I've been hammering Columbia University's president Lee Bollinger for probably more than a year. He's made messier what was already a mess out of Middle East studies, and that is because he seemed to be intimidated by both the persona of Edward Said and Said's ghost. The University's offerings (including Barnard) are intellectually so shabby that two of this year's tenure candidates are already the laughing stocks of the field. One of the tenure hopefuls, Joseph Massad is a bigoted nutcase. (He's the one who denies in his new book that there are gays in the Arab/Muslim orbit.) Amidst this detritus sits Rashid Khalidi who tries to be a responsible scholar. But that's hard to be when your university is the ideological center of Palestinian nationalism. An honest scholar would have a better chance of getting an honest hearing at Al Quds.
In any case, Hamid Dabashi, professor of Iranian studies and comparative studies at Columbia, has said that Bollinger reeks of "mind-numbing racism" and that his introduction of A'jad was "propaganda warfare...waged by the self-proclaimed moral authority of the United States."
This news from the Columbia campus was reported earlier this month in the Sun. It was not reported in the Times.