John Fund continues his vendetta against my alma mater (grad schoo) for admitting a former Taliban spokeperson Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi to its hallowed halls in “Sayed and de Man at Yale.” I’m with Fund on this one, especially since Rahmatullah has never fully condemned the Taliban, a movement that is far from extinguished:
Yale refuses to defend its position, but others are talking. Afghan exiles are appalled that Mr. Rahmatuallah was given a coveted place that could have gone to an Afghan man or woman who had been oppressed by the Taliban. Author Sebastian Junger reports from Afghanistan in the current Vanity Fair on the atrocities the Taliban are committing today. They include skinning a man alive and leaving him to die in the sun. Another man was forced to watch as his wife was gang-raped. Then his eyes were put out, so that the horrific crime would be the last image he would ever see. The relatives of U.S. soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan are likewise appalled. “It’s not like the Taliban ever signed a peace treaty,” Natalie Healy, the mother of a Navy SEAL killed by a Taliban rocket last year, told me. “They’re still killing Americans.”
Fund raises the spectre of Paul de Man, the famous leader of deconstructionism, who rose to prominence on the Ivy League faculty while hiding his Nazi past. Ironically, the cultural relativisim behind that theory is the very idea that has so permeated the academy that all world views, including the Taliban’s extremist Islam, are welcome. Also ironic is the fact that in terms of sheer numbers of adherents extremist Islam is far more successful today than Nazism ever was.
UPDATE: More from Clinton Taylor who blogs on this issue.