Why a Georgetown Professor Called Me a ‘Rabid’, ‘Vapid’ Occidentalist Moron

If you want to get to the good stuff, you can skip this first bit. But that will make me sad.

Some people think about what they’ll be having for dinner later. Others think of ways to be as sustainable as possible in their day to day lives. Some people think about the travesty of Big Bird losing his job while others consider their daily calorie intake. Me? I think about the character of modern imperialist warfare and the media that has become an irrevocable part of the military-industrial complex.

In particular, I think a lot about drones.

Sad times in London, folks. Not post-Naked Royals scandals.

Two years ago, as a teaching assistant, I had the opportunity to teach conferences for a undergraduate class looking at the causes of major war through the realist lens. The class focused on WWI, but our conversations would often – intentionally by my design – go into discuss the nature of modern war. Considering how at the time I was quite concerned with the increase in drone warfare, beyond Northern Pakistan, I often wouldask my students to consider drones as not only a part of the new age of war but the future of war. Since WWII, warfare has been concerned with victory by any means necessary – and these ‘means’, unfortunately, always necessitate large scale destruction. WWII transformed war from one just between soldiers and in the trenches to a war in which a civilian was as much the enemy as a combatant – and there were no restrictions to where your weapons could shoot, where your bombs could fall. Of course now we have the Geneva conventions and all that wonderful international law stuff that keeps many academics and lawyers employed, but paper and practice differ greatly. And, of course, there’s a huge discrepancy in how non-state actors participate in war and how they are depicted as well – ‘insurgents’, ‘militants’ and ‘terrorists’. As the famous Charles Tilly thesis goes – the state has the authority and monopoly over violence only because it has used it at such a grand scale for so long that it has created its own authority and this monopoly. When really, he posits, they’re just thugs.

So while the past seven decades have seen the full mechanization of war as well as the blurring of lines between civilian and soldier, the past decade has increased not only this blur but has diminished the differences between a legitimate target and an illegitimate target. There’s also the issue of how we define other terms – such as insurgency versus resistance, terrorist versus freedom fighter versus guerilla. And of course the definitions that win out, in our books, are the definitions held by the state powers and structures that wield great influence and hold that monopoly on grand scale violence. Drones are the future of warfare- they fully disconnect man from ‘his kill’, which is just an image on a screen that he sees from an ocean or two away. And for some reason we are unwilling to call US drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia what they are – acts of war. Nothing more or less.

Uh, so that’s generally what I think about these days.

Anyway. So, onto the topic of this post. Instead of writing it all out, I will present you with all the delightful proofs in the form of tweets. The tweets begin with how it all started and there will be commentary throughout. I tried to get them in as much chronological order as possible, so apologies if it may seem disjointed at times. Enjoy.

[It’s right here if you’re interested in torture]

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256183815406485505

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256184101768404992

Should be noted that here I meant my Pakistani family across Pakistan. I do not have family in FATA/SWAT/Waziristan/Northern Pakistan. I was making a reference to how she seems to imply that she has more concern for ‘all other’ Pakistanis (which would include my entire family, of course) than me.

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256184479067041793

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256186620867379201

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256184634315005952

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256186096961064960

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256185915540647936

I’ll admit I was harsh. But …I think it’s a little more harsh to support drone strikes. 

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256186424183906304

Looked at myself in the mirror today and thought “you sexy occidentalist you”.

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256186311029964801

Yes. She went there.

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256186809158098946

Fair is referencing the LivingUnderDrones report that recently was released. She disagrees with every report out there it seems that makes any mention of civilian casualties. 

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256186974208135169

Somewhere in the background ..Duran Duran is playing.

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256187530586763265

And this just got even more weird. 

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256187764410814465

Back to my “family” in “FATA”.

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256188493246652416

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256187979066904576

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256188202325524480

https://twitter.com/CChristineFair/status/256189968848941057

After that, Dr. Christine Fair of Georgetown University blocked me. All my jokes aside, I was floored by her sheer incompetence, her quick resort to lies and ad hominems and her complete lack of decency and professionalism. If this is an example of the intellectual and academic support for drone warfare – the case against it is already made. I’m a writer and humorist with an academic background. I currently have no professional associations. She is  an assistant professor at Georgetown, a fellow at the Center for Counter-Terrorism at Westpoint and former UN political officer on Afghanistan. Amongst much else. But see – Dr. Fair’s career rests on war. Despite being part of a ‘peace and security’ department, her focus is now war. War is now very profitable for everyone willing to shill ethics, their decency and the dignity of others for it.

What took me back even more was being called an ..”occidentalist.” It was incredibly funny to me but I couldn’t laugh because the hilarity shook my brain until I had a mental concussion. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, it esentially is the subaltern (i.e. brown, wsup) version of the Orientalist. As the Orientalist depicts and fantasizes about the “Orient” in stereotypes and the gaze of power (key here, will expand in a bit), the Occidentialist does the same but towards the Occident ..or ..”The West”.

In other words, she just pulled the reverse racism card on me.

No. That’s not how it works, Christine.  If you’re going to specialize on a region such as AFPAK/India (she doesn’t, by the way, specialize at all in FATA) I highly suggest you brush up on how power relations and racism work. Fair’s justification for calling me an “Occidentialist” was that I was apparently claiming to speak on behalf of all Pakistanis/Muslims (same thing) because …I wear the hijab. In other words, she reduces my comments and opinions to my headscarf. Fantastic. But here’s the problem. An Occidentialist doesn’t ‘claim’ to represent all those of the “Orient” (remember Occidentalist is from the Orient, stay with me). An Occidentialist stereotypes and imagines the Occident in a way that is, arguably, ‘harmful’. Where did I do that? Not only does, thus, Fair cuss at me and offer no actual evidence aside from her own visits to FATA (where no one can get in, according to her Stream interview) but her insult is a misuse of a word. So, she doesn’t even know what Occidentalism (let alone irony) is, but is grounded enough in her own grandeur that she just wants to use it against me. Unless she meant I was an Occidentalist for another reason. Why? Why does she call me an occidentalist and a racist? Maybe because I pointed out [her] white privileged politics and war strategy. The irony compels me. She talks about how Foucault says stuff (she never clarified what) about Occidentalism, whereas while I had no idea where he has this discussion – a Foucault enthusiast informed me that he never uses the word.

Her only responses were either insults or, ultimately, blocking me. She called me a troll, yet for every one tweet I sent ..she would send 3 or 4. I couldn’t even post them all because I became confused with the chronology as well after the first two. I also readily admit I didn’t offer exactly much debate in my responses to her – I became very disinterested in that as soon as I saw her tone and her responses. I’m a writer, a humorist – not a Georgetown assistant professor.

And she never answered me if she would support drone strikes in Pakistan’s north if even one American life was at risk for being killed. Why doesn’t she? Because American life is far more precious than Pakistani; that American would be completely innocent. Maybe an aid worker. A journalist. But Pakistanis, innocent civilians, killed in a drone strike? They do not exist, according to Fair who chooses to take PK/US government talking points over untrustworthy media outlets and numerous think tanks, academics and reports. It is not possible for a civilian to die in a drone strike and if it is ..well, some things are just tragic. But let’s be utilitarian about this ..unless the victim is one of ‘ours’.

Some will ask why I bothered to engage her further by writing this post. Truth is – she’s an educator. She’s an educator in a field that has an actual impact on American foreign policy and warfare. She is teaching and she is publishing. This woman is teaching people how to think like her, see the region and the issues through her lens. I’ve read Fair before and while I didn’t agree with her all the time, I appreciated her work and even had thought about approaching her for a chapter in a book I was working on. Then I began seeing the problems clearly. What had always bothered me about her became more apparent and then I found the article on why drones are the best worst option for dealing with ‘terrorists’ in Pakistan.

I wrote this piece and compiled these tweets so that if any of her students decide to search for her name on Google at any point, they can be potentially led to this post and see in what kind of a war monger’s hands their education lies.

 

Update: This is her current Twitter avatar. I, uh, wow.

29 thoughts on “Why a Georgetown Professor Called Me a ‘Rabid’, ‘Vapid’ Occidentalist Moron

  1. so i have a few questions (non-CFair related, so please avoid tagging me with that violent nut!)

    1. Why is the notion that state A values its citizens more than it values state B’s so appalling? Every state does it. Every state’s done that for ages. As President of state A, your duty is to the people of state A. They’re the ones who elected you and they’re the ones under your guardianship. This is an assumption/question that’s come up a lot over the past 2 years or so with regards to drones. It’s a reality not only of international politics but of human nature as a whole.

    2. There was an appropriate comment on a guardian piece a few days ago, where someone said that the only way for there to be minimal or zero civilian casualties in drone attacks would be if the taliban extricated themselves from civilians, and lived in houses with a big X marked on the roofs. I’m not excusing drone attacks here (and I do believe that Obama’s administration has taken a far, far more negligent and disinterested view in preventing civilian casualties re: drone attacks), but the reality on the ground seems to be that in order to take out a high-value member of the taliban, it’s invariable that civilians will be part of “collateral damage.” The Obama administration’s attempt at (legally) justifying this collateral damage by way of terming everyone a militant surrounding HVT is unbelievably ridiculous, so I’m not defending that. I’m just saying that it seems like a (terrible) ground reality.

    3. If not drones, then what? Again, I’m not trying to be jarring or obtuse here, but the US/NATO will never acquiesce to sending in SEAL teams or Marines into FATA (even if, first of all, allowed by the Pakistan army). I think effective ground operations are out of the question as such, no? I mean sure, you can negate drones by getting the Saudi Arabia to stop routing money to Wahhabi madrassas and creating future fodder, by getting the ISI to ease up on its tacit support of terrorism in Punjab and Kashmir, by getting the military institution in Pakistan to ease up on how badly they want a Pashtun led Afghanistan that favours Pakistan, by getting India to ease up on their machinations in Afghanistan which scare the Pakistani military, by getting Pakistan to embrace a culture of tolerance which relegates the violent side of religion to the sidelines, by getting all interested parties in Afghanistan to drop their weapons and engage in political battles, by offering Afghan warlords enough to keep them happy and to develop their lands and provinces enough that they don’t feel a need to keep their people under their thumb via social regression, by getting the US to leave Afghanistan and focus more on altering their WoT policies and implementing a greater diplomacy than resorting to drone strikes constantly, by creating a narrative, or an isolated narrative, by getting the US to adopt a more reasonable stance vis-a-vis the Palestinian question, by getting the US to either educate or work to ease the irrational fears of crazy fundos in KSA with respect to military presence in the kingdom, and by, well, i don’t know, making the world a much happier place.

  2. I appreciate and get your well-thought out piece, Sana, and it’s really a pity that a professor can’t be more professional. I would also think that in response to question 3 in the comments and drones more generally, that given that so many of them are being used (and so many people — militants or civilians) continue to be killed, and “the problem” isn’t going away, that would suggest to me that the solution (drones killing people, militant and civilian) is not an effective solution. I am also uncomfortable with the idea of drones being used to kill militants, let alone civilians, tens of thousands of miles away from the US. since when did extrajudicial killing in a supraterritorial war become an accepted norm? where is the geneva conventions? in wars prior to this, people were judged combatants or not, by their uniforms, by their declarations, by their being in an army, etc. in this situation, “intelligence” (obtained by ??) is declaring people guilty of being combatants without any of the usual signs. it is covert. it is like a war run by the CIA (which is what it is …).

  3. I never comment on blogs but a response to the first post, why should a state not care more for its own civilians, is needed – Yes they do and yes it’s wrong, it’s that’s why it’s called racism and xenophobia and that’s why the Geneva Conventions exist to protect (in theory at least) ALL civilians in times of war, not just those on “our” side

  4. I CAN’T BELIEVE her and that she’s a freggin Georgetown Uni Professor? I would send this stream to the president and say, um what kind of idiots do you have teaching your students? Totally inappropriate of her as a professor, secondly as a human being.

  5. Salaam alaykum, I thought this might be something serious, not just a flamewar on twitter, get a life, do something real do khidmat and make tauba not useless mind production electronic versions of MTV’s real world and the housewives of academia combined. , you wasted my time reading your tweets and it left me thinking anyone who takes their tweets too serious is a twit. Plus, how can it be a fair debate/exchange if you get to add explanations to your tweets and your adversary can’t

  6. Oh and akhi–thanks for passing judgment on my khidmat and imaan. MashAllah. God preserve you.

    Secondly–I’m not sure why you’re still living in 2008, but tweets for us in media/academia/policy etc are actually important for our work. It’s a great source of information as well as a communication bridge. Twitter is used by writers, politicians, teachers, musicians, activists across the world for good exchanges but all you can apparently see are tweets about dinner

    If you also don’t see anything serious about a leading academic in the field of south Asian studies making bigoted statements at a detractor then we’ve got other issues.

    I did however appreciate the pop culture references.

  7. I see that you are quick to assume the worst in others and respond emotionally and negatively to their comments, I did not pass judgement on your imam ( your faith) I gave advice concerning Amal ( action) and I would ask God to guide all of us to actions that are beneficial , away from actions that only feed our egos but do not benefit anyone. Thanks for the disrespect and insults by considering my knowledge “dated” and backwards ” living in 2008″ nice way of deflecting instead of dealing with the real issue is that you chose to publicize and add to an electronic argument from only your side. This is reprehensible from an academic standpoint and shows a lack of integrity. Someday I do hope you grow up. If you want to make a difference how about doing something to end the affliction facing Malla Yousufzai and other women like her. That I would respect and I would support your efforts and tweets in doing so. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/asia/the-girl-on-the-schoolbus/

  8. Where was I emotional and making assumptions about your character?
    You are making assumptions on what I do without knowing anything about me; you are the one assuming I am on some ego trip. What?

    Miles and shoes, miles and shoes.

    If you do not benefit from this discussion then khalas, you can simply leave. If you wish to give naseeha, then do so privately. Otherwise, take heed to your own advice.

  9. Fair ends up acquitting herself really badly in this exchange, but so do you. I’d be somewhat surprised if you didn’t eventually end up looking back at this blog post and feel really embarrassed.

    Also, my best guess at her “Occidentalist” remark is that she was upset that you trivialized her already poorly-argued views based on her race.

  10. I agree with Mark that the twitter war itself wasn’t very productive. You were both calling each other names.
    The difference however is that Christine Fair is a professor at Georgetown’s school of Foreign Service. She is training the future leaders of America.

  11. Mark and Nizar,

    I never claimed a higher ground – but I didn’t get racist with her either. I eventually called out her white privilege politics and if that’s racist, then we should probably revisit the definition of racism as well as her complete lack of knowledge of how race/power relations work. Nor did I say this was productive. Or meant to be productive. Productivity would have been had she reconsidered her position and been all “Oh Sana. Thank you for providing a good discussion on Twitter as to why my pro-drone position is war mongering. That’s not cool. Or productive to, you know, peace and security.” Or that I would have reconsidered mine. That’s productive debate – when an opposing idea is entertained seriously at the cost of one’s own position and interest.

    I posted a link to a war mongering piece that she wrote, in the most matter-of-fact tone, and linked her just so that she’d know her support for drone warfare is not okay and that she is what she is – a war monger. Someone said this is an insult I used, to which my only response is Well, yes – I can’t imagine being a war hawk as something positive.

    I tried to engage her for a couple of tweets, but she accused me of Taliban apologia and not caring for the countless Pakistanis killed by militants/members of the Pakistani Taliban. She was also sending me 3 tweets for every one I sent. I didn’t post them all and you can go to her Twitter to see them all if you’d like.

    An excerpt fro my post above that you may have seemed to have missed:

    “Her only responses were either insults or, ultimately, blocking me. She called me a troll, yet for every one tweet I sent ..she would send 3 or 4. I couldn’t even post them all because I became confused with the chronology as well after the first two. I also readily admit I didn’t offer exactly much debate in my responses to her – I became very disinterested in that as soon as I saw her tone and her responses. I’m a writer, a humorist – not a Georgetown assistant professor.”

    I have no regrets here. This is my personal account that I use primarily for humor. I’m also an academic and researcher – so if I need to be productive, I know how – don’t worry. I wasn’t interested in being productive with someone who clearly had no intention of being challenged.

    I do, however, find it troublesome that from a handful of people I’ve received equal blame as Fair when she made ridiculous and bigoted statements about me (completely lying about what I had said, trying to make me into a bigot) and wasn’t interested in anything serious, just trolling. You don’t have to ask me this – please ask anyone else who tried to seriously engage her that night or the next day. Nizar, she jumped on you for just pointing out something someone else said about her in your class. She called you an idiot. Any phD/professor who tried, she just accused them of being unable to see beyond the cloak of AJE (what?) or of Taliban apologia. I have no interest in taking anyone seriously who lies about knowing what the people of FATA want. She lied about her ‘research’ in FATA – she’s never conducted research there, just visited. It’s not even her area of study. So, why again should I engage with her seriously when academic/intellectual/human integrity seemed to mean so little to her? I have no regrets in calling out her white privilege politics – it does, after all, take that sort of privilege to make the deaths of racialized innocents okay, even if so very few in her eyes, in the face of getting alleged militants (who are not confirmed as such). And she was, without any hesitation, pulling a White Benevolent Woman card. She was also being imperialist and orientalist. If these are insults and NOT descriptions of her ideas and demeanor, theI have no problem apologizing and admiting my mistakes. I have no pride at stake, and care very little for it any way. But to put equal blame on me with Fair is just dishonest and ignoring the power relations at play both in terms of authority and race. I mean, she used my headscarf to point to my supposed bigotry. I used her age old colonial/imperialist rhetoric to point out her…imperialist orientalism and white privilege. I can be blamed for many things, such as even engaging at all with her manic self, but certainly not in equal terms.

  12. Well, yeah, it’s obvious that your exchange/subsequent blog post wasn’t intended to be productive. I’m not sure why you see this as a defense of your post rather than another source of reproach. The criticism isn’t “you should be more transparent about the nature of your catty twitter sparring,” it’s “you shouldn’t be proudly engaging in or publicizing your catty twitter sparring.”

    If you think you were honestly trying to engage her, I’d say you’re kidding yourself. You were combative and dismissive from the start, and Fair, even had she been a sane person, would’ve been within her rights to not take you seriously.

    Your accusations of her views springing from her white privilege are really tenuous and speculative. I don’t really see what else to say about it, since you seem to speak of the matter as if it’s self-evident. But there are more ways to self-justify nationalism/militarism than racism.

    Finally, your characterization of the hijab remark is inaccurate. She wasn’t “reducing” your views to a hijab or using it to point out your bigotry, so I don’t know where you’re coming from with that.

  13. Yes this exchange should be sent to the President of the University, perhaps also to AAUP and anyone else who should (and even might actually) care about the blatant racism and bigotry exhibited by Fair – surprised to find she has do many supporters here, the academic loaves and fishes will work their magic and produce that impossible creature “pro-drone Pakistani”

  14. You don’t think it takes a special kind of privilege to speak on behalf of racialized bodies as to what’s best for them? Or to weigh the importance of their lives versus your own farcical security concerns? And you don’t think her saying I was pretending to speak on behalf of ALL Muslims (I don’t know where I do that) based on my wearing the hijab is problematic? I never in my previous comment said she reduced my views – no, she just that that somehow made me think I was entitled to think and speak on behalf of all Muslims. Yeah, no reductionism there let alone manipulation of what I had and hadn’t said. Of course I was dismissive of her from that first tweet – did you read the article posted? I mention how I did have respect for her once so very long ago and I still am not dismissive of her past research/scholarship. You assume much. I’m not going to ask someone outright supporting destruction and violence, on Twitter no less, to engage in a meaningful conversation. No. Sorry. I’m going to call you out. If you, Mark, have an issue with this then well that’s another issue.

    I also suggest that you look at her other tweets which are far more explicitly bigoted/racist – such as her making fun of black slavery. But hey. That might also be tenuous and speculative.

    And yes, thank you for calling it ‘catty’.

    Also, you may not see it as so – but I do think it’s productive, at the very least, to call a spade a spade and to show, as I mention, the sort of intellectual support behind drone warfare. I wrote this piece out for a reason, which I make clear and judging from the overwhelming response to the article itself and the discussions it has prompted regarding the military-industrial-academia complex, I have no regrets or qualms about what I posted. That and a few people have contacted me about forwarding this to the dean of the department.

    Of course you are entitled to your opinions and thoughts as am I, in my personal blog. Indeed, how dare I use my personal blog space as I wish.

    In peace.

  15. What everyone needs to realize is that Sana’s remarks, though a tad aggressive, were based on some degree of awareness regarding Fair’s stance on the topic. In essence, they are rooted in awareness. What is deeply troubling is that Fair’s reaction was purely based on a series of presuppositions that cannot be substantiated solely through Sana’s tweets. For instance, the comment regarding Sana being a Taliban sympathizer was completely uncalled for. The questions posed earlier by Sana should have warranted substantive answers but they only spurred very childlike and defensive remarks. It is obvious that Fair cannot be taken seriously as a level-headed academic.

  16. I think my brain just collapsed in on itself.

    To Lone Star’s thoughtful comments, I would like to add:

    1) In the long duree of history the distinction between civilian and the combatant has never been particularly sharp. Consider the Mongol invasions of Iran where certain cities, on the virtue of their leader’s decisions were sacked, pillaged, and massacred. I’ve similarly never come across a reference that distinguishes between civilian and combatant in the kind of way the modern discourse on war does.

    2) Secondly, is anyone actually on the street interviewing Pakistanis, or heck even living there? I mean forget FATA, but what about in Peshawar, or even in Lahore. Is anyone polling people, carrying out focus groups etc.,? Culling through the Urdu and Pashto press on a daily basis and watching the myriad of Urdu channels, interviewing bazaar-wallahs, the anemic-lefitists, the society ladies who alternate between the latest sushi bars and spending 12 hours administering non-profit schools? the jolly generals and variety of people in between.

    We all here speak from a place of privilege and remove we must recognize that. I really just want people to shut their traps and go live there for a year before passing comments about what is happening in Pakistan and what Pakistanis think (and preferably not sitting at the Serena or Gymkhana). I’m increasingly wary about people whose qualifications begin and end at having a PhD in South Asian studies or enough Pakistan entry stamps on their Pakistani or non Pakistani passports.

    Sana, also, you should know better than to engage with idiots like this. The woman did her Masters in Public Policy.

  17. Salaam Alaikum,

    This happened on the same day that, in my work, an email was circulated informing us that we should not identify ourselves as employees of our organisation on social media and should be very careful about what we wrote concerning work matters. In short, if I behaved like this in a social media capacity linked to my day job, I’d be sacked.

    Fair didn’t owe Sana any answers, if she wanted to, she could have ignored and blocked. To instead launch into such racist nastiness… She sees a Muslimah on twitter as worthy of only contempt, I’m not surprised she’s pro drones, she comes across as the sort of person who views fewer Muslims on earth as a good thing. Surely, her employers cannot be impressed with her behaviour.

    Sana – as a side note, the fact that attitudes like Fair’s show that is the brown, most “othered” Muslims who are deemed as troublesome and disposable, is exactly why I’m so uncomfortable with the white “progressive” types getting all the media gigs, it’s just another of eliminating “scary” Muslims.

  18. Um, you did say (in your blog post) that she reduced your views: “In other words, she reduces my comments and opinions to my headscarf.” Anyway, Christine understood you to be implying some special expertise on Pakistani popular sentiment re: drones based on your affiliation group(s). Her hijab comment was a simple denial of that perceived claim. It’s hard to see how that constitutes some terribly problematic reduction of identity rather than mundane synecdoche. Seriously, “you are not entitled to speak on behalf of a large group” is the opposite of reductionism, even if it’s a dumb thing to say in context based on a separate misunderstanding.

    It definitely takes some privilege to lobby for any military action that puts civilian lives at risk (but not one’s own). But I don’t think it’s so clear-cut Fair’s particular sense of privilege is racial in character by default. I couldn’t find her Tweets mocking slavery.

    I guess my general response to the rest of what you said is that you could’ve written a good article about Fair’s already crazy and prolific Twitter activity without muddying the waters with additional pettiness.

  19. ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm “Her hijab comment was a simple denial of that perceived claim.”
    yeah no, a basic understanding in race politics would inform you that what she was doing there was blatantly racist. Synechdoche for what? that somehow her wearing a hijab constitutes her entire ‘muslim womanness’ are you shitting me? She DID write a good article. It wasn’t petty. It was personal. Because the personal IS political.

  20. Synecdoche for being a Muslim woman who identifies with the people being targeted by drones. I’m not sure why you think synecdoche implies “constitution.” Like, obviously no one thinks that wearing a hijab is the one and only part of being a Muslim woman. Could you be a little clearer?

  21. Whoops, that got cut off early. Anyway, I just wanted to propose a compromise: it was personal, political and petty all at the same time.

  22. I agree I was being condescending. I think it’s O.K. to be impatient with people who think that shouting cryptic slogans is a substitute for being clear.

  23. There is not a consences on drone strikes even in Pakistan. We Muslims need to stop lambasting and blaming others and take some responsibility and examine our actions and behaviors that have caused or contributed to the problems we are having. Before attacking prof Fair, maybe we/you should read another Pakistani opinion on this issue. The whole opinion piece is not that long but the section on the potential increase in civilian deaths if instead of drone strikes the Pakistan army was used to reign in the militants deserves contemplation by all .

    How many Malalas does it take?
    By Dr Tariq RahmanPublished: October 15, 2012

    tariq.rahman@tribune.com.pk
    Malala, the innocent girl who struggled for continuing her education when her native Swat was ruled by Maulana Fazlullah’s faction of the Taliban, lies between life and death. However, after a long time, there is some sign of life among the country’s opinion-makers — and not just the liberals! So, does it take an attack on an innocent girl to awaken our collective conscience? Or is even this an evanescent phenomenon? How many more Malalas will it take for our public to change its mind about the militant groups who are associated with the Taliban?

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/451486/how-many-malalas-does-it-take/

  24. holy mother of—-that was the mother load—sana, i don’t blame you for losing it–i would have too, because perhaps you care too much about innocent lives lost–clearly, from the responses above, it seems you need to be more “academic” than “passionate” in your response—yes, your tweets ended up being a knee jerk reaction, and for anyone with half a brain, they were full of sarcasm which was easily understood.

    the way i understood the problem and i am by no means a bloody academic —

    1) drones are bad
    2) they kill innocents
    3) apparently, those same people who are getting killed want drone attacks (which btw is a grand sweeping statement) that somehow everyone in FATA is in support of the drone attacks
    4) oh and you being a hijabi you own the rights to speak on behalf of all muslims/

    I hope i have everything loaded in the above bullets:D (pun intended)

    Now, i wouldn’t dismiss that there maybe support for drone attacks, but it still doesn’t mean people are somehow okay with getting killed—
    the problem with her bigoted views is the kind of audience base she has and the ability to shape people’s minds—she is in a place of authority—and with higher levels of authority, comes a higher level of responsibility…

    i whole-heartedly agree you should send this to the dean of the university—
    I also know you to be more capable to dissect her argument/tweets in a more academic way (but, really what’s the point, she already blocked you and it isn’t like she was willing to engage in an intellectual debate—i am surprised she is a grown woman –no seriously i was shocked)–like you said: call a spade a spade—she was being extremely racist, rude and a war monger –i commend your courage to call her out on it and to the person above who claimed that this was a waste of your “khidmat”—the fact that this can turn up on google and her students can see it, means you have at least potentially offered an alternate view perhaps on an otherwise revered and trusted professor

  25. Loved the read! Nevertheless you know that you are not really surprised by the “Rabidness” (sorry I had to) of the post-modern orientalists! I study with some here at IU, and their attempts to demean the “orient” – just as their imperialist foreFATHERS have done for centuries – will not cease anytime soon. There is a thought that this discussion conjures in my innermost – that I believe that post-modern warfare is principally and ultimately haraam based upon the views of the 4 Sunni schools that women and children are not to be killed in warfare. I am uncertain how a modern war could secure and guarantee the sanctity and protection of the lives of non-combatants in our current imperialistic milieu. Yet as a pragmatist, I truly wonder of the futility of a non-war stance. Does humankind – in particular Muslims – really have a choice in the matter? Should the Muslim Ummah continue to allow its resources to be usurped simply because the methods and means of war have so horridly been reshaped by modern machines and retooled be pseudo-enlightened machinations? My heart tells me that those of less power and wealth will be continually forced into urban warfare with enemies who care not for the sanctity of life. Collateral damage – namely women, children, non-combatant turban wearing men who only wish to live happily and in comfort – has been so painted with the brush of irrelevancy in warfare that I fear, worry, and depressingly seem to see that there is little hope that humanity can hold onto Prophetic morals to defeat modern aggressors.

  26. Saw Christine Fair in action at a conference – she is truly a distasteful nutcase – and certainly no level-headed academic. Question her stupidity and she simply resorts to insult and bad mouthing – and yes Sana ur right to suggest she exercises her neurons more, and her mouth less.

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