Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Free Speech? Only if it's not controversial

******* UPDATE BELOW *******

Adam Brodsky writes in the New York Post:


November 19, 2006 --
MUSLIMS are often accused of not speaking out sufficiently against terrorism. Nonie Darwish knows one reason why: Their fellow Muslims won't let them.

Darwish, who comes from Egypt and was born and raised a Muslim, was set to tell students at Brown University about the twisted hatred and radicalism she grew to despise in her own culture. A campus Jewish group, Hillel, had contacted her to speak there Thursday.

But the event was just called off.

Muslim students had complained that Darwish was "too controversial." They insisted she be denied a platform at Brown, and after contentious debate Hillel agreed.

Weird: No one had said boo about such Brown events as a patently anti-Israel "Palestinian Solidarity Week." But Hillel said her "offensive" statements about Islam "alarmed" the Muslim Student Association, and Hillel didn't want to upset its "beautiful relationship" with the Muslim community.

Plus, Brown's women's center backed out of co-sponsoring the event, even though it shares Darwish's concerns about the treatment of women. Reportedly, part of the problem was that Darwish had no plans to condemn Israel for shooting Arab women used by terrorists as human shields, or for insufficiently protecting Israeli Arab wives from their husbands.

In plugging their ears to Darwish, Brown's Muslim students proved her very point: Muslims who attempt constructive self-criticism are quickly and soundly squelched - by other Muslims.

"Speaking out for human rights, women's rights, equality or even peace with Israel is a taboo that can have serious consequences" in the Arab world, Darwish says.

Isn't it a wonderful thing that our finest centers of liberal education no longer allow controversy! It's so annoying. And it almost always interferes with indoctrination.

UPDATE (11/22/2006): Talk Show Host Michael Graham has announced that Brown University itself has re-invited Nonie Darwish to speak on campus. I don't have a date or time as yet.

Graham believes this is a victory for talk shows and the blogosphere. I hardly think so. First of all, Graham himself tried unsuccessfully to get former Iraninan leader Mohammed Khatemi banned from speaking at Harvard. He is no friend of free speech, but simply hides his personal bias and prejudices behind his radio host "aura" of free speech.

No, I believe it is simply Brown University doing it's job and realizing a great wrong had been done here. When it comes to protecting free speech, I trust Brown Universtiy a whole lot more than I trust Michael Graham.

See also:

  • There Can Be No Compromise. Period.
  • It's 1, 2, 3, What Are We Fighting For?



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    Vigilante said...

    Speaking of campus freedoms, how do you feel about the suppression of student newspapers, Wizard?

    - said...

    Funny thing is...I bet most of the campus at Brown have no idea what is going on with this subject matter and even worse have no idea why dissent is such an important civics tools.

    Anonymous said...

    Isn't it a wonderful thing that our finest centers of liberal religion no longer allow controversy! It's so annoying. And it almost always interferes with indoctrination. ;-)

    Anonymous said...

    The latest episode in U*U attempts to use what formar UUA Pontiff John A* Buehrens refers to as "the secular authorities" to attempt to impose Unitarian Church censorship on yours truly occurred earlier today. It could get quite interesting. . .

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks for commenting about this Unitarian totalitarianism on The Emerson Avenger blog oh so wonderful Wizard of U*Us! ;-)

    Further comments and suggestions are most welcome.

    BTW Speaking of student newspapers you might find this letter to the editors of The McGill Tribune to be quite enlightening.

    Anonymous said...

    Oops! Forgot to suggest scrolling down to the middle of the page to read my letter about totalitarian Unitarian censorship and suppression of criticism and dissent. . .