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Simile irresistible

For years, one of my favorite analogies was to say "it's like the Iran-Iraq war -- you wish find yourself wishing they both lose."

It served me well, but now with Iraq on its shaky way to becoming a US ally, it's a touch outdated. I find myself looking for a new conflict where both sides are equally despicable. And thanks to Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, I just might have it -- spammers and Islamists.

The tale is of a gentleman who works for William Paterson University in New Jersey. Mr. Jihad Daniel received an unsolicited e-mail from a professor about an upcoming film about a lesbian relationship. He wrote back, expressing his opinion of homosexuality in the context of his Muslim faith (the words "God" and "perversion" featured prominently in his response). The professor who sent out the original e-mail (chairperson of the Women's Studies Department) found it "threatening" and "harassing," and filed a complaint. The university looked at the issue and gave Mr. Daniel a formal reprimand.

As painful as it is to me, I find myself siding with someone named "Jihad." Even more painful, I am disagreeing and criticizing lesbians and movies about lesbians.

But to me, the principle is the same. Professor Scala sent an unsolicited e-mail to Mr. Daniel, one virtually guaranteed to offend his devout religious beliefs, and went whining to the administration because a low-level employee and part-time student said a couple of unpleasant things.

To my way of thinking, Ms. Scala initiated the communication and added Mr. Daniel to her mailing list without his consent -- which he certainly would have likely refused, had he known of it beforehand. But once she began that conversation, she had no grounds for complaint about how he chose to answer her as long as he remained within the bounds of the law and University policy. And as far as I can tell, there was no threat involved (overt or implicit) -- merely his expressing his sincere opinion and informing her that her own beliefs were not shared, and her "invitation" was most unwelcome.

I'd like to think that this would lead to a policy change at the University, where professors cannot simply mass e-mail every single person with a university e-mail account unless they opt-out. But from my own experiences with academia, I predict that instead the university will stand behind its faculty's "right" to "communicate" with the entire community. And any student who is so foolish as to ask to be omitted from future mailings will be forever tainted as "intolerant."


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Comments (13)

Calling a lesbian( or femal... (Below threshold)
grendel-999:

Calling a lesbian( or female pro-lesbian college professor) a perversion is wrong and rude.

This is not gay marriage issue, it is accepting that gays live among us and wish to be gay. Jihad belongs with the God haes fags bunch and since with a name like Jihad, probably belives stoning of she-males is in order, should be sent to diversity training until he knows how to behave correctly.

Grendel, she sent out an UN... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Grendel, she sent out an UNSOLICITED e-mail and REQUESTED feedback. She had no right to whine for getting his less-than-polite but entirely civil and reasonable response. You may not like his opinion, but he's certainly entitled to hold it, and it's entirely consistent with his faith (and several other faiths).

I don't agree with his opinion, but dammit, he's got a right to express it -- especially under these circumstances.

J.

grendel,I constantly... (Below threshold)

grendel,
I constantly hear people like you complain about others "imposing their views," yet you certainly have no problem imposing yours when it suits you, do you?

Geez GrendalPlease... (Below threshold)

Geez Grendal

Please cite me the statute that criminalizes being rude.

Ms. Spammer rudeness was answered with rudeness..and she deserves no more graciousness from people she spams than a door-to-door solicitor.

Smithers, let loose the hounds.

The University is a work pl... (Below threshold)
grendel-99:

The University is a work place. Sending out art related notices seems to be allowed here in the interest of public education. As long as the topic is not illegal or offensive, the topic should not be material to the e-mail. Offensive seems to be the key point here.

If the film was about history, female studies, economics.. nobody would have cared.

There are then the topics of bigotry where you can have these views but you damn better not bring them up in the workplace. You can privately hate blacks, whites, GAYS, mixed couples, Republicans but quoting scriture and verse on their "perversion" in a workplace on IS an HR issue.

If Mrs. Lesbian prof started passing out notices on Nambla, murder, not paying taxes then Mr. Jihad could have forwarded it on to the Dept. Chair for action. Calling someones interests( an possibly her life style choices ) a perversion is not an acceptable action in the HR handbook. Using the univeristy e-mail for the said perversion of god crack is what "criminalizes" the rude behavior.

If the film was presented to Mr. Jihad's children in a school, if she sent the e-mail and was responded to by Mr. Jihad's home e-mail, or if she just talked about it off campus, then Mr. Jihad would have a case. If the status of lesbianism is not a perversion by legal status, you have no business using those words via university e-mail and the perversion crack created a hostile work envirorment.

I certainly do not think on... (Below threshold)
JD:

I certainly do not think one should ever do anything that could be construed as being anti-lesbian, especially if they happen to be hot.

Maybe a little Private Engl... (Below threshold)
Me:

Maybe a little Private England video for him...hehehe!

"Calling a lesbian( or fema... (Below threshold)
Mark A. Flacy:

"Calling a lesbian( or female pro-lesbian college professor) a perversion is wrong and rude."

How about calling a lesbian a pervert? At least that's correct.

the perversion crack ... (Below threshold)

the perversion crack created a hostile work envirorment.

Reading that crap makes ME hostile.

Guess what, PCgrendel. I have no problem with gays and no problems with people who's religious beliefs are protected by the first amendment who find homosexuality a perversion. But if you all decide to lob stuff at each other, you're all equally responsible. Its a wash. Ms Spammer was rude and Jihad was rude in response. End o'discussion

And take your cudgel of "hostile work environment" and have a perverse good time of it.

grendel-999 or grendel-99, ... (Below threshold)
DavidB:

grendel-999 or grendel-99, which ever it is,

This is the entire text of his e-mail response;

Do not send me any mail about “Connie and Sally” and “Adam and Steve”. These are perversions. The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the earth is never mentioned.

Where in that e-mail is the “discrimination” and “harassment” he was charged with? He expressed his opinion, which by the way, is protected by the first amendment.

Maybe you should go here to read a little about the whole story;

http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/6120.html

Daniel has a good organization in his corner though, FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. They have won many cases dealing with this type of issue. It may take time, but this will probably go Daniel's way and just make the University look like the fools they are. From the University President down to that stupid Professor and State Attorney General who think the first amendment is trumped by the Interim State of New Jersey Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment or Hostile Environment.

More about this case and others like it can be found at;

http://www.thefire.org/index.php/torch.html

The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America's increasingly repressive and partisan colleges and universities. FIRE is a non partisan organization.

Perhaps he should sue becau... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Perhaps he should sue because the unsolicited email with the homosexual references created a "hostile work environment".

Hey, JD! Is your Bubbe hot?... (Below threshold)
kma:

Hey, JD! Is your Bubbe hot?

Ruthie and Connie

If Mrs. Lesbian prof sta... (Below threshold)
kma:

If Mrs. Lesbian prof started passing out notices on Nambla, murder, not paying taxes then Mr. Jihad could have forwarded it on to the Dept. Chair for action. Calling someones interests( an possibly her life style choices ) a perversion is not an acceptable action in the HR handbook.

Hey grendel-99!

NAMBLA isn't illegal. You just called someone elses interests and possible life style choice a perversion and it is not acceptable. Maybe, someone should forward your post to your employer and demand you be punished?

As long as the topic is not illegal or offensive, the topic should not be material to the e-mail. Offensive seems to be the key point here.

Just because words offend you does not make it offensive speech and any less entitled to first amendment protection. Are you trying to curtail our constitutional rights? How unAmerican of you! The ACLU is going to hear about you!

While the woman may have had the right to say what she wanted to Jihad, he also has the right to tell her to shove it. Don't be a big cry-baby over it.




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