We, the undersigned student groups, strongly regret TU Purpose’s decision to host Nonie Darwish as a speaker at the university. We do so because we denounce any attempts on campus to target a single religious group or portray a single religious group as an enemy.
We also condemn TU Purpose’s announcement for the event targeting the Muslim Student Association (MSA), a religious student organization on campus, in which MSA is branded “an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.” In reality, MSA is catered to and run by ordinary college students who happen to identify as Muslims. It is the responsibility and the duty of every organization and student on campus to stand together and protect the rights of Temple students and all members of the Temple community to hold differing religious views. This event is a direct attack on the Muslim community on Temple’s campus.
Darwish is the latest in a series of bigoted, Islamophobic figures, including Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, that TU Purpose has hosted at Temple. It is extremely disturbing that this group has organized so many events that demonize Islam and Muslims, all with the thin excuse of “promoting free speech” or “furthering democratic rights.”
Darwish is an Egyptian born convert from Islam to Christianity who is well-known for her attacks on Muslims and Islam. She has called the Quran “violent, incendiary, and disrespectful.” In reference to Islam, she has said that “an entire religion and its culture believes God orders the killing of unbelievers.” Darwish said, “hate propaganda is the rule and not the exception in Muslim preaching. It must go hand in hand with demands for conquering other people, otherwise jihad will end.”
For the past decade, heightened rhetoric against Islam has been used by some as a way to justify the United States’ ongoing wars against a number of Muslim countries. Additionally, this kind of bigotry has led to hate crimes and physical violence toward Muslims in the U.S.
The Darwish event is part of this Islamophobic campaign, and it is shameful and unacceptable that TU Purpose consistently gives voice to such hate speech on Temple’s campus.
The groups below are hereby signatories to this statement and implore others to follow our suit. Bless you all and may hate not rule the day.
International Socialist Organization of Temple University
Students for Justice in Palestine
Muslim Students Association
Muslim Law Students Association
Temple National Lawyers Guild
Gamma Phi Sigma “Hermanos Unidos” Fraternity, Inc.
Black Law Students Association
Latin American Law Students Association