Thursday, March 01, 2007

Muslim KSU Prof Needs to Answer Some Questions

I would love to report that the right wing fulminating over Kent State prof. Julio Pino's work on a jihadist website is completely specious. I would love to post something like BREAKING: MATT DRUDGE IS FULL OF CRAP!

But I cannot. Prof. Pino has apparently done some work on behalf of the site and should be called on to account for his actions.

The controversy started when a TownHall columnist identified the blog as as belonging to Pino and broke down its contents. Drudge picked up the story and it was on. According to the Beacon Journal's report today, the blog is not Pino's, but he has done some work there:

    Pino, 46, a Muslim convert and associate professor of history at KSU, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    His department head, John Jameson, defended him as a good teacher and said the allegations in the story appeared to have been blown out of proportion.

    He said Pino told him he provided news stories to the Web site but didn't accept any ownership of it.

    The Web site does not name the originator, but a photo of a bearded man there is not of Pino, the description of the originator does not fit Pino and none of the postings on it can be tied to Kent State, Jameson said.

So, Adam's story is overblown. Still, Pino has contributed in some way. Even a free speech and academic freedom zealot like me has a few problems with this. The blog in question carries no defensible content. It looks like this:

Less a blog than a jihadi headline writing service, it reproduces full-text news stories from all over, with original headlines spinning the story for the greater good of Allah. Every headline glorifies jihad as holy war and mass murder as a legitimat tactic. Every story is infused with that mindset. The blog is shot through and through with the most vile rhetoric justifying the murder of pretty much anyone who is not a particular stripe of Sunni Muslim.

In other words, this isn't like some liberal blogs where reasonable essays appeared side-by-side with 9/11 conspiracy nonsense or worse. One cannot aid the Global War website without at least implicitly endorsing its message.

So, I want to know, what did the professor contribute? How did he get linked to the blog, given that none of the stories are attributed? Does he endorse war against the West, against Isreal and against non-Sunni Muslims?

And what the hell is he thinking? I love this nugget from the ABJ story:
    While Pino did operate a pro-Palestinian Web site in the past, he told Jameson he gave it up ``when the hate response got to be too much,'' Jameson said.
Will he call this a hate response as well? Because I try not to hate and all, but I don't love advocating the murder of civilians.

Whether a tenured professor should be dismissed for propagating these views, apalling as they are, is a close question for me. But at the very least, Citizens of the State of Ohio have a right to know.

UPDATED: The original version contained some editing errors and did not make clear my position that Adams overstated Pino's involvement with the blog. I've updated accordingly.


Oldkelly said...

Hope you are indeed updating this issue. The Global War blog was hacked at first, and as of Sunday is down. Dr. Adams in no way overstated the case. See his "smoking gun" post. Frankly the "freedom of speech" defense that KSU officials are using is weak, almost to the point of embarrassment. As for Pino, I feel sorry for him because he seems so sincere. Nonetheless, he scares me, as most religious zealots do. Happy blogging!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see a progressive/liberal come out and say they find the content obnoxious and vile. I'm not hearing that from his Kent State colleagues. If Pino was contributing to a neo-Nazi or Klan site, even the fiercest free-speech defenders would be couching their defenses in language that made it clear they found the views represented on the site vile and hateful. Instead what I read are comments asserting that Pino is being persecuted for supporting Palestinian rights.

Reading letters penned by Pino over the last few years, it is clear that this guy is a hate-filled religious nutcase. His comments on AIDs point toward a fundy islam homophobia, but he's been savvy enough to not make that explicit, because if he did so, he'd lose some of this progressive defenders.

This guy is a lunatic, and he's guaranteed to continue to open his mouth, and the more he does, the more embarassing it will be for those at Kent State who either defend him or have remained silent and unengaged in the issue.