If you believe the Detroit Free Press, a large stink is being raised over a professor at Michigan State University telling the MSU Muslim Students' Association – over mugs of piping hot cocoa – that he thinks Middle Eastern immigrants who don't believe in Western ideals like democracy, religious freedom, and sexual equality shouldn't live here (a belief I myself hold, though I don't limit those standards to immigrants of Middle Eastern descent – there are a lot of native-born Americans I'd like to see shipped-off to the Republic of Gilead).
Wichman sent the message to the Muslim Students' Association of Michigan State University while it handed out free cocoa during a public awareness event about controversial cartoons that depicted Islam's founder as a terrorist.
The cartoons, one of which depicted Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, sparked violent protests and riots around the world in February.
"I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders," Wichman wrote.
He went on to say: "I counsul you dissatisfied, agressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.' "
Ugly stereotypes to be sure, but hardly enough to justify the Muslim Students' Association's call for Prof. Wichman to be formally reprimanded. Despite the fact that he sent the email from his faculty email account, he did not make his grossly exaggerated and ignorant statements in his capacity as a professor or as an employee of the university.
What's noteworthy about this article isn't that Michigan State University keeps anti-semitic bigots on the payroll. What's noteworthy, to me at least, is that the Detroit Free Press – which caters to the largest concentration of people of Middle Eastern descent in the Western Hemisphere and had full access to the entire email message – didn't post the proverbial "rest of the story:"
MSU engineering professor Indrek Wichman used his faculty e-mail account to send a "Dear Moslem Association" message to the university's Muslim Students' Association (MSA) containing a long list of charges, including a claim that Muslims rape "Scandinavain [sic] girls and women (called 'whores' in your culture)."
The February 28, 2006, e-mail also stated: "I counsul [sic] you dissatisfied, agressive [sic], brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.' If you do not like the values of the West–see the 1st Ammendment [sic]–you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans."
It kind of makes you wonder just which "half of the story" is really being told at universities and colleges these days that has so many right-wingers worried about "academic freedom," doesn't it?