Joel Beinin: Professor fights portrayal as supporter of terrorism

Historians in the News

As one of Stanford University's most respected Middle East scholars, professor Joel Beinin knows what terrorism looks like.

So it was a shock when he saw his own face on the cover of a new book titled ``Campus Support for Terrorism,'' linking him to radical Islam.

He's suing the book's publishers in what is the first counteroffensive by a professor against a growing campaign by conservative groups targeting left-leaning college educators.

Conservative groups acknowledge they are watching scholars like Beinin in an effort to combat what they believe are inaccuracies perpetuated by liberal faculties on college campuses. But while many of the monitored faculty have stayed silent -- saying they lack the tenure or campus support necessary to protect their careers from outside critics -- Beinin hired an attorney.

``They have used my picture as part of their war on free expression,'' Beinin said. ``I have never, in any way, supported terrorism. I've spoken out against it. They're trying to intimidate people into silence.''

David Horowitz, publisher of the book that is the subject of Beinin's complaint, says he is simply exercising his right to free speech and considers the suit harassment.

``I didn't say he was a terrorist. I said he supported terrorism,'' said Horowitz, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for the Study of Popular Culture. ``It is my view. If he doesn't like it, he can respond anytime he wants, instead of playing legal games.''

Read entire article at San Jose Mercury News

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Randll Reese Besch - 5/13/2006

Typical of the hard,fanatical right to claim "harassment" when others respond to their preydations of personal character. Doesn't Beinin or anyone on the enemies list have a right to their day in court? To defend themselves against attack? One must always collect and submit the facts sans ideological viewpoint or it just becomes a verbal fight fest of vituperation and aspersions. Horowitz found his fame and income on the other side. Considering his intellectual caliber displayed and academic proficency produced it is well that this "bomb thrower" is the opposition. However innuendo makes rumor, not argument of merit.