Deepa Kumar, an Indian-American professor of media studies has set off a firestorm in the media and academic circles by declaring that the United States is more brutal than the Islamic State because it has killed more people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
“Yes ISIS is brutal, but US is more so, 1.3 million killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan #NoToWar,” Deepa Kumar, an associate professor at Rutgers University tweeted on March 26, in a broadside consistent with her anti-US and anti-war critiques.
The tweet attracted some attention in the immediate hours and days after it was posted, with several responses asking her to get out of America if she thought so poorly of it and others dismissing her as a joke. A few liberal colleagues defended her right to express her views.
The kerfuffle was raked up again on Friday by Fox News which featured the tweet and some more caustic responses. “I feel bad for Deepa Kumar’s students at Rutgers … Only a complete ideologue could claim the United States is more brutal than Islamic State. Our government isn’t in the habit of rounding up thousands of young girls to have them raped dozens of times… or throwing homosexuals off rooftops,” Max Abrahms, professor of political science at Northeastern University who specializes in the study of terrorism, told the cable network. Kumar defended herself in an interview with a higher education journal even as her critics said she was polluting academia with what they saw as her toxic anti-US ideology. Her body of leftist, liberal work includes authorship of the book ‘Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire.’