Friday, June 29, 2007

Canadian Professor Shiraz Dossa goes to a Holocaust denial conference and then denies: Professorial Obfuscations

Shiraz Dossa, a professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada, attended the Holocaust denial conference in Iran. He has now published a lengthy defense of his decision to attend in a small Canadian publication Literary Review of Canada.

His explanation is full of distortions, obfuscations, and simple inventions. Here is one graphic example. Dossa writes:
Iranian president Dr. Ahmadinejad; he did not attend or participate in the conference. It was not a Holocaust-denial conference by any stretch. That’s all false.
Problem for Dossa is that the official website of the President of Iran says otherwise.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that the Zionist regime is a constant threat to the Middle East states. "This threat has caused the regional countries to divert their resources from development to spending them on purchasing arms which will increase discord among them," he told participants of the international conference World Vision on Holocaust who met him in Tehran.
Then, of course, there are the pictures above.

My question is for the Literary Review of Canada. How could it claim that Shiraz's article was subjected to "rigorous fact-checking that went on for a number of weeks"? I found and uploaded this information in about 5 minutes.

Once Shiraz Dossa chose to attend the conference one could get a sense of what kind of man this is. But what can we say about this supposedly cautious and intellectual honest magazine? Clearly it is none of those things, at least in this regard.

Note:It is possible that the conference participants went to a different venue to meet the president. If this is Dossa's way out of his claim that Ahamdinejad did not attend or participate he is even more of an obfuscator [and far less smart] than I originally thought he was.

More on Dossa later.


wheatgerm said...

This is crazy

Deborah Lipstadt said...

You ain't seen nothing yet

Ian Thal said...

I was rather outraged by the pure sophistry of Professor Dosa's apologia in the LRC, so much that I wrote a letter to the editor. I was told a few days later that is was being considered for publication in the following issue, but I have not yet heard back for certain. I'll pass an update along when I know.

The Sports Satirist said...

I thought at one point he did deny that it never existed.

Hilary Ostrov said...

Bronwyn Drainie, Editor of the LRC, used to be a respectable journalist - and, evidently, once taught a course on ethics in journalism (the principles of which, apparently in the distant past, she may have violated [google her!]). There are a number of responses to Dossa's "he doth protest too much" on the LRC site, the last of which - from the Canadian Jewish Congress - is the most thorough and the most telling.

In following the links from the CJC's longer submission, it is quite obvious that Dossa is far from being a "Holocaust scholar" - or even a "Muslim scholar" (as the LRC's cover header claimed).

Dossa's own website is, perhaps, the most telling of all: he speaks of his "miseducation" and his "inexplicable" invitations to deliver high profile lectures.

But he was probably right on when he wrote that his "only significant contribution to making this world a better place is his daughter..."

I may have to give some thought to boycotting my favourite wine (Shiraz) ;)

Deborah Lipstadt said...

Hilary: Thanks for the additional information on Dossa. What a piece of work this guy is. What strikes me is that you would think he would be smarter in his own defense.... Maybe he is losing it. Maybe he already lost it when he decided to go to the conference.

Ian: send us the letter and, as long as you don't sound like Ann Coulter (in terms of tone not content) we can post it here.

Hilary Ostrov said...

I don't know if Ian's letter made it to the print edition of LRC, but it does appear in the selected responses on the LRC website:

Ian Thal said...

Hilary: Thanks for finding my letter two days before I did. They didn't send a notification that it had gone up.

I just posted it to my blog with a little background for the general reader.

Shashank Nayak said...

Ahmedinejad is a crazed man indeed! So many proofs, so many holocaust survivours and Germany herself accepting the Holocaust as a black spot on her history... may be these were not enough for him or its just that he wants some publicity( who cares if its bad).