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Monday, March 07, 2011

Manhattan College Gets Religion...Sort Of

A couple of months ago, you may recall, I had some fun with Manhattan College (in the Riverdale section of the Bronx) which, like so many Catholic colleges and universities in recent decades, has forsaken virtually all its Catholic trappings so to transform itself into the generic PC multi-culti institution so much in fashion with educational cognoscenti nowadays. This transformation was so successful, in fact, the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled Manhattan College could not bar its graduate assistants from voting for unionization by claiming exemption from federal labor law as a religious institution, because the evidence was it no longer is one.

Now, according to the Riverdale Review, a local newspaper (no link available), it appears the administration of Manhattan College has acknowledged religion does indeed play a part in this putatively Catholic institution and to that end has announced the appointment of a new director of the college's Holocaust Study Center, Dr. Mehnaz M. Afrididi, a Muslim woman, whose appointment the college justifies on the basis of her "enormous amount of interfaith experience."

Just what is in the collective bong these days at Manhattan College? Even if a small Catholic college in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in a predominantly Jewish city, where there already exists a widely acclaimed Holocaust museum and memorial less than a hour's ride from the campus on the IRT Broadway Local, can somehow justify allocating scarce resources to a small-time version of same in the Bronx, wouldn't it make a certain degree of sense to appoint a Jew to head it? At least one scholar thinks so. From the Riverdale Review:
Law professor and writer Thane Rosenbaum, direction of the Forum on Law, Culture and Society at Fordham University Law school and moderator of an annual series of discussions on Jewish culture and politics at the 92nd Street Y[MHA], was puzzled by the center's decision to broaden its focus.

"The moral travesty that was the Final Solution was not based on faith, and interfaith dialog would have made no difference to the Nazis," he said.

He felt that while Afridi's "sensitivity to the Holocaust may be genuine, it would be better to allow a Jew to be guardian for this particular history."

"Jews have a right to be proprietary in this," he continued. "In a world of multiculturalism and identity politics, everyone owns everyone else's tragedy."
Yes indeed, and to the multiculturalist administrators of Manhattan College, for whom religions are fungible (religion-schmigion!), the opportunity to earn double PC points by appointing a Muslim woman to head an institution for the study of an event uniquely identified with Jewish history must have proved to be irresistible.


Anonymous said...

Just wait--the first installation she approves will address Israeli injustices committed against Palestinians.

Tom Ferguson said...

Well, one can at least eb grateful that your poorly-investigated comments on the new Director of the Holocaust Resource Center at Manhattan College clearly identfy you are being part of the problem rather than part of the colution in the area of inter-religious dialogue.
The same goes for the abysmally stupid and bigoted comment by "Anonymous."

Lindsey said...

I can't decide how you've offended me most: As a Catholic who finds you incredibly anti-Semitic, a student who notices you can't cite anything, or a writer who couldn't make sense of any of the vague accusations in your post. To help you out, to say a city is "predominately Jewish" means that mostly Jewish people live there. That is simply not true about New York, nor has been, ever. And Manhattan College using its Catholicism to stop union organizing has no good precedent in American Catholicism. Read some Dorothy Day, and try to be a little less racist. You're a straight white man, right? Just guessing

The Bovina Bloviator said...


You're a gay black woman, right? Just guessing.

justinmartyr said...

She sounds more like a graduate student at a third-string school. But sapphism is a real possibility also.

Anonymous said...

The union battle is about adjuncts, not graduate assistants, and that is just one of the many factual errors in your article.

The point of broadening the center is to ensure that a "final solution" never happens again, for anyone. Sponsoring inter-faith conversations, with a deep sense of the history of the Holocaust, is essential for bridging understanding. The sort of racist speech with which you engage is the very sort of inflammatory hatred that inspires extreme attacks on religious or ethnic groups. If you want to learn from the "Final Solution" and ensure that our world Never Again allows such evil, come out of your box, look across the aisle, and appreciate the common values you can find with others. Stop throwing stones and hate, or you're part of the problem, not the solution.