NGO Charges Harvard for Hosting anti-Semitic Iranian Scholar

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A student walks through Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 16, 2012.
A student walks through Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 16, 2012. Credit: Reuters

Harvard University in the United States is hosting a visiting Iranian scholar known for his anti-Semitism and support of the current Iranian regime, according to the NGO Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Ali Akbar Alikhani, who is running a research project on the “Islamic Model for Peaceful Coexistence” at Harvard, is a member of the Faculty of World Studies at University of Tehran. Iranian websites describe him as the “head of the Institute for Social and Cultural Studies,” which operates under the aegis of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.

According to the NGO, Alikhani "appears to share the views of his regime employers. His academic output in Iran has served to legitimize the religious and political foundations of the violent Iranian revolution in 1979, and develop the anti-Semitism and violent Islamism disseminated by the regime across the globe".

It gives as an example Alikhani's review of an Arabic book titled "The Jewish Threat/Danger to Christianity and Islam," which he described as “strong and good,” though he criticized the writer for failing to “show the quality and the method of the Jewish threat.”

“Considering the practical perspectives of this book, it was expected that the author at least in the areas of thoughts and beliefs, would provide practical and noticeable solutions or reject and refute the foundations of Judaism and Zionism himself," Alikhani wrote, according to the NGO.

In a published paper titled “The Conceptual Characteristics of Post-Zionism,” the NGO says, Alikhani suggests that criticisms of the modern Israeli state are immaterial given the “historical violence of Zionism. Israel is a country that from its inception was based on force, coercion and oppression of others."

The paper cites a number of anti-Semitic academics, including French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy and Tunisian Rachid Ghannouchi, who reportedly has "a long history of promoting violence against Jews, and the political party he established in Tunisia is closely linked to the terror group Hamas."

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