What can a 19-year-old guy in jogging shorts do at Harvard that a rich Saudi sheik who sponsors terrorism can’t?
Get banned from the building.
Six times a week, Harvard kicks all the guys out of the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center at the request of the Harvard Islamic Society. This is to accommodate those female Muslim students whose faith won’t let them work out in front of men.
In the old days, Harvard would have laughed if some Catholic or evangelical mother urged “girls-only” campus workouts in the name of modesty. Today, Harvard happily implements Sharia swim times in the name of Mohammed.
At Harvard, that’s called progress.
When I asked Harvard spokesman Bob Mitchell about this new Sharia-friendly policy, he denied that they were banning anyone. “No, no,” he told me, “we’re permitting women to work out in an environment that accommodates their religion.”
By banning all men from the facility, right?
“It’s not ‘banning,’ ” he insisted. “We’re allowing, we’re accommodating people.”
The Harvard story, broken by the intrepid staff at Boston University’s Daily Free Press, is sadly par for the liberal campus course. U-Cal Berkeley is working on a joint program with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, which practices religious and sexual discrimination. The Archbishop (and arch-liberal) of Canterbury has called for Britain to accommodate Sharia law.
But despite stiff competition, when it comes to “allowing” anti-Semitism and the promotion of terrorist violence, the over-achievers at Harvard still stand out.
When John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were looking for a place to publish their “beware the Jewish lobby” propaganda, they found willing partners at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
And who invited former Iranian president Mohammed Khatemi to speak on the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11? Who else? Not only is he a lifelong member of the murderous Khomeini regime, but Khatemi helped create and develop Hezbollah.
There are institutes of over-the-road trucking and schools of straight chiropractic that wouldn’t have allowed him on campus. But at Harvard, he’s an honored guest.
And then there’s that ultimate FOH (Friend of Harvard) Sheik Al Waleed bin Talal.
This Saudi sheik stroked a check for $20 million to promote the study of Islam. Harvard took the check, no questions asked.
They didn’t ask, for example, about bin Talal’s gift of nearly $30 million to a fund for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Knowing their kin will benefit financially is an inducement to young people planning to blow themselves up in Tel Aviv pizza parlors, and Sheik bin Talal made sure the money was there.
Nor did they ask about the TV company bin Talal owns, where the watchdog group MEMRI has tracked broadcasts of everything from open calls for martyrdom by children to lessons on the proper methods of wife-beating.
For a campus with a Sharia-friendly record like Harvard’s, mandating single-sex pilates is no big deal.
It would be nice to think that there were still a few liberals or feminists with the good sense – or sense of decency – to be embarrassed by all this. This is, after all, the same college that sued to keep military recruiters off campus over the issue of gay rights.
Perhaps someone in the bin Talal Islamic Studies Program could let Harvard know what the sheik’s pals in Saudi Arabia actually do to gay people. It’s worse than just banning them from the weight room.