UO professor sues authors of column.
A University of Oregon sociology professor is claiming defamation and seeking $1.1 million from the authors of a column published in the New York Post last year that labeled him as anti-Semitic and listed him among six "left-wing extremists" who "indoctrinate students" through their teaching.
Adjunct professor Douglas Card names as defendants Daniel Pipes, a Middle East scholar and controversial Bush administration appointee to the U.S. Institute of Peace, and Pipes' research assistant, Jonathan Schanzer, a specialist in radical Islamic movements.
The June 25, 2002, op-ed piece remains in publication on the Web site of Campus Watch, a group Pipes formed through his Philadelphia think tank, Middle East Forum, to monitor and critique the teaching of Middle East issues.
The column, titled "Extremists on Campus," accuses Card of describing Israel as "a terrorist state" and Israelis as "baby killers" in his course. The column also claims that Card insists that his students agree in a final exam with his view that Israel "stole land."
The column claims that "leftist activism that too often passes for Middle East scholarship" creates a wave of "verbal and physical attacks" on campuses and cites four examples - none at the UO.
In his lawsuit, Card says Pipes and Schanzer are wrong about how he teaches and their column is false and defamatory. The suit, filed by Eugene lawyer David Force, says Pipes and Schanzer refused to retract their statements after Card provided proof they were wrong.
Card also claims Pipes and Schanzer tried to force him to provide names of his students and contents of his class examinations in violation of UO policy. Card also claims the authors tried to compel him to write an essay condemning political activism and expression in college classrooms in exchange for a retraction of their column.
Phone messages to Schanzer's office at The Washington Institute and to his cell phone were not returned on Monday. Two e-mails attempting to reach Pipes, one addressed to the staff of Campus Watch and another to the Middle East Forum, were not answered Monday.
However, in a letter to the editor of Jewish Review in Portland last year, Pipes and Schanzer stood behind their article. They said it was based on a complaint by one student, who got an A in Card's class. They also said character references Card collected from local Jewish leaders were "irrelevant" to their criticism.
Pipes, an outspoken critic of radical Islamic groups who espouse violence, drew criticism in the U.S. Senate after President Bush nominated him to one of eight seats on the U.S. Institute of Peace. Critics delayed his confirmation to investigate whether Pipes is anti-Muslim.
However, Bush used his presidential power to appoint Pipes without Senate confirmation during the August recess. Under the law, Pipes will serve an 18-month term under the so-called "recess appointment" and not a full four-year term. The institute, a nonpartisan independent agency established by Congress in 1984, is charged with promoting and managing the resolution of international conflict.
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|Title Annotation:||Douglas Card seeks damages after being labeled anti-Semitic and called a "left-wing extremist" in a New York newspaper; Higher Education|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Sep 16, 2003|
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