University of Ottawa Independence for Sale to the Israeli Lobby

Professor Denis G. Rancourt

The university executives do not have the authority to subvert the University of Ottawa Act, 1965. Indeed, the executives have a duty and a responsibility to uphold the Act.

Canadian universities have institutional independence guaranteed by a Supreme Court of Canada ruling. This independence from governments and corporations was explicitly granted to universities in order to protect the academic freedoms of its professors and students.

At the University of Ottawa this established institutional independence is used to subvert lawsuits from mistreated students, and to shield the university from sanctions related to its own violations of its professors' academic freedoms. Such is the perversion of legalese in the service of unprincipled administrations.

In addition, observers have been concerned about the influence of private corporate donations; which are never made transparently and which go into the protected slush fund known as "University of Ottawa Foundation".

This becomes of direct concern when the private donations are overtly tied to specific research chairs, to new research themes, or to newly tailored academic programs.

This is why university senate (the highest institutional authority on all academic matters) recently questioned the university administration's unilateral campaign to create a two-for-one graduate degree in law (LL.M.) and exchange program with the University of Haifa, Israel. (See all posts on this matter HERE.)

In addition to being an obvious degree inflation scheme ("two distinct LL.M. degrees after only one year of studies") -- which is becoming too common as a marketing device at the university -- the Haifa deal came with a tied scholarship thanks to "generous support" from the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation.

It was therefore the duty of senate to examine any conditions tied to the Schwartz-Reisman scholarship that might harm academic integrity and institutional independence in view of any risks to academic freedom.

Entrapping Innocent Muslims

Stephen Lendman

A recent New York University School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) report[.pdf] is titled, "Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the 'Homegrown Threat' in the United States."

Post-9/11, Muslims have been ruthlessly targeted. Paid informants have infested mosques and their communities to entrap them. As a result, over 200 were persecuted on bogus terrorism related charges. Despite "tout(ing) these cases as successes in the so-called war against terrorism....former (FBI) agents, local lawmakers," and many others "have begun questioning the legitimacy and efficacy" of entrapping innocent victims for political advantage.

CHRGJ discussed several high-profile cases, using well-paid informants often performing services in return for reduced charges or sentences they face, a powerful incentive to cooperate.

Nearly always, Washington invents plots foiled in the nick of time, entrapping innocent victims with no intent to commit crimes. America's media headline them. The public feels safer with no idea they've been scammed or that blameless citizens and residents are falsely charged.

In fact, calling Muslims "potential threats" or "homegrown terrorists" violates core constitutional freedoms. Nonetheless, it's now common law enforcement practice assuming that:

Muslims are more likely to become terrorists;
they're increasingly "radicalized" and compelled to commit violence in the name of Islam; and
counterterrorism policies should identify and stop them before they act.

In fact, research contradicts these notions. Moreover, relying on them violates fundamental human rights long ago discarded for political and judicial expediency. As a result, Muslims most often face terrorism charges because "they hate us" or other spurious reasons.

Muslim men (and "Muslim looking people) are especially vulnerable. In addition, Muslim culture and religious practices are also cited as indicators of potential terrorism. As a result, they're maliciously targeted, surveilled, investigated, entrapped, charged, unjustly prosecuted, and convicted.

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