Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders will make his Main Campus debut tonight – but only after losing a student sponsor and almost being canceled.
Wilders, known for his inflammatory statements about Muslims and Islam, was originally sponsored by Temple College Republicans and TU Purpose, a newly-formed social and political group.
Late last week, however, Temple College Republicans pulled its sponsorship. Barry Scatton, president of College Republicans, said in an e-mail to The Temple News that his organization no longer supported the event and “strongly disapproves” of TU Purpose continuing its sponsorship of Wilder’s appearance.
The two organizations originally made the decision to cancel the event at a meeting with Student Activities on Friday, Oct. 16, Scatton and others close to the situation said. Temple’s Muslim Student Association met with Student Activities earlier the same day to express its concerns about hate mail it received.
Monira Gamal-Eldin, president of MSA, said after her name and contact information, along with the MSA statement, were posted on Web sites, she received “enough [hate mail] to feel threatened. I received messages from as far as Australia.”
Vice President of TU Purpose Brittany Walsh said after discussing the decision to cancel the event, TU Purpose’s executive board decided to continue its sponsorship. Without a student sponsor, Wilders would not have been able to appear on Main Campus through the event.
“[Our purpose is] to unite people of opposing views, different ideologies and different religions to discuss these very relevant and emotionally driven social issues,” Walsh said.
“We don’t agree with everything he has to say, and we don’t think the Quran should be banned,” Walsh said. “We certainly don’t harbor any ill will against the Muslim community.”
The event caused a considerable stir on campus after it was announced. MSA released a statement denouncing the event, which read, in part: “The Muslim population at Temple feels attacked, threatened and ultimately unsafe” that Wilders was invited.
“We have decided not to protest the event [by] picketing. We are trying to approach the event intellectually and not emotionally,” Eldin said.
Walsh said TU Purpose members realize there is a chance the event will divide the student body.
“I think [that is] always a concern any time you talk about an issue that people have strong opinions on either end,” Walsh said.
Strong opinions were on display at Temple Student Government’s meeting Monday, Oct. 19. Half a dozen students holding signs opposing Wilders’ appearance were in attendance. During the emotional meeting, Eldin read a statement about her religion, and the Senate voted unanimously to adopt a resolution condemning Wilders.
“I think Barry [Scatton] did the noble thing. He felt horrible that so many people got physically and intellectually threatened by this man,” Eldin said.
Contrary to buzz surrounding the event, Assistant Vice President of University Communications Ray Betzner said Temple Police had no role in canceling the event.
The university also released a statement saying it respects “the right of our student organizations to invite people who express a wide variety of views and ideas.”
Stephen Zook can be reached at email@example.com.
Don’t give in to Muslim pressure to limit free speech.
don’t give into hate speech, and slander which doesn’t fall under free speach
Don’t give into hate speech, and slander which doesn’t fall under free speech
James, “hate speech” can be defined in many ways and usually it is defined as speech which is unpopular among the majority. If you knew anything about the point of the Bill of Rights you would know that unpopular speech, hate speech or whatever is exactly what the founding father’s had in mind when they said we have a right to free speech. Popular speech doesn’t need protection, unpopular speech does. All of your screaming and crying can’t change that.
James you are a riot. You believe in free speech except this this and that. It reminds me of the line from George Orwell’s animal farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
However, I bet the Muslims students had no problem inviting anti-Israeli speakers. Yet when they get a taste of their own medicine. They can’t take it.
Many alleged progressives will passionately defend their own hate speech by an appeal to freedom of speech, but will nevertheless attack the freedom of speech of others by calling it hate speech.
Freedom of speech implies also the freedom to hear what someone has to say – and that seems a freedom very much under threat on today’s college campi.
A politician who has spent the last several years under constant threat by people who dislike what he says and would silence his ever speaking again, a politician who regularely receives death threats, and who is under guard because of it, can more validly speak of both feeling threatened and freedoms than any number of pampered middle-class college students who have a chip on their shoulder and think themselves special.
Wilders has never threatened anyone ‘physically’ and if he threatens ‘intellectually’ it’s only because Muslim thinkers can’t deal with differences of opinion. Trained in submissive obedience and believing what clerics ‘tell’ them to believe, they must develop independent thinking habits so that they can take on people like WIlders in political debate.
Parts of this article and an earlier article were published on drasties.
Dutch on the world. World on the Dutch.
The efforts of the MSA at Temple University has nothing to do with limiting free speech. On the contrary, it is about standing up for their rights against hate speech. Geert Wilders calls Islam a “violent ideology,” a “retarded culture,” and even went as far as suggesting that Muslim women who wear hijaab should be taxed. Furthermore, Wilders believes the Qur’an should be banned and he equates it with Hitler’s “Mein Kempf.”
To make such statements is not simply attacking a “belief system,” it’s attacking an entire group of people. Contrary to what Mr. Wilders and David Horowitz want people to believe, there is no such thing as only hating a religion, but not the followers. The religion of Islam is not just a religion, but a WAY OF LIFE, therefore insults against Islam is an attack on every Muslim’s WAY OF LIFE. It is an attack on the Muslim identity.
This kind of hate speech is no different than inviting a member from the KKK to come and express their “opinions.” I commend Barry Scatton for making the effort to empathize with fellow students and taking the time to realize how hurtful and traumatic this has been for Muslims. Brittany Walsh, on the other hand, does not know what it is like to experience Islamophobia. It is astonishing that she does not see how hateful Geert Wilders’ comments are. His views are not merely “opinions,” but rather hate speech that incites fear, mistrust, and hostility against Muslims.
Jackson’s comments are incredibly insensitive to the hate mail received by the MSA. It only seems to suggest that he does not care if Muslim-American students receive hate mail. Jackson probably does not even have Muslim friends otherwise he would have been able to empathize with their concerns. Jackson also probably doesn’t know that hate crimes and discriminatory acts against Muslim-Americans have been on the INCREASE since 9/11. I study Islamophobia in the United States and the statistics are disturbing.
“At The Back of the Hill” – Your comment reveals your own selfish privilege when you ignore the real issue of Islamophobia and how it has impacted the Muslim-American community. We are part of this country, we are Americans, and I think that upsets you more than anything. People like you and Geert Wilders want to continue “otherizing” us because you do not want to see more Muslims integrated. Muslims are going through the same problems and discrimination that the Irish immigrants went through, what the Jews went through, and what the Africans went through. 30 or 40 years from now (maybe sooner) people will look back on this and realize how WRONG, HATEFUL, and PREJUDICE Geert Wilders, David Horowitz, and other Islamophobes were.
When there are hate crimes against Muslims as a result of these kind of events, it is no longer free speech, it is HATE speech. Hate is not in the American constitution and it does not represent the true values of our country. If you are genuinely interested in establishing positive relations with Muslims, visit our Mosques, come to MSA events, make Muslim friends, and read “The Muslim Next Door” by Sumbul Ali-Karamali. If you choose to not even listen to the majority of Muslims (who are peaceful and Loving), then there is only so much we can do.
See also there:
Muslims do not ‘hate our freedoms’, but our policies.
Here is an example of difference in opinion: Person “A” says, “I don’t believe in God, and here’s why…” Person “B” says, “I do believe in God, and here’s why…” When there are no personal attacks, stereotypes, and generalizations, it’s called a mature/civil discussion.
Geert Wilders expresses hatred by advocating a tax on Muslim women who wear the hijaab and a ban on the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book. There is no room for mature and civil dialogue here because Mr. Wilders is attacking a way of life that is found in the hearts of over a billion Muslims in the world.
How do you think Hitler convinced others to subjugate, hate, and slaughter Jews? Wilders’ anti-Islamic propaganda films are no different than the anti-semitic propaganda film used to vilify and demonize the Jews in Nazi Germany. Such hate propaganda was used so that the rest of the country didn’t feel sorry about killing Jews.
The same happened with African-Americans. American cartoons depicted them in an extremely negative and inferior manner, which only fueled White supremacy.
A new Pew Forum survey found that nearly 40% of Americans still say they think Islam is more likely to encourage violence. Much of the hate, intolerance, and insensitive towards Muslims and Islam in the West have a lot to do with the mainstream media presents Muslims in a suspicious, negative, and stereotypical light. How would you like it if you were hated for your religious beliefs? How would you like it if your voice was isolated and intentionally ignored by the media any time you expressed opposition towards violence, hate, and propaganda?
You are essentially saying a person should be free to advocate hate and hostility against a group of people. If you believe in God, what is so pious or righteous about that? If you don’t believe in God, then what is so American about that? It’s 2009, we have an African-American president, we shouldn’t be encouraging hate.
Where can I send him money?
Don’t give in to being a tool.
Tom go to his website. Just google Geert Wilders. I have donated also because he is someone that refuses to be silenced by muslims.
The Qur’an is filled with hate speech against the Jews and Christians.
Mohammad said in one of the authentic hadiths:
The day will come when even the rocks and trees will call out “THere is a JEw behind me, come and kill him.
Mohammad advocated the murder of people who change their belief systems.
“If anyone changes his religion, kill him”
THis is why Wilders is considering banning Islamic texts. They are full of ‘hate speech’
Muslims must face up to this and do something about those texts. DOn’t deny them, they’re all over the net now.
Speaking of Hitler, the Mufti of Jerusalem joined forces with him saying that Hitler could deal with the European Jews, while he and the Muslims would fix the Jews of the Middle East for good. You youngsters should know a little more history. The Muslim SS Division even sickened the Nazis with their atrocities.
The more you fight what somebody is saying the more interesting it becomes.
This guy used to be a lone wolf who was thrown out of a respectable political party. All he does is scream for attention by waving with his negative thoughts.
All the people fighting and or neglecting his thoughts in a strong emotional manner only fuel his supporters and followers.
Check out this movie from London for example: http://www.dumpert.nl/mediabase/669521/76c2a9da/haatbaarden_in_engeland_tegen_wilders.html
It must be painful to hear somebody say negative things about you and your holy book/religion or whatever. But you must realize that if he’s wrong and you a right then there is no reason to be afraid and or get angry in an emotional manner; resist in an intellectual way and you will be right.
What I don’t understand is how people seem to consistantly confuse Islam with Muslims and even confuse being Muslim with being Irish or African American.
You cannot have a rational debate if people don’t even know what it is you are talking about.
To explain,Islam is a believe system.
A Muslim is someone that freely chooses to follow that believe system.
It has nothing to do with being Irish or Jewish or African American.
Being anti-Islamic also has nothing to do with racism, since Islam is not confined to any race or ethnic group.
You have Irish Muslims, Jewish Muslims, and African-American Muslims.
You clearly have not taken any applied social psychology or inter-cultural communications courses. As typical of most Islamophobes, you want to separate “racism” and Islamophobia into two separate things, when in actuality, they are seen in the same light by anti-racist, anti-prejudice academics. Perhaps you don’t believe in the word “anti-Semitism” either because Semites refers to the Semitic people, which include Arabs.
Anastasia – You obviously have limited knowledge about the Qur’an and probably don’t even care about establishing positive relations with Muslims. Do you know any Muslims personally? Do you have Muslim friends? Have you ever visited a Mosque? Or do you blatantly just hate Muslims because of all the fear-mongering that Geert Wilders propagates? Hateful verses against Jews and Christians? Excuse me? Clearly, you have never read these verses:
[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the Sabians; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
There is no way to get around this verse and there is no way you can twist this into hatred. The Christians and Jews are given a title in the Qur’an: The People of the Book, or according to other translations, Followers of an Earlier Revelation. I don’t know what Hadith you’re citing, but you have to understand that there are many Hadith that are fabricated and not authentic. If the Hadith contradicts what is in the Qur’an, then it is not authentic.
It’s interesting that Jackson didn’t respond to me. I suppose he can’t make respond with any substance. It is easier to hate people than to make efforts to understand them.
PS @ Anastasia,
Um, the Muslims actually protected the Jews during World War II. Sultan Mohammad V in Morocco, for instance, rejected Nazi laws that called for Jewish citizens to wear identifying badges or clothes. Morocco protected the Jews from Nazi Germany.
Albanian Muslims sheltered Jews from Greece, Slovakia, and Germany. Almost every Jew survived in Albania, a Muslim majority country. Read about it. Here’s the link:
“You clearly have not taken any applied social psychology or inter-cultural communications courses. As typical of most Islamophobes, you want to separate “racism” and Islamophobia into two separate things, when in actuality, they are seen in the same light by anti-racist, anti-prejudice academics.”
Well that would be utterly retarded if they held such a position.
Being anti-racist and anti-prejudice doesn’t make one racist towards racists or people with prejudices.
People are people and ideas are ideas you fight the ideas not the people who hold (what they consider to be wrong) ideas.
The only ones who try to frame anti-Islamics as being racist are those who wish to not have to engage or debate or have there believe system questioned or rejected.
The whole term Islamophobe should be seen in this light, it is to suggest that being against Islam makes one irrational.
Such a term should not be acceptable to any scholar who believes in the free exchange of ideas and is taught to question any and all things.
Anti-semitism is hatred of Jews not because of what they say or do but because of what they are.
A believe that Jews are born evil as subhumans untermenchen, to be treated unfairly and unjustly on the basis of characteristics they cannot change.
The persecution of Jews in the Islamic world takes much of the same form as it did in the Christian world with the exception that it hasn’t yet taken the form of industrialised extermination of the kind we have witnessed with Nazi Germany.
[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the Sabians; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
This aya is often quoted but no one asks what it actually means.
It’s quite clear what it means, it means those Christians and Jews who have maintained there Islamic faith and led a “rightious” life as in accordance with Islamic law and believe will not be send to hell.
Christianity and Judaism are seen in Islam as corrupted versions of Islam.
According to Islam there was never a New Testament Jesus or Old Testament Moses there were only the Islamic versions, Isa and Musa and it is suggested that there followers changed and corrupted there teachings over time.
“Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the Sabians; anyone who believes in GOD, and believes in the Last Day, and leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.”
And those who dont?
Mr.Wilders position is that Islam is similar to fascism or other totalitarian ideologies.
Where the Islamic view of the world is to be made uppermost through violent and barbaric oppression of ideas and concepts that are contrary to it.
This is then invoked as self defense.
For example the Meccans didn’t accept Muhammad and his followers exercising there new found believes, and here Muslims were eventually ordered to engage in all manners of organised violence to have Islam established in Mecca as the dominant religion and subsequently the world as a whole.
Which from the 7th century onwards led to numerous wars and invasions of non-Muslim lands.
And that continues to this day in practically all Muslim states and non-Muslim states which border them or have subtantial Muslim minority populations.
Some of the most murderous episodes of Islamic conquest takes place in the Indian subcontinent, which if studied in depth might reveal to have been the most murderous of all wars of conquest in all of recorded history.
Making the conquest of the America’s by various European powers look like a rather peaceful and moderate affair.
Similarly the sub saharan slave trade was far more brutal and extensive then the atlantic slave trade engaged in by various European powers.
It also lasted much longer and it’s most brutal form chattle slavery,still excists today in many countries of the continent.
All of which have a history of Islamic imperial invasion and occupation.
You make no sense at all and you have not responded to what I have shared. Thanks for showing us that you do not care about establishing positive or friendly relations with Muslims. You probably don’t have any Muslim friends because if you did, you wouldn’t be making stereotypical remarks.
Your interpretation of the Qur’anic verse is incredibly flawed and viewed through an extremely prejudice and anti-Islamic lens. It’s actually pretty disturbing that you twist a peaceful and welcoming verse into something hateful.
Your version of Islamic history only exists in that paranoid and Islamic mentality of yours. Read “Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Conflict and Cooperation” by Zachary Karabell for an objective view on Islamic history.
Also be sure to read “Lost History: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers, and Artists” by Michael H. Morgan, and “No god but God” by Reza Aslan.
Surely, you do not hate an entire group of people, right?
Get over it people. Not everyone loves Islam. It’s time you get used to people thinking differently than you. You’re acting like the “prophet” muhammad himself, who killed those he disagreed with. He also married a 6 year old. If he lived in today’s world Muhammad would be on the sex offender registry.
Actually, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never killed anyone that disagreed with him. He and the early Muslims defended themselves against the Quraysh tribe that waged war upon them. In other words, you’re empathizing with murderers. And the Prophet’s marriage with hazrat Ayesha was a political one, it was not about sexual relations. Also, hazrat Ayesha carried on the Prophet’s teachings and is one of the most remarkable women in Islamic history. In other words, she was proud to be a Muslim. As I suggested, you should read “The Muslim Next Door” to understand it better.
You are taking a cheap shot at the religion of Islam. The more appropriate analogy would be saying that YOU are behaving like a KKK member or an anti-semite. After all, anti-semites usually attack the religion of Judaism to degrade and dehumanize the Jewish people (e.g. Neo-Nazis call Jews “Christ killers”).
Aren’t you ashamed of yourself that you hate Muslims? No one else is making attacks on religions here. The only person doing that is you, and it exposes how much of a bigot and hater you are. I feel very sorry for you because you’re probably petrified by the fact that Muslim-Americans are integrated in the United States. You are bound to shake a Muslim’s hand and meet Muslims in your everyday life, and when you do, you will realize how hateful you were being.
@Jehanzeb October 21st, 2009 at 8:49 pm
I don’t think it’s proper to use personal attacks when you wish to have a informed debate.And I do not see how it’s relevant to the issue at hand to debate my personal life and whom i choose to have relations with.
As to the aya you mention, I’ve not done anything other then explain how Muslim scholars have interpreted this verse for 1400 years and beyond.
I don’t know a single authorative Islamic scholar that interprets the verse to mean anything else then what I’ve already stated.
I also do not see how it’s supposed to be a peaceful verse , i believe all people are to be treated equally regardless of whats inside there head.
It doesn’t make a difference to me if a Muslim goes and rapes a woman or a non-Muslim does so.
It doesn’t matter to me if they are male or female.
I don’t believe Muslims are above the law or are to be given special rights and privileges over those of anyone else in society.
“And the Prophet’s marriage with hazrat Ayesha was a political one, it was not about sexual relations. ” whatever reason you give it’s just plain sick, Muslim sources said Muhammad married her at 6 and consummated her at 9. I know a lot about Islam.
“He and the early Muslims defended themselves against the Quraysh tribe that waged war upon them.” How can you call destroying idols that he didn’t like and invading cities all over arabia self defense? This is twisted logic.
I don’t hate Muslims. I feel sorry for them. I hate Islam like I hate Nazism. Both are a disease to humanity. History shows it.
But to clarify many things about Muhammad see this youtube clip by a scholar who knows his stuff.
How can you hate Nazism when you’re behaving exactly like them? The Nazis made anti-semitic propaganda films to dehumanize the Jews and that led to a holocaust. Geert Wilders makes anti-Islamic propaganda films to demonize Muslims and then advocates to ban the Qur’an, end Muslim immigration, and tax Muslim women who wear the hijaab. That sounds like a Nazi to me.
When you say you feel sorry for Muslims, that’s what we academics call ambivalent racism. It’s when you express superficial sympathy for a group of people, but deep down, you really hate them because you believe they’re inferior to you.
Enroll in an inter-cultural communications class. Read “The Muslim Next Door.”
Only a small minority of Germans were truly fanatical Nazis, but because the moderate Germans didn’t take them serious, they got pulled into these fanatics’ sheer madness until no one dared to differ any more and everybody became a tool or instrument (= having no free will) of this totalitarian regime.
Speak and act up while you may, because if you don’t, you might lose those privileges and much, much more sooner than you think.
PS How much freedom of speech can one find in any of those Muslim countries? How well would a Muslim version of “Life of Brian” go down? Do they have a sense of humour? Are they capable of self reflection, relativism? How healthy is it not to be able to tell apart yourself from your religion (”If you insult Islam you insult all Muslims”)? If you can’t tell the difference between yourself and something you belief in, have you then not lost sovereign control over your own will? If you don’t have sovereign control over your own will, have you then not become a tool of the totalitarian ideology that you have taken for a religion?
“ordered to engage in all manners of organised violence to have Islam established in Mecca”
You are heavily submerged in late night shows and are far from Islamic history. Though far from complete, here is a discription of treaty which was broken and hence Mecca was attacked by Prophet of Allah. The prophet of Allah never attacked unless the treaty was broken, never.
Many people speak but those who are students in universities are expected not to speak about things they have no knowledge of.
-Regarding the Muslim belief on New Testament,
New Testament: Did Isa(Peace be upon him) speak english? Surely you have used your pens on the revelation.
-“I don’t believe Muslims are above the law or are to be given special rights and privileges over those of anyone else in society.”
So, does not this mean that the lawmaker are above the law because they can make it? If you really want to fight for equality, fight for those 5.5 billion people who are governed by laws made by 1 billion people in rich countries.
-“Some of the most murderous episodes of Islamic conquest takes place in the Indian subcontinent, which if studied in depth might reveal to have been the most murderous of all wars of conquest in all of recorded history.”
I am from India, I have studied its history along with ancient literature, again either things brutal than Mughals in India are left unrecorded by your ears or you are heedless to start with. Forget recording, have you ever bothered to count deaths of civilians in much smaller land of Palestine? Why will you care? Counting it does not serve your ego.
Its obscure that you are hypocritical to your own way of understanding life. You count on nothing but your ego to be intellectual but end up having bits and pieces of unclarified corrupted information.
““He and the early Muslims defended themselves against the Quraysh tribe that waged war upon them.” How can you call destroying idols that he didn’t like and invading cities all over arabia self defense? This is twisted logic.”
True, if you have no other way to know about Islam than to click on some youtube channel while watching some movies, surely, your informations shall be corrupted. Its hilarious that you have quoted youtube.
Did the prophet of Allah ever attacked unless the treaty was broken? Never, unlike americans who never respect other’s, attacked Vietnam, Iraq,…
You tell a war that prophet of Allah started with out any treaty being broken by the people on the other side?
You know nothing about Islam than what CNN, ABC and NBC teaches you on late night shows. For sure you are heedless.
Wow, you are incredibly ignorant. Do Muslims have a sense of humor? You’ve clearly never seen the Canadian TV show, “Little Mosque on the Prairie” (which gets high ratings in Canada and is well into its fourth season). You also haven’t seen the “Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.”
Want to see Arab and Muslim sense of humor? Run a YouTube search on Maz Jobrani, Ahmed Ahmed, Azhar Usman, Aron Kader, Dean Obeidallah, Maysoon Zaid, and Mo Amer.
As for comedy in the “Muslim world,” there are plenty of comedy shows in Muslim countries. The “Tom Cruise” of Indian cinema, for example, is Shah Rukh Khan, A MUSLIM. If you’ve ever seen any of his films, then you’d know that he has a sense of humor. Keep in mind that when you say “Muslim world,” you are making generalizations about an incredibly diverse population. Muslims are Arab, Iranian, Pakistani, Indian, Indonesian, African, Asian, European, American, Latino, and so on. There’s plenty of humor.
Go make some Muslim friends and they’ll tell you some jokes. Don’t worry, we don’t bite 🙂
Funny, when I was in college I felt threatened by the fact Nation of Islam,a recognized hate group, was invited to speak by the Black Student Union. That didn’t stop the fact that they were still allowed to speak. Why is it all Muslims, Arabs and Africans have to do is say they feel uncomfortable with something and it is banned. Try it the other way- complain that a guest of the African, Arab or Muslim student group makes you uncomfortable as a Caucasian/Jew/homosexual/Christian/atheist/etc and see if it changes anything… it won’t
Your anti-Muslim prejudice is showing. Clearly you have your own personal issues that you need to sort out.
Perhaps you should make some Muslim friends! 🙂
You didn’t catch my drift, buddy. Let me put it this way: when do you figure the Muslim equivalent of a Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” will get made and shown throughout the Muslim world? 1 year? 10 years? 100 years? 1000 years? Never? I have no doubt Muslims can make jokes, but can they make relativistic fun of themselves and anything they believe in including Allah and the prophet Mohamed, without risking their lives?
The more illusions you are able to destroy the clearer your view of the truth will be, but of course everyone is free to choose their own path, aren’t they?