Wisconsin Lawmaker wants Lecturer Fired for 9-11 Conspiracy Views
MADISON, Wis. (AP) A state lawmaker is calling on the University of Wisconsin-Madison to fire a part-time instructor who has spoken out on his beliefs that figures in the U.S. government, not al-Qaida, were behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Kevin Barrett is scheduled to teach a class in the fall in the UW-Madison Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, UW-Madison Provost Patrick Farrell confirmed in a statement Thursday.
But Farrell said Barrett’s comments on a Milwaukee radio talk show “raised some legitimate concerns about the content and quality of instruction in his planned fall course, ‘Islam: Religion and Culture.’”
During his appearance Wednesday night on Jessica McBride’s show on WTMJ, Barrett disputed most of the widely accepted information about the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center in New York City when airliners were flown into the twin towers.
Among other things, he claimed the group believed to have carried out the attacks was “a bunch of losers who couldn’t even fly planes,” and that evidence indicates the buildings were brought down by controlled demolitions.
He acknowledged discussing Sept. 11 in teaching classes, but said it was only to give both sides of the issue, not to convert anyone to his point of view.
“I’m trying to teach them how to think, not what to think,” he told McBride.
On Thursday, state Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater, issued a statement demanding Barrett be fired immediately, calling him an embarrassment and accusing him of spewing “garbage.”
“Mr. Barrett is free to stand on the street corner and advocate his nutty left-wing views. However, the taxpayers and tuition-paying families shouldn’t pay this man one cent to perform his voodoo in a UW classroom,” Nass’ statement read.
Farrell said UW officials would give Barrett’s course plans a close review.
“We plan to meet with Mr. Barrett to discuss those plans, review his syllabus, his reading list and examine past supervisor and student evaluations. We expect to complete this process within 10 working days,” he said.
“Mr. Barrett is entitled to his own personal political views. But we also have an obligation to ensure that his course content is academically appropriate, of high quality, and that his personal views are not imposed on his students.”
There was no immediate response when The Associated Press left a message at a phone listing for Kevin J. Barrett on Thursday night and also tried all other similar listings for comment from him.
According to Farrell, Barrett accepted a one-semester appointment as an associate lecturer beginning Aug. 28. He termed it a 50 percent appointment with a salary of $8,247.
He said Barrett received his doctorate from UW-Madison in 2004 in African languages and literature and folklore, and has taught only one other course since that time at UW-Madison.
This fall’s course would be the first taught by Barrett on Islam at UW-Madison, he said.
Barrett also is scheduled to teach in the fall at Edgewood College, a private liberal arts college in Madison.
Ed Taylor, an Edgewood College spokesman, said Barrett was a part-time adjunct faculty member due to teach a class in the fall called “Topics in Human Issues: Challenge of Islam.”
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Source article here.
A new 9/11 free speech fight breaks out in academia targeting MUJCA Net co-founder Kevin Barrett. To the extent that this attack offers Kevin a more visible pulpit on these issues, this could be one of those little godsends that his “Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth” has long been praying for.
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