Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Intolerant Temple Students Trembling Over Geert Wilders Visit

Outside of the babies in the White House who whine about Fox News every day, is there a bigger bunch of bedwetters out there than the supposed forces of tolerance and diversity on college campuses? These people would be happy to have Stalin and Mao appear for hefty fees if they could only figure out how to exhume them.

But when someone comes along with an opposing viewpoint outside of the strict and rigid campus orthodoxy, well, we just can't have any of that.
A student organization's event scheduled for tonight has caused quite a stir on Temple University's campus.

The Student Senate has joined ranks with several organizations decrying a student group's invitation to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, known for anti-Islamic and anti-immigration beliefs, to speak on campus.

In an overwhelming vote yesterday, the governing body passed a resolution denouncing Wilders for "intolerable, disgraceful and prejudiced slandering of the Islamic faith."

Student Senate President Jeff Dempsey said he couldn't support the decision to invite Wilders and hoped that the university would pull the plug on the program at the last minute.

"I've never been ashamed to be a Temple student," Dempsey said, adding that university-sponsored dollars were not used to fund the event. "Our proud embrace of diversity and inclusion is tarnished by this man's provocation of hate."

Wilders was invited to speak by a new group on campus called Temple University Purpose.

Before the meeting, about a dozen students held signs with phrases including "Temple U. Does Not Condone Hate" and "Hate Speech [does not equal] Free Speech."

Among the demonstrators was Megan Chialastri, vice president of All Sides, an organization that seeks to promote peace between Israel and Palestine.

"We feel student groups should not bring people on campus that jeopardize the safety, or just the way people feel on this campus," she said.

In a letter issued last week, Monira Gamal-Eldin, president of the Muslim Students Association, criticized the university for being the first in the United States to allow Wilders to address students.

"The Muslim population at Temple feels attacked, threatened and ultimately unsafe that Mr. Wilders has been invited to voice his hate-driven opinions," she wrote.

"The decision to allow Mr. Wilders to share his viewpoints is a danger not only for the public safety of Muslims and the honor of the core principle of Islam, but also for academic integrity and objectivity on campus."

Nonetheless, the event will go on as planned, said university spokesman Ray Betzner. "We respect the right of our student organizations to invite people who express a wide variety of views and ideas," he wrote in an e-mail yesterday.

David Horowitz, of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which funded the event, issued a letter asking university officials to disregard the concerns of the Muslim students.

"The Temple community should reject the call by the MSA to censor free speech on the Temple campus, and should recognize it for what it is - an assault on the right of all Americans to have a democracy that is inclusive, tolerant and respectful of the rights of others," he wrote.
No doubt the forces of tolerance will pull out all stops to put the kibosh on this speech.

Meanwhile, Wilders is to appear at Columbia University Wednesday, where Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was warmly welcomed two years ago. Somehow I suspect Wilders will not be greeted so approvingly.

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