Robert Spencer: University of Cincinnati Fires Dissenter


The University of Cincinnati has just proven yet again that colleges and universities in the United States today are not centers of higher learning, but radioactive wastelands of hard-Left indoctrination. The university has fired Clifford Adams, a music professor, for touching the third rail of American public discourse today: Adams dared to offend a Muslim student.

Adams tried to stave off his fate, issuing the abject apology that totalitarian regimes require of those whom they have targeted for thoughtcrime: “As I reconsider what I wrote from an online student’s vantage point,” Adams wrote in a letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I now realize that I did come across like a religious bigot and that makes me feel horrible. I have inadvertently hurt feelings and offended many and for that I am deeply sorry.”

What terrible thing did this bigoted boor say? This was, after all, a music class, not a political one, and Adams was asking his students to give their impressions of the song “Walk on Water.” A Muslim student wrote that in an atmosphere of “Trump’s presidency and all the hate he has promoted,” the song reminded listeners that America was “built off the idea of freedom.”

Adams responded: “The U.S. President’s first sworn duty is to protect America from enemies, and the greatest threat to our freedom is not the President, it is radical Islam. Review this list of Islamic terrorist attacks and then tell me about your hurt feelings.”

That’s all: he invited her to examine and ponder some unpopular truths. Adams explained: “I wanted a lively exchange of views and ideas about closed minded bigotry and a discussion about how it is incorporated in modern music through a smart, academic, collegiate argument. Instead, I have given my students the wrong impression that I am a religious bigot.” He lamented in the wake of the controversy that “we would have enjoyed a lively, provocative, scholarly argument.”

Continuing his apology, Adams wrote: “It is, above all, important that it is understood that I do not wish to disparage anyone’s religion. My remarks were intended to amplify our ongoing discussion on the pervasive abuse and objectification of women in today’s popular music culture.”

Despite the abjectness of Adams’ self-incrimination and apology, the University of Cincinnati’s offices of Academic Personnel, Equal Opportunity & Access and Title IX opened an investigation of him. Meanwhile, university spokesman Greg Vehr hastened to contain the damage done by Adams’ venture off the politically correct reservation, assuring the public that the University of Cincinnati was “committed to excellence and diversity.”

Except, of course, diversity of thought. The investigation ended with Adams being forced to resign. What Clifford Adams wrote to the Muslim student was entirely accurate, but truth is not a factor on university campuses anymore. What matters is how much what is being said comports with Leftist dogma. Anything that contradicts that dogma is excoriated, and the person who dared to say it vilified and removed from contact with all right-thinking people.

This isn’t just happening in universities, either. It is rapidly becoming the norm in the wider society as well. Anyone who questions the Leftist dogmas that Islam is a religion of peace and that Muslims are persecuted and harassed in Donald Trump’s America is pilloried and destroyed. The freedom of speech is a despised and misunderstood concept, as it has become widely accepted that “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment, and the slightest negative word about Islam constitutes “hate speech.”

Note also the totalitarian pattern. Adams, subject to Hillary Clinton’s recommended peer pressure and shaming, issues an abject apology. But it isn’t good enough. He must be made an example for anyone else who might dare to dissent.

The University of Cincinnati ought to be picketed and inundated with protests until Clifford Adams is reinstated. But it is unlikely that there are enough lovers of freedom there who understand the implications of this case and are willing to stick their necks out.

Meanwhile, in which Muslim country would Greg Vehr or anyone else at the University of Cincinnati venture to say that Muslim women are safer than they are in the U.S.?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.




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