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Leader of Groups Linked to Hamas Featured at U of Miami Commencement Ceremony Graduating students forced to listen to CAIR operative Wilfredo Amr Ruiz. Joe Kaufman

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz is fervently involved with groups that incite terror and bigotry. So why would the University of Miami allow him to participate in a commencement ceremony for its students and subject them to prejudice and propaganda in the name of interfaith representation? School officials have much to answer for.

On December 15, 2016, the University of Miami (UM) held its 2016 Commencement Ceremony at UM’s Convocation Center. The commencement ceremony is meaningful recognition for the years of hard work students put in during their time at the university. It would have been a special day for all in the graduating class had it not been for one controversial speaker who, in this author’s opinion, marred the event by giving the opening invocation for the ceremony.

That speaker was radical Muslim activist Wilfredo Ruiz, who shared the stage with a rabbi and a priest. In one photo from the event – a ‘selfie’ – the three of them are smiling alongside the President of UM and former Secretary of Health of Mexico, Julio Jose Frenk Mora. The rabbi, Lyle Rothman, has used an Israeli flag as the ‘cover photo’ for his Facebook page at least five times. Rothman will probably not be thrilled to find out that Ruiz is associated with Hamas and anti-Semitism and labels the Jewish state “the Apartheid beast.”

Ruiz is the Communications Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). For the commencement ceremony, CAIR referred to him as “CAIR-Florida Chaplain.

CAIR was created in June 1994 as part of an umbrella group led by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. CAIR has been named by the US government a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. In November 2014, along with ISIS and al-Qaeda, CAIR was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government. Many CAIR representatives have served prison time and/or have been deported from the US for terrorist-related activity.

CAIR-Florida reflects the same violent extremism as its parent group. In August 2014, CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly, who has denied Hezbollah is a terrorist group, wrote, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God…” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” Following the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”

Sofian Zakkout is the President of the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), one of the other co-sponsors of the 2014 pro-Hamas rally. Zakkout is a known supporter of Hamas, stating in August 2015, “Hamas is in my heart and on my head.” Wilfredo Ruiz is the legal advisor for AMANA and founded the Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters of the group. Ruiz is additionally a Corporate Director for AMANA’s sister organization, American Muslims for Emergency and Relief (AMER), another co-sponsor of the pro-Hamas rally.

Charter Schools Are No Panacea By Eileen F. Toplansky

Now that Betsy DeVos has been selected as secretary of education, it is important to consider the issue of charter schools in a reasoned and logical fashion.

Parents should have the ability to choose the school they deem best for their children. But how will this actually occur? Will students from an inner-city school opt to go to a wealthier school district, where scores are higher and education more intense? Will they be bused if they live too far? Who will be paying the taxes for the additional teaching staff and materials to accommodate the students?

There are mixed reviews about the success of charter schools. They hinge on the dichotomy between charter schools and district schools. David P. Magnani, who was the Senate chair of the Education Committee in Massachusetts, reminds readers that “most have forgotten that charter schools were created to serve as ‘laboratories of change,’ disseminating new ideas, not as competitors to existing district schools. To date, very little, if any, of this ‘dissemination’ agenda has been achieved, largely because neither charter nor district schools have any mandate and few resources, incentives or the regulatory environment for such dissemination.” In fact, Magnani maintains that “charter schools have increased inequality overall, contrary to initial intent.” He cites a 2009 UCLA study that confirms this finding. Moreover, in “suburban districts, charter schools hurt district schools in another way: by leaving children with the most severe physical or intellectual disabilities as district responsibilities.”

For those who would argue about the economics of charter schools, Magnani maintains that “in spite of temporary reimbursements from the commonwealth, over time, the district actually loses money for each student it sends to a charter school. This is because the average cost-per-student leaves the district and ‘follows the child,’ but the marginal district ‘savings’ are less than the amount the district is required to send to the charter school.”

But let us set aside the economic concerns for a moment. How have charter schools fared concerning the educational attainment of their students?

First and foremost, it is critical to understand the vital connection between parental interest and school achievement. Parental engagement has always produced more engaged students because the child has a back-up system that promotes student academic success. Moreover, as E.D. Hirsch has noted, “a systemic failure to teach all children the knowledge they need in order to understand what the next grade has to offer is the major source of avoidable injustice in our schools. … It is impossible for a teacher to reach all children when some of them lack the necessary building blocks of learning.”

In her 2016 piece, Kate Zernike of the New York Times writes that “Detroit now has a bigger share of students in charters than any American city except New Orleans, which turned almost all its schools into charters after Hurricane Katrina. But half the charters perform only as well, or worse than, Detroit’s traditional public schools.”

John Oliver at Business Insider asserts that “[s]ome charters are “so flawed, … that they don’t make it through the year. The most flawed are in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Charters have also had problems with misuse of funds, as they are supposed to be nonprofit but certain groups aim to make a profit, and there’s been lackadaisical attendance monitoring for online charters.”

Science Journalism is Going Full Leftist By Robert Arvay

We on the right have grown to expect bias in political journalism — but most of us probably thought that science literature would always be objective, and exempt from radical leftist opinion. If so, then our thoughts were mistaken.

Every once in a while, I receive emailed articles from science journals, for example, Scientific American. Most of these are of interest to science junkies like myself — but a disturbing and growing number of them have less to do with science than with left-wing political propaganda. Much of it is unashamedly anti-Trump. It seems (sarcasm here) that by questioning the (questionable) evidence of global warming, President Trump is seeking to inundate the entire world with rising oceans. In reality, thousands of government grants are at risk, billions of dollars of them, unless the scientists receiving the money can prove that global warming is manmade, and that human effort can reverse it.

Of course, the scientists can prove no such thing, which is why their journal articles increasingly give the impression of “hair-on-fire” panic.

More recently, I am beginning to notice an even more sinister trend, one which hints at anti-Semitism. In an article at Space.com, a site oriented toward NASA news, the authors seem to twist and turn through verbal contortions, straining to avoid any mention of the word, “Israel,” even though the science news therein was discovered by studying ancient Jewish records.

The article describes the geography of the featured discovery as being that of “Judah, an ancient kingdom situated around what is now Jerusalem.” This seems like an awful lot of words to substitute for the word, “Israel.”

The article credits Israeli scientist [quote], “Erez Ben-Yosef, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University,” with analyzing much of the information, but yet again, avoids mentioning that he is an Israeli scientist. In other articles, I find no shortage of phrases such as, a French scientist, or a scientist at Britain’s Oxford University, and so forth.

It is perhaps possible that I am being a bit overly sensitive in my appraisal of this one article, but I noticed its omissions largely because the piece fits the mold of many other science articles I have read over the past year, articles which in my view are ever more politically oriented toward leftist opinions.

“Aren’t You Tired of Writing Your Stupid Articles?” Georgetown Prof Jonathan Brown Expels Critic From Lecture: Andrew Harrod

“Aren’t you tired of writing your stupid articles?”

I recall Georgetown University’s Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization, Jonathan A. C. Brown, saying that to me on February 7 at Herndon, Virginia’s International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Brown’s brief angry remarks quickly led to my expulsion from his imminent lecture, “Islam and the Problem of Slavery”: an indication of how he and his fellow Islamism apologists handle opposing views.

I had entered IIIT’s conference room in a small office complex anxious to hear Brown, the director of Georgetown’s Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). Shortly before the lecture’s evening beginning, he and IIIT Director of Research and Academic Programs Ermin Sinanovićwere preparing at a speaker’s podium before empty chair rows while two veiled IIIT assistants readied for the lecture. After I had taken a seat in the back row, Brown became visibly irritated upon noticing this writer, who has covered his previous appearances.

Before reiterating his previously tweeted disgust at my “stupid” articles, Brown began by asking if I intended to enjoy the IIIT’s food, after my appetite had impressed him at several Georgetown events (the IIIT lecture offered no refreshments). He then mused whether he should photograph me while visiting an Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-affiliated institution, observations that most certainly came to him from my reporting on a previous IIIT lecture hosted by Sinanović. Brown then indicated a willingness to speak before most anyone, but felt incensed by my presence at IIIT after my having supposedly “insulted” this institution, whereupon Sinanović asked me to leave.

Given Brown’s background, I was particularly interested in hearing him address the contentious topics of Islam and slavery. A Washington, DC, area native, Brown, like me, is from an Anglican background, but converted to Islam under the strong influence of a Muslim professor his freshman year at Georgetown, as he explained in a2010 interview. She impressed him with “things that I had believed my whole life; the nature of God, the idea of reason, the idea that reason and religion are supposed to be compatible, religion should enhance your life, not make it difficult and not make you suffer.”

Brown’s admiration for Islam’s prophet Muhammad, who “was both idealistic and effective,” is puzzling to many non-Muslims. He

was the best person in every situation….Jesus is always kind and forgiving. But sometimes you can’t be forgiving. You shouldn’t be; sometimes you have to soft and sweet and sometimes you have to be direct and harsh; sometimes you have to be patient and at other times you have to act quickly. There isn’t always one rule that you can apply to your life that will tell you how to act. You have to be able to read the situation and act in the best way. The Prophet knew how to do that; that is inspirational.

Jamie Glazov Moment: Georgetown’s Prof. Jonathan Brown Supports Islamic Slavery and Rape. Where is the media outrage and the feminist protests?

In this new Jamie Glazov Moment, Jamie discusses Georgetown’s Prof. Jonathan Brown Supports Islamic Slavery and Rape, asking:where is the media outrage and the feminist protests?

Don’t miss it!http://jamieglazov.com/2017/02/18/jamie-glazov-moment-georgetowns-prof-jonathan-brown-supports-islamic-slavery-and-rape/

It’s Racial Indoctrination Day at an Upscale Chicagoland School As administrators foist ‘social justice’ on 4,000 suburban students, parents plead for balance. By Peter Berkowitz

What passes for education at many American public schools is too often closer to indoctrination. Consider the seminar day that New Trier High School, in Winnetka, Ill., on Chicago’s affluent North Shore, is planning for Feb. 28.

The title for the all-school seminar is “Understanding Today’s Struggle for Racial Civil Rights.” That very term, “racial civil rights,” is misleading, since civil rights protect Americans’ freedoms regardless of their race. Judging from the roster of scheduled events, the seminar might be more accurately titled “Inculcating a Progressive View of Social Justice.”

Here are a few of the offerings scheduled for presentation to New Trier’s roughly 4,000 students: “SPENT: A Simulation to See How Long You Can Survive on Minimum Wage”—which touches on race at best tangentially. “Developing a Positive, Accountable White Activism for Racial Civil Rights”—which promotes a divisive view of race as a primordial fact, the essence of identity, a bright line between oppressed and oppressor. “One Person One Vote: Can the Voting Rights Act Be Saved?”—which absurdly suggests that the Voting Rights Act is at risk of being repealed.

There are plenty of sessions on the connections that music, art and culture have with civil rights. Very little programming, however, is devoted to actually explaining to students what civil rights are and what their place is in this country’s political tradition.

Yet the continuing quest to fulfill America’s founding promise is unintelligible without a grasp of how civil rights are grounded in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Or without an understanding of the often-heroic struggle for civil rights over the course of American history—the abolition movement, the Civil War, the great Reconstruction constitutional amendments, the grievous setback of Jim Crow, the modern civil-rights movement, the landmark Supreme Court cases like Brown v. Board of Education.

Instead of teaching, the school’s aim seems to be hammering home to students that racism plagues America and will persist until white people admit their unjust privilege, renounce their unearned power, and make amends for the entrenched oppression from which they continue to profit handsomely. This despite the school board’s written policy to provide a “balanced view” on “controversial issues,” and the seminar’s stated purpose “not to promote the philosophy of one political party or another.”

On Monday a group of concerned New Trier parents will make a final attempt to persuade the school board to alter the seminar’s programming to include a diversity of views about race and rights in America. The parents have proposed, for example, inviting black conservative intellectuals—such as my Hoover Institution colleague Shelby Steele and this newspaper’s Jason Riley—or people like Pastor Corey Brooks, the director of Project Hood, which seeks to end violence and build communities on Chicago’s South Side. CONTINUE AT SITE

At Dalton: Liberal mom clique forces school to cancel skating party at Trump rink By Carl Campanile

An elite Upper East Side private school’s annual ice-skating party at Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park had to be canceled after parents refused to send their kids in protest of the president, sources said.

The Parents Association at The Dalton School sent a letter Thursday announcing the “Dalton on Ice” event was scrapped, saying “it would not be financially prudent” because of “significantly lower attendance.”

Dalton’s PA president, LaMae DeJongh, declined to comment — but sources said the low attendance was due to rampant anti-Trump sentiment at the elite prep school, which boasts alumni such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“I think it is completely insane,” said one Dalton parent who disagrees with the protest. “Like him or not, it feels like a strange place for New Yorkers to protest. And sad that kids now have no skating party.”

Trump renovated the rink in 1986 after the city fumbled the job for six years.

Another Dalton parent said a clique of Upper East Side “liberal moms” upset with Trump pressured the headmaster to call off the event, a source said.

Trump Wollman Rink had no immediate comment, and Headmaster ­Ellen Stein could not be reached for comment.

The student Left’s culture of intolerance is creating a new generation of conservatives Charlie Peters

Student demands for censorship get a lot of coverage. Spiked Online’s Free Speech University Rankings, now in its third annual edition, argues that there is a “crisis of free speech on campus”.

By analysing the censorious policies and actions that have taken place on British campuses, Spiked concluded that 63.5 per cent of universities actively censor speech and 30.5 per cent stifle speech through excessive regulation. You can barely go a few days without encountering a new op-ed covering censorship on campus.

Maajid Nawaz describes the students demanding censorship as members of the “regressive left”. Milo Yiannopoulos calls them “snowflakes”.With all of this book-burning and platform-denying madness sweeping up much of the media’s interest in campus culture, the gradual rise of another group of students has gone under-reported. British and American millennials and post-millennials – also known as ‘Gen Z’ – are warming to conservatism.

To understand why this is happening, it is important to consider the vast changes that have taken place in Western student politics over the last fifty years.

Students were once in favour of free speech. In the mid-1960s, students of the University of California, Berkeley undertook a mass-movement for free speech. Under the leadership of Leftist heroes like Jack Weinberg, Bettina Aptheker and Jackie Goldberg, students demanded that the university administration retracted their on-campus ban of political activities. They demanded their freedom of speech. Mario Savio delivered what is generally recognised as the iconic speech of the University of California, Berkeley’s (UCB) free speech movement. Here is the speech’s most powerful section:

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

Savio’s speech helped push the movement towards success. Berkeley students won their full rights. Students, now liberated from the “machine” of university censorship, were able to create the anti-Vietnam student movement, another famous campus protest.

Even the SAT Has Become Political The exam should follow dinner etiquette and stay away from controversial topics such as religion, politics and sex. By Trip Apley

As more than six million high-school students do every year, I sat down to take the College Board’s SAT exam on Dec. 3, 2016. The test was going well until I reached the essay question, which asks students to assess how an author of an article supports his claims.

The basic concept was easy enough, but I was surprised by the source our essay was supposed to be based on. We were asked to analyze a February 2014 Huffington Post article supporting the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act. The author: New York’s junior senator, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who had recently introduced the legislation.

It wouldn’t be appropriate to have an SAT essay question using an article from a conservative blog about reasons to ban late-term abortion. And it is equally inappropriate to force students to focus their attention on a one-sided argument from one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate.

The exam made clear that the “essay should not explain whether you agree with” the article. It should only “explain how the author builds an argument to persuade.” Still, why would a controversial political topic be selected for this evaluation? Why a divisive, partisan issue? We would have had the same educational benefit if the SAT provided an article about banning laptops in school. Maybe the SAT essay should follow the rule of topics that are appropriate for dinner conversation: no religion, politics or sex.

The SAT is an assessment tool and not a mechanism to promote a political agenda to millions of impressionable students. This article might be the only point of view some students ever hear about paid leave, and they are required not only to read it but to restate its central arguments. Educators know that writing down facts is an effective way to retain information. Students should be memorizing algebraic equations, not arguments for progressive labor policy.

Data from the Federal Election Commission show that College Board executives have an overwhelming preference for Democratic candidates. The College Board also spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that a prominent Democratic senator’s piece was chosen, but I’m not convinced. (A spokeswoman said that “College Board is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization.”) CONTINUE AT SITE

Turkey: Record-Breaking Purge in Academia by Burak Bekdil

Turkey suffered the largest decline in freedoms among 195 countries over the past year, according to Freedom House.

Erdogan’s academic purge is 38 times bigger in size than the generals’ after the 1980 military coup.

According to data compiled by Turkey Purge, PEN International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Stockholm Center for Freedom, 128,398 people have been sacked, while 91,658 are being detained.

Worse, neither the academics on the purge list nor their students were allowed to protest peacefully. Their attempted protest on February 10 at the School of Political Sciences in Ankara met a huge police force and was crushed.

You have all the freedoms you want — so long as you are a pro-Erdogan Islamist.

Nearly three centuries later — and slightly revising the historian Shelby Foote’s famous line — “A Turkish university, these days, is a group of buildings around a small library, a mosque and classrooms cleansed of unwanted scholars.”

The “Great Turkish Purge” launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist, autocratic government in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July surprised many in its size. It should not have done. The failed putsch gave Erdogan’s government a golden opportunity to advance his crackdown on dissent of every kind. No wonder Erdogan, on the night of the attempt, said: “This [coup attempt] is a gift of God”.

In its annual “Freedom in the World” report, entitled “Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy,” the Washington-based Freedom House said on January 31 that Turkey suffered the largest decline in freedoms among 195 countries over the past year. Turkey’s aggregate score declined 15 points to 38 out of 100 (the most free) — from having been in 53rd place in the 2016 report. It did manage to maintain its “partly free” status for “freedoms” together with 59 other countries. “[A]n attempted coup in July… led the government to declare a state of emergency and carry out mass arrests and firings of civil servants, academics, journalists, opposition figures, and other perceived enemies,” the report said.

Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz said that a total of 33,065 personnel have been dismissed from his ministry, most of them teachers, educators and administrative staff. Of those purged, 3,855 have been detained on charges of “terrorism”.

Qualitatively speaking, the situation at Turkish universities is no better. Most university presidents, appointed by Erdogan, staunchly ally with his party politics and dismiss academics they view as “Erdogan’s political adversaries.”

In the aftermath of a military coup d’état on September 12, 1980 (the third time the military took over in modern Turkish history), the generals issued decree no. 1402, dismissing a total of 120 scholars from the universities. By comparison, on February 7, Turkey’s “civilian” government issued a decree purging 330 scholars from universities. Erdogan’s public sector purge now amounts to around 100,000 officials, including nearly 5,000 university scholars. In other words, Erdogan’s academic purge is 38 times bigger in size than the generals’ after the 1980 coup. According to data compiled by Turkey Purge, PEN International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Stockholm Center for Freedom, 128,398 people have been sacked, while 91,658 are being detained.

Worse, neither the academics on the purge list nor their students were allowed to protest peacefully. Their attempted protest on February 10 at the School of Political Sciences in Ankara met a huge police force and was crushed. In the brawl, the police attacked the crowd; many in it were injured, manhandled, trapped in their robes and dragged along the ground.

One of the purged, Professor Yuksel Taskin, from an Istanbul department of journalism, tweeted: “This is a pure political ‘cleansing’. But my conscience is clear. Let my students know that I shall never, ever bow down!”

Professor Yuksel Taskin, who was recently purged from an Istanbul department of journalism, tweeted: “This is a pure political ‘cleansing’. But my conscience is clear. Let my students know that I shall never, ever bow down!” (Image source: Hakan YÜCEL video screenshot)