Little Green Footballs

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The mysterious Ahmad Al-Qloushi

Remember the story last week about the 'patriotic Kuwaiti' studying at a US college whose professor forced him into therapy because "if you are an Arab Muslim who loves America you must be deranged"? The poor chap suffered terribly at the hands of his evil prof but luckily 1001 rightwing blogs were at hand to publicize his story and fight for justice. One of them was lgf, whose Ueberlizard CF Johnson went all-out, branding the professor part of an 'academic fifth column'.

Now you don't need to be an angler to suspect there's something fishy about this story. And indeed, while Charles Johnson spares no effort to get to the bottom of dodgy memos on dodgy TV stations, he doesn't, apparently, have a nano-second to mention that Mr Ahmad Al-Qloushi is the president of the Foothill College Republicans group. Coincidence? The SJ Mercury News thought not:

``Arab Student Pushed to see Therapist'' the headline began. The Foothill College Republicans blasted faxes to reporters this month complaining that a professor had forced a student to see the college therapist merely because the student wrote a pro-American essay.

This, the students fumed, is why the Los Altos Hills campus should adopt an Academic Bill of Rights.

Nationwide, conservatives are pushing the political protection bill, which says that while colleges tolerate different races, sexes and creeds, they only welcome liberal politics.

Ahmad Al-Qloushi seems a poster child for the cause: His political science professor allegedly told him to get psychological help simply because Al-Qloushi wrote a chest-thumping patriotic essay.

But IA was suspicious. Al-Qloushi happens to be president of the Foothill College Republicans -- a fact the group's press materials neglected to mention.

What were the odds of a campaign-perfect case happening to the college Republican president?

``It is a coincidence,'' Al-Qloushi said, ``but this is the case.''

IA tried to confirm Al-Qloushi's story -- and a subsequent release from the group that said the professor had filed a grievance against Al-Qloushi -- but campus officials said they couldn't discuss confidential professor-student matters.

The professor wouldn't return calls and e-mails; the therapist simply hung up.

So how much of a follow-up do you expect Johnson will be giving to the story of poor Ahmad? Is he going to interview the proof? Do a forensic analysis on Ahmad's paper? Grill the therapist on live radio? Don't hold your breath...

UPDATE: Reader 'Gifthorse' sent us a link to Al-Qloushi's essay

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