Particle physics and string theory pose plenty of interesting questions, but educators at Massachusetts Institute of Technology this week wrestled with yet another vexing dilemma: "Is Islamophobia Accelerating Global Warming?"
That was the topic at a Monday panel at the venerable Boston school whose alums include Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Michael Bloomberg and Charles and David Koch. The presentation, sponsored by the school's Global Studies and Languages Department, looked at “an entanglement of two crises, metaphorically related with one being a source of imagery for the other and both originating in colonial forms of capitalist accumulation,” according to an online advertisement for the event.
The description’s air of uber-academic applesauce has been the topic of much online mockery – and confusion. Mediaite said it couldn’t “make heads or tails of it.” Tablet, meanwhile, turned to deriding the subject matter itself, and satirically proposed examining whether anti-Semitism is responsible for the rapid disappearance of the pygmy hippo. Several commenters on Twitter made sure to note they were not linking to spoof newspaper The Onion. Then there were those who said neither global warming nor Islamophobia were real phenomenons.
The topic was presented by Ghassan Hage, a future generation professor at the University of Melbourne. Hage, who is authoring an upcoming book on the proposed Islamophobia/global warming relationship, has a history of courting controversy and promoting far-left and anti-Israel ideals.