Monday, August 08, 2005

Dhimmitude at Virginia Tech

About sixty faculty members from a Saudi Arabian university are taking classes at Virginia Tech, a public school. The classes are being taught in gender-separated classrooms, as is the custom in Saudi Arabia. "This is the way they teach their courses over there, and this is the way they wish their courses to be taught over here," Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said. The university, he said, chose to respect the Saudi culture "rather than impress our culture on them."

An editorial writer at the Roanoke Times thinks differently:
... such segregation still rankles -- as an affront to U.S. law and ideals, as a capitulation to Saudi Arabia's oppression of women, as a Saudi failure to reciprocate American academics' efforts to honor local customs when abroad and as a missed opportunity.
I hope VA Tech hears from alumni, students, Virginia taxpayers, and anyone else who is concerned about this disturbing support of practices that most Americans find unacceptable.