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Tariq Ramadan-Supporter Diana Eck Leads the Charge Against Fired ‘Islamophobic’ Professor

The evil of small minds have triumphed over all that is good, both intellectually and morally, at Harvard.

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Phyllis Chesler

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January 5, 2012 - 12:07 am
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The evil of small minds has triumphed over all that is good intellectually and morally at Harvard.

Professor Diana L. Eck is a supporter of smooth-talking radical Islamist Tariq Ramadan, whom she describes as “one of Europe’s deepest and most articulate Muslim thinkers… one of the most powerful exponents of a reformist, self-critical, spiritual and dialogical Islam.” She is also a defender of Boston’s notorious Roxbury Mosque (whose former and current trustees, mullahs, and congregants have known ties to terrorism and to preaching violence). Now she has successfully led the pack against Professor Subramanian Swamy. Last year, in December, he was dismissed after twenty years at the summer school on the basis of an op-ed piece he wrote in an Indian newspaper about the obvious and growing danger of Islamic terrorism in India, including the 2008 and 2011 jihadic massacres in Mumbai.

Eck is a professor of comparative religion at Harvard’s Divinity School as well as a professor of law and psychiatry. She is known for her “interfaith” work. She, other professors, and some students decided that Swamy’s piece was racist, Islamophobic, nationalistic, religiously intolerant, and in favor of violence and, as such, should be treated as unprotected hate speech. Eck and the students do not believe that Harvard should be associated with anyone who holds such views.

Who is Swamy? His biography is very distinguished. In 1964, as a full scholarship student, Swamy obtained his Ph.D at Harvard. He worked with Nobel laureate Simon Kuznets, and jointly authored papers with Nobel laureate Paul. A Samuelson. He has subsequently served in the Indian parliament for five terms and was also a cabinet minister for Commerce, Law & Justice. Swamy, the president of the Janata Party, is also a linguist and is proficient in Tamil, Hindi, English and Chinese.

Swamy is the author of many acclaimed books and papers. In 1971 Swamy published Indian Economic Planning—An Alternative Approach; in 1973 he released Economic Growth in China and India 1952-1970: A Comparative Appraisal; in 1989 he published an updated Comparative Appraisal of China and India (1870-1986). In addition, he has published numerous papers, including one with Paul A. Samuelson in the American Economic Review.

In addition, Swamy is also something of a swashbuckling hero. In 1976, Swamy exposed and challenged corruption in Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s “emergency authoritarian” rule in India and had to flee the country twice as a result. However, due to his campaign Gandhi allowed long overdue elections. In 1972, Swamy lost his professorship at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, due to his crusade for both academic freedom and for the union rights of non-teaching Institute employees. After twenty years of litigation, the courts reinstated Swamy with full honors.

Between 1978-1985, Swamy visited China nine times. This led to the normalization of relations between India and China. In 1982, Swamy became the first Indian political leader to make a trip to Israel. Due to his efforts, India opened embassies in both China and Israel; these countries reciprocated..

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