Re: Juan Cole has no friends?

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Posted by PatK ( on May 26, 2002 at 15:12:02:

In Reply to: Juan Cole has no friends? posted by Vincent on May 26, 2002 at 05:48:37:

:V: You say Prof. Cole's colleagues are dismissive of his work. Which colleagues would those be--other professors of the Middle
East? Or do you just mean, the group of Baha'is who write on the faith? I don't doubt that he has few friends among *that*
group, and that your faith is all the poorer for it.

PK: Certainly, Bret's statement asserting that Prof. Cole has no friends is, both incorrect, and irrelevant. In recent months Prof Cole has made some statements, and other evidence has come to light which suggests a bias.

PK: For example, immediately after the 11 September attacks in the US, the US NSA denounced the attacks as terrorist violence.

PK: Yet, in October, Prof. Cole claimed that the US NSA was being unsupportive, and falsely asserted that the US NSA had directed Baha'is in the US not to publically recite a parayer for America.

PK: In December, the US NSA took out a full page advertisement in a New York newspaper, pointing out that the US was destined for great things.

PK: In February, after no one else has seen any directive from the US NSA, forbidding Baha'is to recite a prayer for America in public, Professor Cole then suggests that the US Baha'i administrative order really does have such a campaign to prevent Baha'is from publically reciting a prayer for America, but there is no evidence, because it is a secret campaign, using word of mouth of Auxiliary Board Members (ABMs).

PK: At this point, some might question some of the other statements that Prof. Cole has made regarding the Baha'i organization; you, Vincent, may be not so inclined and that is understandable.

PK: It is regrettable if some have gone overboard on Prof. Cole; he has risked his life for the Baha'i Faith pioneering to Lebanon during the civil war there, and he has done a lot of translation work and advocated for the Baha'is in Iran. Over the past few years he has been critical of the Baha'i organization. Though some of it may have been well deserved, at this point it seems clear to me that some of Prof. Cole's criticisms of the Baha'i organization are made with no factual basis at all, and even despite the facts which indicate the opposite of what he is claiming. When such things are done at a time of national crisis, they tend to evoke the more visceral responses, as they seem to try to capitalize on tragedy to advance an argument which lacks factual merits.

PK: Please pardon Bret for his comment about "no friends". I think he is alluding to things like the exchange I described above, and even I would not infer that Professor Cole has no friends. He does have friends.

PK: Bret, please shape up.

- Pat

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