Georgetown professor under fire by conservatives for lecture about slavery and Islam – The Washington Post

Challenge for academics in terms of how their nuances and subtleties get lost in public debate, and how the present can cloud our understanding of the past (understanding doesn’t equal acceptance):

Brown’s lecture was from the first of several papers he said he is writing on the question of Islam and slavery that are aimed at giving the Muslim community tools to bridge the gap between “elements of Islamic traditions and modern values” at a time when the Islamic State has “slammed the issue of slavery on the table in the 21st century.” In a phone interview, he said was trying to “help frame this problem by discussing the values of consent and autonomy that are prominent today, but they weren’t always.”

Brown denied that he had condoned slavery and non-consensual sex and said that his critics, some of them from the “alt-right,” are misquoting him. “I don’t know how they could say that I did,” he said. Scholars are at risk, he said, if “some de-contextualized quote of theirs is taken out and prompts a feeding frenzy that calls for them to be fired.”

A number of stories from conservative magazines and websites wrote scathing stories about the lecture, saying that he was condoning slavery and non-consensual sex. For example, the American Conservative wrote a piece with this headline: “Georgetown Prof Defends Islamic Slavery.” American Thinker had a story with this headline: “Georgetown professor defends Islamic slavery and ‘non-consensual’ sex.” The Daily Banter wrote: “Islamic Studies Professor On Whether Rape and Slavery Are Wrong: It Depends” and “An Islamic Studies professor at Georgetown has taken academic obscurantism and cultural relativism to new heights.”

Source: Georgetown professor under fire by conservatives for lecture about slavery and Islam – The Washington Post

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About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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