Bill Donohue comments on media reaction to a speech given by Georgetown professor Jonathan Brown on February 7:
Two weeks ago today, a professor from Georgetown University publicly rose to the defense of slavery and rape, and not a single major media outlet—with the exception of a blogger on the Washington Post website and a brief posting on foxnews.com—has said a word about it. The absence of outrage is not hard to figure out: Jonathan Brown’s defense was limited to Islam.
Brown, a convert to Islam, holds an endowed chair in Islamic studies at Georgetown. The Jesuit-run institution has a wealthy benefactor in Saudi Arabia, a nation which bans Christianity. How sweet.
What did Georgetown get from this arrangement? Money, and a lot of it. Twelve years ago, Saudi Arabia wrote a check to the Jesuit-run institution for $20 million; it went to support the school’s Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, run by Brown. And what did Saudi Arabia get from this peculiar “understanding”? Legitimacy.
The fruit from this decayed tree is now apparent. Georgetown now employs a tenured professor who defends slavery and rape, provided the slavemasters and rapists are Muslims. This is apparently Georgetown’s idea of diversity. It also shows how phony the school is. Why all the handwringing about Georgetown’s ownership of American slaves in the 19th century when it employs defenders of slavery today?
Brown’s position was not made in the heat of debate. If anything his comments were well prepared: they were delivered at the Islamic Institute for Islamic Thought. After being criticized by some, he tried to walk it back, offering a lame Tweet that meant nothing.
“As a category, as a conceptual category that exists throughout states and trans-historically,” Brown said clumsily, “there’s no such thing as slavery.” It gets better. “I don’t think you can talk about slavery in Islam until you realize that there is no such thing as slavery.”
It is not certain what Brown would say to slaves in Mauritania and Somalia today—they are owned by their Muslim masters. Would he tell them to stop promoting fake news? Would he tell them that slavery is a mirage? Would he tell them that they are delusional? Better yet, would he switch places with them?
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