The National Association of Scholars is delighted to learn that Raymond Ibrahim will, at last, deliver his lecture at the United States Army War College (USAWC) on his book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.
Ibrahim originally was invited to speak at the USAWC as part of its 2019 Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series. USAWC, however, “postponed” Ibrahim’s appearance indefinitely after the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained that he was “biased.” The “postponement” was, in fact, a disinvitation to appease a group that claimed to represent Muslim-American sensitivities. Capitulating to CAIR by censoring Ibrahim was not in the educational interests of America’s present and future military leaders. The USAWC created a dangerous precedent for institutions of military education.
The National Association of Scholars drafted an open letter, petitioning the White House to call on the USAWC to reverse its decision, and to set up procedures to prevent such disinvitations in the future. Our letter received 5,000 signatories. We are glad that our petition has been followed by the USAWC’s restoration of Ibrahim’s invitation.
We note, however, that the USAWC has stipulated that “The lecture will be followed by a moderated discussion.” Too often, universities, civilian or military, will allow any Bill Ayers or Angela Davis to speak, full stop, but require that any speaker who contravenes political correctness be accompanied by such a “moderated discussion,” where a politically correct antagonist of the speaker articulates the university’s implicit discomfort that any unorthodox speech be allowed on its grounds.
The NAS hopes that the USAWC’s “moderated discussion” is not one of these apologies. If it is, we strongly urge that it never engage in such an apology again—and certainly not for Raymond Ibrahim, who needs no apology. The USAWC’s original decision to invite him is praiseworthy and should have been unexceptional. The USAWC should do nothing to put an asterisk by his restored speech.
We also note that CAIR is again protesting Ibrahim’s speech, and urging that he be disinvited from the USAWC. We urge the USAWC to stand firm, and not rescind its invitation.
Concerned citizens may call the USAWC at 717-245-3972, to register their support for USAWC’s praiseworthy decision to restore Raymond Ibrahim’s lecture.