Indeed, this has become a trying time. It is interesting to find ones life at the hands of an assortment of people, most of which one would not choose to hang around with. This kerfluffle was not intended, nor actually wanted. That a simple class, at a community college in Oregon should become the focal point for Islam, free speech, civil rights, discrimination and a host of other current and emotional issues really has stunned me. Now, though it is not about me at all, although some will continue to say that it is an ego thing, that I planned all this to get the glory, the gold watch and the girl. I cannot stop those accusations, I can answer them when they crop up, however.
My critics say I have no right, or qualifications to teach. How do they know? Have they ever seen me teach a class? No, because this is the first one. What makes them think I am not qualified to teach? Oh, right, because of this blog, my TV show and my book. The most amazing trick they can play is the old leap of faith trick, where the assumption is that what is taught in tha class will be EXACTLY the same as my personal views. Ever met a professor, teacher or lecturer who did not have a bias? Ever met anyone with no bias? What a teacher teaches is fact, not opinion. Even in the setting of a community college, the search for, and acquiring of knowledge does not diminish if the ivy-covered walls are a bit smaller.
Not one person has asked to see my course material. Not one person has asked to see any syllabus. No one from LCC has contacted me in any way. Nothing. Nada. Zip, zilch, zed, bupkus. If there was so much concern about the class, in light of recent events in Portland and Corvallis, as LCC says, there should have been some kind of communication to me, giving me a chance to present my side. No one asked for my side.
Is Islam that taboo a subject that it cannot be spoken of in polite company? It is the weak religion which cannot stand up to the light of truth and analysis, even at the possible expense of being viewed in a less than flattering light. All religions have their dark side, all have skeletons in the closet. All except Islam have had their dirty laundry aired, and are the better for it.
My goal in all this: eat something other than store-bought and have a beer with no interruptions. Seriously, whatever the outcome, I have no power. There are forces much greater than me, there are causes much greater than myself. The principles under attack now transcend one person, those principles are ultimately what will win or lose here. I have asked myself this question recently, with no satisfactory answer: will free speech prevail, or will Islam win?
I do not know. Do you?