Friday, March 21, 2008

Phony Ex-Terrorists Paid By US Air Force Academy?

According to this article in the New York Times, the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs recently paid $13,000 to 3 self-proclaimed "ex-terrorist" speakers who are now evangelical Christians. Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem, and Zachariah Anani are accused of being frauds. (For more about Anani, see this article in the Windsor Star.)

This is yet more disturbing news about how the US military academies are functioning as evanglical indoctrination enters.


Anonymous said...

You should read Mr. Shoebat's written response and listen to his response on this Blog Talk Radio Show.

crf said...

The times story says:
The three men were invited as part of a weeklong conference on terrorism organized by cadets at the academy’s Colorado Springs campus under the auspices of the political science department.

I don't know anything about this incident, but let me speculate.

Just because the poli-sci department paid some speakers' expenses doesn't mean that they agree with what they say, or even that they wished to engage in debate about their positions in any way, since their invitation was presumably only at the requests of the students, who organised the conference, and payment of any speaker fees was likely something agreed upon between the poli-sci department and its students in advance and without regards to whomever the students invited to speak.

I wouldn't want any education instution to give students power to organise a conference, and then want to vet attendees in spurious ways because it might result in mixed messages or bad publicity.

(Of course, since this is the air force academy, a branch of the military, in general they probably do a lot of political vetting of what does and does not get discussed on campus. If I found that disagreeable, it would be hypocritical to criticise them when, in this instance, they don't try to vet or manage speech that I and probably many others, even in the military, find ridiculous and condemnable.)