Thousands of Arab and Moslem students come to the US annually for their college education. This represents a golden opportunity both for us and for them, to remedy the negative vision they have of America and the West, foster goodwill and encourage them to promote liberty and democratic reform when they return home. But instead, American academia reinforces the distorted view and the resentment of America in these students. This is more than tragic, it is criminal.
Arab and Moslem students choose to study in the US to learn about the US and its unique system which most peoples of the World envy and wish to emulate. They come eager to learn about American society and culture while getting the best education. They leave oppressive regimes who preach that America is the Great Satan, who, along with Israel, is the cause of all their problems (It is convenient for Arab dictatorships to divert the attention of these students away from themselves). The students are curious nonetheless about Western freedoms and suspicious of their Governments, whom they suspect are not telling them the truth. They want to learn about America first hand and discover things for themselves. When they come to America they get freedoms they could only dream of in their homeland. I have met many who were ready for change and learn about what made this country great and go back home and make a difference.
However, the influence of political correctness on our campuses and anti-American bias in the US Media subverts the students’ objective experience in getting to know the US. Instead of teaching them a new point of view, professors and the campus culture reinforce the hatred of the West that they have been taught prior to coming here, and encourage them to cultivate their religious and ethnic militancy. They come here to learn and change, but we tell them “don’t change, we accept you the way you are. It is our responsibility to learn from you and understand your hatred of our Western Culture and if we don’t then we are bigots”. The responsibility of having a good relationship with other cultures is always assigned to us Americans. We treat them with kid gloves, as though we are dealing with children, or with people who cannot take care of themselves. Only the USA has to accommodate other cultures. As a result, we breed our own enemies.
To illustrate how absurd this situation is, imagine that it were reversed. An American student travels to China to learn “their” culture, but he soon discovers that the Chinese university and people are bending over backwards to accommodate his American culture. He is served hamburgers, apple pie and coke for food. He is provided with an American Cultural Club with all American student members who are eager to spread their culture and religion among the Chinese people. He is encouraged to always talk about and be proud of his heritage. His religion, whatever it is, is given utmost respect since all cultures are relative, no religion is better or worse than another and there is nothing right or wrong. The majority religion in China is discouraged on campus.
However, since he is a minority, imagine that this student is provided a safe place on campus to worship and practice his religion lest the Chinese be perceived as bigots. Several courses are offered on American history and heritage which stress the value of being proud of the American culture and uncovering the root causes of American anger towards the Eastern/Asian culture.
In a political science class, the professor explains how the advancement of the American political structure and socio-economic development in the West was obstructed by the heavy handed foreign policy of the Chinese government, which is exposed as only looking out for its owns best interests at the expense of poorer nations. The campus newspaper is always urging Chinese students to respect cultural and racial differences of foreign students, and a sensitivity training course is compulsory, free of charge, courtesy of the Chinese taxpayers. The American student marvels at the freedom, courage and objectivity of the Chinese professors in blaming their own country for a lot of the ills around the World, including the ills in the USA.
Also picture a Chinese student being suspended because he violates the speech code set by the University, when he makes derogative remarks to some minority students. American professors are then invited to teach in China to show that Chinese campuses are diverse. An American professor is very critical of the Chinese Government, in his private speeches he condemns China’s threatening of Taiwan. He invites an American guest speaker who speaks openly on campus against China. That guest is now heading a militant American Crusade organization against China, and conducts regular terrorist attacks against Chinese embassies and interests around the World.
Finally, a horrible attack is made by mostly American and some British terrorists on the Chinese capital. The professor is questioned, despite objections from the University president and faculty. However, charges against the professor are later dropped since there is no tangible proof of any wrong doing. Several of the Chinese professors are appalled when he is questioned by Chinese authorities. A letter of support is signed by students and staff and is sent to the Chinese authorities who are accused of suppressing his constitutional right to freedom of speech. Never mind the American professor is not a Chinese citizen since it really doesn’t matter. However, some racist and bigoted Chinese people object to paying the salary of that poor professor.
In the end, the American student in question ends up discovering that the Chinese people are wonderful, but the problem lies in their government. The American student goes back home after getting his PHD from China vowing to spread the word about the horrors of the Chinese Government and to correct the injustices done to the world by the Chinese government. He keeps in contact with his supportive Chinese professors who sometimes write to him sympathizing with his cause.
This scenario is completely unrealistic, of course --- except in America, where it is happening every day on US campuses. That is what foreign and minority students are getting here in place of the education they were expecting. They are told “We (America) need to learn from you, just stay the way you are”, and “America is a racist and bigoted country”. They go home more confused than they came.
I hear many Moslem/Arab students who return to their countries say that the American people are good and generous, however, the American government is bad. They say that even American professors and media is often very critical of the US government and admiring of our Moslem culture. They were coddled, their cultures glorified and heritage uplifted. It’s all about them, not about America. Moslem student activists and Moslem professor activists are on many American campuses criticizing us for defending ourselves after 9/11 by fighting terrorists in Afghanistan. Instead they want the US to try the terrorists in a world court. Guess who told them that?
These students were denied the knowledge of what America is all about. Within these campuses they could learn many truths about the building of this great Nation and the hard work and dedication of the Americans who built this nation into a beacon of liberty, prosperity and world power in only 200 years. They could learn about how civilized, democratic governments work. But instead, they are told that everything is relative and nothing is right or wrong…except of course the stealing of Indian land, white racism and black slavery in America (never mind black slavery in Arabia or Africa, which continues to this day, 137 years after we abolished it). Their ancient cultures are more noble than ours and they lived more in harmony with nature. American materialism is destroying the world and Yasser Arafat is as good as George Washington!
These young students pay a great deal of money to get this kind of education, and America pays a high price in terms of international perceptions and national security. Arab/Moslem students go back to their homelands more accepting of their tyrannical governments and leave their destiny and their country’s future in the hands of “Allah” and dictators. They go back home more confused than ever before, and tell their corrupt leaders “you were right America is evil, they told us so”.
What a missed opportunity for the USA to win the world to its side and the side of what’s right and moral! No country in history has given more than the US has given to the world with so little appreciation in return from many, including the educated but unwise American academia. Many say that the World is just jealous of us. I think the world is misinformed about us and the American left contributed greatly to this misinformation. The world observes the anti-American messages we convey to them and they sense the hatred and anger toward Western culture by some segments of our society in control of our media and educational system. They cannot comprehend why some of our own hate America, however, they accept it and it serves their purposes. Academia, in the security of the ivory towers, enjoy their freedom of speech provided to them by none other than the US armed forces whom they despise, and their salaries paid by the hardworking American people. The liberal press is on a naïve mission to make a difference! Both are truly hurting our nation. Our love of diversity attracts evil! They say in the name of Allah and we say in the name of diversity!
We get the highest number of foreign students in the world and have a great chance to spread our democracy and values that made this country great, but instead, we get a world that unjustly hates us! Do academics know what they are doing? I think they do unfortunately.