John Esposito, Jacques Berlinerblau on Jerusalem Post tirade

Earlier this week, I wrote about a Jerusalem Post piece that attacked two Georgetown centers, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, and championed the Program for Jewish Civilization as an antidote to those two.

Since my initial post, a few more of the relevant faculty members have chimed in with their responses, with professors on both sides saying that the article was ill-informed about what actually goes on here on campus. Listen to what CMCU Director John Esposito and PJC Director Jacques Berlinerblau have to say, after the jump.

Says CMCU Director John Esposito:

This is not an article but an ideological rant, strong on name calling and short on substance, and thus difficult to respond to. The author makes a series of charges/allegations with no supportive evidence…No attempt was made to interview the directors or faculty of CCAS and ACMCU…Regarding the creation of the Jewish Civilization Program to allegedly counter balance other centers, I know for a fact that this is simply false. I was present at the School of Foreign Service meetings at which the faculty sponsors presented their proposal for the creation of the Center and for approval.

Meanwhile, PJC Director Jacques Berlinerblau submitted his own article to the Jerusalem Post in response to Amir Romirowsky’s initial column, espousing similar sentiments:

Permit me to point out that our mission is, and has always been, to produce, advance, promote and disseminate cutting-edge scholarship on Jewish Civilization…And since ours is a Jesuit University with a profound commitment to interfaith dialogue, not to mention civility (and the practice of international diplomacy), we cannot abandon the hope that there are good and decent people in other Georgetown centers with whom we can converse…our interest is intellectual substance, not party lines.

For now, at least, Georgetown’s profs seem to be committed to solid intellectual inquiry and conversation, not ideology-driven name-calling. Good on them.

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