Saturday, April 02, 2005

Horowitz and the SAF still riding that al-Qloushi horse.

You remember one of David Horowitz's academic anti-conservative bias poster children, Ahmad al-Qloushi, don't you? The one who turned in a worthless, piece of crap essay and complained when it was graded accordingly? Apparently, neither Horowitz nor his devoted disciples, the Students for Academic Freedom, are prepared to give up on Ahmad -- they must figure they can get a few more miles out of him.

How else to explain this spectacularly stupid March 31 piece by Horowitz and the SAF's Sara Dogan, published at the SAF web site. And the best part of that article is that it makes all of Horowitz, al-Qloushi and the SAF look even more dishonest than ever (if that's even physically possible).

Let's have some fun and deconstruct the stupidity, a little at a time (emphasis lovingly added for maximum embarrassment). First, here's Dogan in her overview:

The final straw came when the class was instructed to complete a take-home final exam which asked students to “Analyze the US constitution (original document), and show how its formulation excluded the majority of the people living in America at that time, and how it was dominated by America's elite interest.” Ahmad chose to write an essay defending America’s Founding Fathers and upholding the Constitution as a progressive document which has contributed to freedom beyond America's borders.

And as some of you may recall, this was kind of the problem -- that Ahmad simply didn't answer the question. But apparently, conservatives are above that sort of thing. Anyway, onward, to where the accused, Professor James Woolcock, in his denial, reveals a few eye-opening details about what really happened, and how he actually worked pretty hard at accommodating al-Qloushi:

In mid-November 2004, Ahmad al-Qloushi came to see me at my request to discuss the outline of his Final Research Paper assignment in the course: “Introduction to American Government & Politics.” He had failed to write the mid-term assignment ...

Ooooooh. That's not good, and I don't remember anyone mentioning that in any earlier articles. That's kind of an important detail, dontcha think? The fact that al-Qloushi already has a track record for not getting his work done. Anyway, let's continue.

... and had chosen to write his final paper on a topic we both agreed would be a challenge for him. Recognizing that he would have difficulty completing the assignment, I offered him the opportunity to write his paper on a less challenging topic from the mid-term assignment list of topics. We agreed that should he take up the offer, I would not only discount the points he failed to earn at mid-term, but I would also work with him on the outline, and on the review of a draft copy of the paper before he submitted it for grading. Mr. al-Qloushi agreed to do that. However, he turned in his final written assignment without returning for the assistance which we had agreed on earlier. When I read the paper, it became clear to me that it did not respond to the question.

And yet another little-known bit of the story -- that al-Qloushi didn't keep his promise on how this essay was going to be completed. My, but little Ahmad is being an irresponsible little wingnut, isn't he? And on we go, as Woolcock continues:

In late November, after grading all final papers, I asked Mr. al-Qloushi to come and discuss with me the grade. During this meeting, I sought from him his reasons for reneging on our earlier agreement. In response, he expressed in great detail, concerns and feelings of high anxiety he was having about certain developments which had occurred over ten years ago in his country. Some aspects of his concerns were similar to certain concerns expressed in his paper.

Based on the nature of the concerns and the feelings of high anxiety which he expressed, I encouraged him to visist one of the college counselors. I neither forced nor ordered Mr. al-Qloushi to see a counselor; I have no authority to do so. My suggestion to him was a recommendation he freely chose to accept and which he acknowledged in an e-mail message to me on December 1, 2004.

And, finally, it's all clear. According to Woolcock, he recommended counselling for al-Qloushi, not because of the contents of his paper, but because of al-Qloushi's admitted anxiety over historical events in his country. In short, Horowitz and the SAF's accusations all this time were total rubbish. But it's Ahmad's attempts at a defense that leave one howling with laughter:

My complaint is not about how technically good or bad I am as a student. If I failed that class based on my performance, then so be it.

Yes, Ahmad -- if you failed because of your abysmal scholarship, then suck it up, take it like a man and shut the fuck up about it, and stop being such a whiner. Oh, wait, wait, Ahmad isn't done yet:

I wrote my midterm but was not permitted to turn it in because it was two hours late. That’s fair enough.

Uh, yeah, I'll say that's fair. And that's your defense? Mother of God, but Ahmad is a pathetic little whiner, isn't he, as he finally admits how he just screwed up. But, apparently, it's not his fault. When it comes to crybaby conservatives, it's never their fault, is it?

No comments: