And so dies a dream

February 15, 2007 at 10:11 pm (Dr. David Cook, Personal)

One of my goals in life was to go to graduate school, study militant Islamist Islam, and get a doctorate therein.

But, now, no more.

I have given up my academic aspirations, for which this blog was part practice, part entertainment, part jump start. Instead, I have chosen to embark on a more practical path. There are two major reasons for this: one has to do with age and propriety, and the other has to do with Islamism in academia.

I am almost thirty. Now is not the time to start my graduate education. I have to start making a living or at least walk towards some goal that will financially provide for me. I have a trajectory in mind, which was not what I expected; and to a degree this trajectory is not what I would have preferred nor is it one I am thrilled about with my heart and soul. But it is the direction I need to go in, my personal feelings notwithstanding.

The second point is also significant, if not more significant than the last one. If one takes a view of Islam in academia, one sees certain academic giants, of whom the primary is probably John Esposito. These giants practically determine what is said and taught about Islam. They are, quite tellingly, supported by a plethora or organizations which praise them to the sky. These are all deliberate. Islamists (which include Islamist Muslims, non-Muslims who support Islamist Muslims, and those who are naïve and hoodwinked by the two) have in place measures to control the academic discourse on Islam. Scholars who go against their agenda are discredited. One example is Daniel Pipes. One exception is Bernard Lewis. Those who are ostracized are so treated not only through institutional means but also by smear campaigns and by attempting to drown what these scholars are saying with what scholars they support say.

As such, it is quite difficult to go into academia desiring to study and specialize in militant Islam from an accurate and truly academic perspective and expect to make it. One of my favorite scholars on militant Islam, Dr. David Cook, did not start with militant Islam. His focus was on apocalypticism in Islam. So, I would have to find an indirect way into gaining acceptance as a scholar and then turn towards militant Islam.

This blog, consequently, will become my main outlet for my study of militant Islam. Rather than making this study my vocation, it will now be my hobby. And as with all hobbies, real life comes first. Hence the lack of posting.

One request: I do not have time any more to sit, browse through the many blogs I like to find out what is going on in the world, and blog about it. I’ll blog as I feel the need to say something. But if one of you, my dear and long-suffering readers, have something you would like me to blog about, please do e-mail me and tell me about it.

Until next time…be well!

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12 Comments

  1. Blue Collar Republican » Blog Archive » Blog Burst February 15, 2007 said,

    […] Blathers Like a Bitch And so dies a dream No Violence = No Occupation Iraq Government Confirms Sadr In Iran Marine Tells Us: Why I Went To […]

  2. blackflag said,

    Interesting.

    Whatever course you choose I wish you well in it. I assume you have your “BA” degree already so you should be well armed in your quest for a sustainable career. As for “blogging when you feel the need” I can sympathize, life has a way of prioritizing your efforts so just do what you can.

    All the best,
    bf

  3. blackflag said,

    In reflection I would say the dream isn’t dead per say as there are other careers down that same path that you may find just as rewarding, I’ll be emailing you about those.

  4. geoff said,

    Well, look at it this way – I’m 46 and will be almost 47 when I start graduate school. Part time. Which means that by the time I get even the Masters, I’ll be pushing 50. I already have a Masters, so stopping there would be pointless. By the time I get the PhD, I’ll probably be 53 or 54.

    So there is a lot of time to establish a career track, reassess your academic aspirations, and then get back in there. But I will say that the later you do it, the harder it is.

    Sorry to hear that you’re putting blogging on the back burner, but I obviously can’t criticize that decision. At least there’s plenty of opportunity to hang out at IB and AoSHQ.

    See you there.

  5. Jen said,

    You are not too old (see geoff’s comment)! And you may be upset with yourself ten years down the road for doing what you needed to do today. Whatever you choose, good luck; but you are not too old to for grad school!

  6. dicentra said,

    But don’t forget the part about getting an academic degree in something vague like “Islamic studies” and then going out into the world and actually trying to find a job. Academic studies in anything but hard sciences don’t necessarily prepare you to make a living, at least not on paper. I got into my current profession (Technical Writing) sideways, through a bit of nepotism (my brother got me the job where he was working), but my degree in Spanish Literature by itself got me one small, tempoaray gig and nothing else.

  7. Major John said,

    I know what you mean about deferring academic goals for a career – but fear not, you may be surprised at the satisfaction you can find in doing something else.

    Fortunately for the rest of us, this is the age of the blog, and so we will be able to continue to use you as a teacher, a resource and a sounding board. Thank you for continuing your efforts on behalf of us all.

  8. Mrs. Peel said,

    You’re not too old, Musli, but I do sympathize. Bills have to be paid, after all…

  9. S. Weasel said,

    Almost thirty! I have a pair of jeans older than that. You’ve got time to do Any. Damn. Thing you want, Musli.

    Still, I wouldn’t want to try making a life in academics. The academy is a political game in a one-party system, and it ain’t your party. It’s a pity. Scholarship is a wonderful thing, but the academy sucks.

    I have a grim feeling we’re going to have an ongoing need for people who understand militant Islam. But we probably won’t turn to the campus to find them.

  10. Fernando Martinez said,

    I’m 33 and I am going to study theology that’s a good way I THINK, another way you could do so is by studying online with the Islamic American Association, they offer Bachelors and Master’s online as well, one in Arabic language the other in Imam study’s. I believe that with a credential like that you could talk islam and islamism as much as you want and no one can try to discredit, prejudice or derail you…Will it get the bills paid? You never know….Bill O’reilly, and Rush could have you as a talking head on their show’s. Or keep publishing and write a book that’ll blow Dinesh D’Souza outta the water!!!! Tit’s up…

  11. MikeT said,

    You could always write some good books on the subject material. That would help you gain some of what you seek.

  12. Deogolwulf said,

    Buck up! You have escaped the academic papermill.

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