That was four years ago. Last year, Mattson stepped down from her post at the ISNA. Now, reports Kay, Mattson has been appointed to an endowed chair in a new Islamic Studies Program at Huron College, “a faculty of theology affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.” The chair Mattson will occupy was endowed, according to Kay, mostly by “two organizations — the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) and the Virginia-based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) — both of which are alleged to be influenced by Islamist ideology.”
Kay points out that Mattson “has been disturbingly equivocal about Wahhabism, the repressive and backward strain of Sunni Islam that is the state creed in Saudi Arabia,” describing it as “a reform movement” and comparing it – incredibly – to “the European protestant reformation.” Mattson has also said, according to Kay, that “the best English-language Koranic commentary for Muslim youth is by Maulana Abul A’la Maududi, an Islamist author who wrote that ‘Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam.’”
But is Huron College worried about its new hire? No more than the New York Times or USA Today. “In a press release about Mattson’s appointment,” writes Kay, “Huron’s Principal, Stephen McClatchie, spoke glowingly of her academic record and ‘impeccable credentials’ for the job.” Kay notes that when she interviewed McClatchie’s predecessor a few months ago “and asked for her thoughts on accepting money from dubious organizations, she said, “We don’t probe too deeply into values held by donors.’” Nor, observes Kay, does Huron seem to probe very deeply into the values held by newly employed faculty.
We are told repeatedly that the Western world is suffused with Islamophobia – that Muslims endure unbearable prejudice and unjust criticism. On the contrary, what has happened in the West is precisely the opposite: the fundamental institutions of our society, from presumably reputable media organs to supposedly respectable colleges and universities, have decided that when it comes to Islam – and only Islam – the rules are different. Even the most disturbing, detestable, and undemocratic views are overlooked, so long as they can be excused as part of Islamic dogma. The same goes for connections with terrorist groups.
What is striking is that this see-no-evil policy would appear to have taken shape at thousands of places around the Western world relatively independently, without any large-scale coordination or conspiracy. Editors and reporters, provosts and deans, government and military officials, you name it – all of them, more or less on their own, apparently, decided at some point that Islam should be treated with kid gloves. Whether out of sheer cowardice or out of a misguided sense of tolerance, or both, they determined that when the subject is Islam, it is simply not appropriate to ask certain ticklish questions or acknowledge certain harsh realities, but rather to embrace patently partial truths and pretty lies. As a result of this terribly ill-conceived policy, more and more people like Ingrid Mattson are gliding smoothly into positions of power and authority from one end of the continent to the other. Where is all this leading? You can answer that question as well as I can.
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