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Physics prof calls 9/11 conspiracist 'fruitcake'
'Since he can't evaluate the evidence presented, he shouldn't have an opinion'


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World Net Daily | September 6, 2006

A University of Wisconsin professor who works with 9-11 conspiracist Kevin Barrett says he's a "fruitcake" who is too biased in favor of Islam to teach a class on the subject.

Barrett, a Muslim convert, was recently cleared by the college to teach a course this fall titled, "Islam: Religion and Culture." Like many Muslims, he contends the 9-11 attacks were an "inside job" carried out by Bush administration officials and not Islamic terrorists.

Specifically, Barrett argues Bush officials rigged the World Trade Center with incendiary devices to bring it down and start a war against Islam.

"He's a fruitcake," says Marshall F. Onellion, a physics professor at the University of Wisconsin. "He has no education in any engineering or science area pertinent to how, or whether, buildings fall down when hit by airplanes. Since he can't evaluate the evidence presented, he shouldn't have an opinion" that will influence students.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently released a report on the WTC collapse that rules out such conspiracy theories about the use of controlled demolitions. It concluded the collapse resulted from structural damage to the buildings caused by the impact from the two Boeing 767 jetliners hijacked by Muslim terrorists.

The unusually large amounts of jet fuel from the planes ignited multi-floor fires reaching temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees, and significantly weakened the floors and columns "to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns," the report said. "This led to the inward bowing of the columns and failure of the south face of the WTC 1 and the east face of WTC 2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers."

The independent 9-11 commission also concluded after some 1,200 interviews that Muslim hijackers were to blame.

But Barrett, who heads a group called "Scholars for 9/11 Truth," speculates that pro-Israeli neoconservatives led by Vice President Dick Cheney toppled the Twin Towers with secretly planted explosives or incendiary devices such as thermite rods. It's a popular theory in the Muslim community. The anti-Bush left has also embraced it.

Barrett, who converted to Islam 13 years ago, teaches a course on Islam that critics say whitewashes the 1400-year history of jihad against the West.

His Wisconsin colleague Onellion says Barrett is not qualified to teach the course because his doctorate is in Arabic studies, not Islamic studies. And as a Muslim activist with an ax to grind against the U.S. government, he says he is incapable of teaching the course objectively.

"I simply do not believe that an adult convert to Islam is capable of objectively teaching, or objectively grading, a course on his religion," he told WorldNetDaily. "Never would such a person be objective."

University officials, however, are persuaded that Barrett can teach Islam objectively.

In a July letter to Barrett, Wisconsin provost Patrick Farrell wrote, "I have accepted your assurance that you could control your enthusiasm for your personal viewpoints on the top of 9-11 and present them in class in an objective and balanced time frame and context."

Onellion, who is co-authoring a book on science and religion called, "Seeking truth: Living with Doubt," says about half the members of a Wisconsin faculty group for academic freedom sided with the decision to keep Barrett on staff and let him teach the controversial course. The other half disagreed with the decision.

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