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July 11, 2006

On the Wichman Issue

This one is self explanatory, and shows how there is little to choose between liberals and Muslim activists. It came to yours truly in the form of a forwarded e-mail.

Looks like a small case of some people being able to dish it out, but not take it. Let's start at the top. The story begins at Michigan State University with a mechanical engineering professor named Indrek Wichman.

Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association The e-mail was in response to the students' protest of the Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The group had complained the cartoons were "hate speech." Enter Professor Wichman. In his e-mail, he said the following:

Dear Moslem Association: As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burning of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called "whores" in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France..

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile "protests."

If you do not like the values of the West -- see the 1st Amendment -- you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

Cordially, I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering"

Well! As you can imagine, the Muslim group at the university didn't like this too well. They're demanding Wichman be reprimanded and mandatory diversity training for faculty and a seminar on hate and discrimination for freshman. How nice. But now the Michigan chapter of CAIR has jumped into the fray. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, apparently doesn't believe that the good professor had the right to express his opinion.

For its part, the university is standing its ground. They say the e-mail was private, and they don't intend to publicly condemn his remarks. That will probably change. Wichman says he never intended the e-mail to be made public, and wouldn't have used the same strong language if he'd known it was going to get out.

How's the left going to handle this one? If you're in favor of the freedom of speech, as in the case of Ward Churchill, will the same protections be demanded for Indrek Wichman? I doubt it. Hey guys send this to everybody and ask them to do the same and tell them to keep passing it around till the whole country gets it. We are in a war to the bitter end.

Hat Tip: BJS

Posted by Seth at July 11, 2006 10:54 PM


First Amendment rights here are irrelevant. Why?

My problem here is that the professor used his University-provided FACULTY e-mail to contact the assocation and PLAINLY identified himself by position and department at the university he works for.

If he wants to make sweeping stereotypical judgements against a global population on his own time, through his own email, while he's representing HIMSELF, that's fine –let him make an ass of himself as so many do. But he does NOT have the right to make himself the unofficial spokesperson of his department, his fellow faculty, and his university.

You can and will (whether you ought to or not), be responsible for what you say and do publicly, separate from your profession. In the age of internet, people think their words are falling into a black void of space, when in fact, they are NOT. You should always be aware that you ARE responsible for what you say AS WELL AS WRITE and be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions. The written word lives on, long after you, and can take on a life of its own.

You can, and should, be held accountable for what you say and do when it applies to your job. Just as corporations, company office spaces, and government networks monitor their workers e-mails and hold them accountable for what they say there, the same should apply to a university staff member. University e-mail is an extension of the university workplace. Universal First Amendment rights do not apply to the workplace as anyone who has EVER held a job ought to know.

If you have private opinions to express through private communication, do NOT use your work-provided e-mail account and identify yourself by position and location at your workplace (in the opening line and signature), and then proceed to address the e-mail to an ORGANIZATION in the body text. Good grief! Use your head. Is this an example of the best and brightest brainpower MSU has to offer? I sincerely hope not.

This guy wants the leverage his position has to offer, but not the responsibility that comes along with it. Sorry pal, you don't get to have it both ways. He deserves to be publicly crucified for his plain stupidity, if not for his ignorance.

Posted by: Raquel Williams at August 12, 2006 11:09 PM

Raquel --

The extreme opinions offered by terrorist supporting personnel were registered more than plainly via a school venue. Why can't a faculty member reply via the same?

Terrorism against all non-Muslim peoples is a serious issue, we're talking 9/11 and various other affairs involving the murder of innocent people. This isn't patty cakes, babe, it's killing.

So what, exactly, is your point? Is it acceptable for on-campus Muslim organizations to use school-subsidized publications to promote mass murder, but not acceptable for faculty members to use the same to object?

Posted by: Seth at August 13, 2006 03:38 AM