Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 6, 2005

Arab Victimized by a Biased Professor

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:31 pm

A Kuwaiti student at an American college has been attacked for his views and his ethnicity by a professor, who refused to grade his final exam, told him he needed “regular psychotherapy,” and threatened to have his student visa revoked.

No, this is not some red-state conservative professor run amok. Quite the opposite, really. Here’s an except from Ahmad Al-Qloushi’s story:

I am a 17-year-old Kuwaiti Arab Muslim and a college freshman studying in the USA. I was three years of age when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

I enrolled in Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California and immediately registered for “Introduction to American Government and Politics.”

A week before thanksgiving Professor Woolcock assigned us a take home final exam. The final exam consisted solely of one required essay: “Dye and Zeigler contend that the Constitution of the United States was not ‘ordained and established’ by ‘the people’ as we have so often been led to believe. They contend instead that it was written by a small educated and wealthy elite in America who were representative of powerful economic and political interests. 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.”

When I read the assignment I remembered back to my high school in Kuwait. Many of my teachers were Palestinian; they hated America, they hated my worldview, and they did their best to brainwash me. I did not leave my country and my family to come to the United States to receive further brainwashing. I disagreed completely with Dye and Zeigler’s thesis. I wrote an essay defending America’s Founding Fathers and upholding the US constitution as a pioneering document, which has contributed to extraordinary freedoms in America and other corners of the world – including my corner, the Middle East.

Professor Woolcock didn’t grade my essay. Instead he told me to come to see him in his office the following morning. I was surprised the next morning when instead of giving me a grade, Professor Woolcock verbally attacked me and my essay. He told me, “Your views are irrational.” He called me naïve for believing in the greatness of this country, and told me “America is not God’s gift to the world.” Then he upped the stakes and said “You need regular psychotherapy.” Apparently, if you are an Arab Muslim who loves America you must be deranged. Professor Woolcock went as far as to threaten me by stating that he would visit the Dean of International Admissions (who has the power to take away student visas) to make sure I received regular psychological treatment.

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