them from the eyes of those who could cause harm.
What we have ended up dealing with is a downside of social media – the ability of an individual to disseminate inappropriate or threatening messages to a global audience with the click of a mouse or a send button. All members of our community should be responsible in using the Internet and social media. There can be serious consequences for irresponsible use.
For information on McGill’s procedures about how to deal with violent, threatening or worrisome student behavior, please visit http://www.mcgill.ca/deanofstudents/intervention/."
At the end of the investigation, Mendelson said this to the Canadian media, “We have come to the conclusion that the messages don’t constitute a threat to the community”. No doubt, this tepid and disingenuous response was motivated by a desire to protect Muslims as a group from “unfair” stereotyping. In other words, the university wished to advance the view that these remarks were motivated by individual, not group, pathology. Ironically, they do so by treating Kahn as a member of a protected group, rather than an individual.
The conservatives and libertarians who sponsored the showing of Indoctrinate U. could not have choreographed this better. In the end, they have shown – on film and in reality – that liberal bias and political correctness rule the day in the postmodern era of higher education.