Barbara D. Metcalf

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Barbara Daly Metcalf (born 1941) is the Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Professor Emeritus History at the University of California, Davis. She is a specialist in the history of South Asia, especially the colonial period, and the history of the Muslim population of India and Pakistan. Before coming to Michigan, she served as the Dean, Division of Social Sciences, College of Letters and Science, and Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.

Metcalf received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974.

Metcalf was called on to write to the Administrative Review Boards held at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps.[1] The Boards were authorized to recommend whether Guantanamo captives should continue to be held in extrajudicial detention. One of the justifications offered for the continued detention of over three dozen of the Guantanamo captives was that they had participated in the activities of a Pakistani chapter of Islamic missionary group named Tablighi Jamaat.

Metcalf addressed the benevolent nature of Tablighi pilgrimages. She wrote:

“I will also attempt to explain why it is implausible to believe that the Tablighis support terrorism or are in any way affiliated with other terrorist or ‘jihadi’ movements such as the Taliban or Al Qaeda.”

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