Beena Ahmad

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So far Beena Ahmad has created 12 blog entries.

Ideological Exclusion and Malalai Joya

By |2020-01-03T13:40:19-05:00March 29th, 2011|Blog|

Though the U.S. military has occupied Afghanistan for nearly a decade, we have rarely received the opportunity to hear about the lives of every day Afghans from the mouths of everyday Afghans. On the eve of one such opportunity, the book tour of Afghani activist and politician Malalai Joya, the State Department decided to deny her a visa. In 2007, Joya’s brave [...]

Limitations on the speech of public school teachers

By |2020-01-03T13:37:13-05:00March 1st, 2010|Blog|

The limitations on the speech of public school teachers borders on the absurd.  Earlier this month, a federal court ruled that a Mississippi special-education teacher was not entitled to any First Amendment protections for complaining to the school principal that another teacher had used corporal punishment on an autistic child.  A few days after making the complaint, the teacher was [...]

Universities Struggle to Respond to Student Outrage

By |2020-01-03T13:37:09-05:00February 23rd, 2010|Blog|

Last week, two public universities struggled with how to respond to student outrage. Eleven students were arrested at the University of California at Irvine for disrupting the speech of Israeli ambassador Michael Oren.  Meanwhile, the University of Oregon has been exploring ways of expelling Pacifica Forum, a “hate group” (according to the Southern Law Poverty Center) that has upset many [...]

What the City Lost in Almontaser

By |2020-01-03T13:34:28-05:00September 8th, 2009|Blog|

In August, 2007, Debbie Almontaser was the interim principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, an Arabic language public high school she had worked with the New York City Department of Education for two years to establish. Though the school was secular (a point Almontaser sought to emphasize by naming the school for the famous Christian Lebanese poet), [...]

The AETA 4: If this is terrorism, then what isn’t?

By |2020-01-03T13:34:16-05:00August 10th, 2009|Blog|

While Congress has been busy protecting animals from cruelty at the expense of the First Amendment (See U.S. v Stevens) elsewhere it has been legislating away the First Amendment rights of animal cruelty protesters to protect corporate profits.  Last month, a federal court in Northern California heard oral arguments on a motion to dismiss in United States v. Buddenberg, the [...]

Why Would Anyone Protest Walter Cronkite?

By |2020-01-03T13:34:09-05:00July 30th, 2009|Blog|

When I first heard that Fred Phelps, the famous anti-gay activist, planned to protest the funeral of one of the modern heroes of journalism, the late Walter Cronkite, I thought I had missed something in The New York Times obituary.  I combed through it again, revisiting those classic moments in broadcast history that have been replayed over and over:  the [...]

Revisiting Shelby Knox’s Fight Against Abstinence-only Education – A Review and an Update

By |2020-01-03T13:34:04-05:00July 7th, 2009|Blog|

I recently had the chance to watch The Education of Shelby Knox, a documentary chronicling a high school student’s campaign to bring alternatives to abstinence-only education to her school in Lubbock, Texas.  A lot happens in eight years. Shelby has since graduated from both high school and college; she is now 23 years old and living in New York City. [...]

The Case of the Dangerous Font

By |2019-03-13T18:18:16-04:00July 1st, 2009|Blog|

Two weeks ago in a round-up of tales of student press censorship around the nation, we mentioned the case of PULP magazine, a publication produced by a journalism class at Orange High School.  Just a recap of the highly sensitive items that raised red flags for the school’s, principal, SK Johnson:  a Top Ten list that playfully advocates skinny-dipping and [...]

Facebook Reveals the Corporate Face of the Associated Press

By |2020-01-03T13:34:01-05:00June 26th, 2009|Blog|

The media never looked more corporate.  After reprimanding a reporter for posting a comment critical of the company’s investment decisions, the Associated Press has come out with a new policy governing the use of social networking sites.  Among the AP’s requirements for all employees, not just reporters, is: Posting material about the AP’s internal operations is prohibited on employees’ personal [...]


By |2019-03-13T15:05:21-04:00June 22nd, 2009|Blog|

GRADE: B+ This extracurricular activity remains one of the most difficult offered at school these days – anyone who has ever worked on a student paper will vouch for the work that goes into investigating and getting the scoop, the late nights editing articles, and the ethical debates over striking the balance between objectivity and thoughtfulness for the school community.  [...]

The Report Card: MATH

By |2020-01-03T13:28:51-05:00June 17th, 2009|Blog|

GRADE: A- Math has been falling behind, and is overdue for some one-on-one attention. Wall Street, the state budget crises, the six-month-long-and-still-ongoing election recount in Minnesota, and investigations into the crane collapses in Manhattan, somewhere in each of these calamities is number theory, statistics, geometry or algebra. Our national report card in mathematics achievement seems deplorable. Last month, it was [...]

Tasers and Hate Speech Codes; Silencing is Not Speech

By |2020-01-03T13:28:46-05:00June 12th, 2009|Blog|

It started with an invitation and ended with pepper spray and Tasers. This past April, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill chapter of Youth for Western Civilization, a student group dedicated to the survival of Western civilization, invited former Colorado state congressman Tom Tancredo to come offer his opinions on tuition assistance for undocumented immigrant students. Tancredo, honorary chair of [...]

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