Rutgers Apologizes For Canceling Foreign Policy Speech After Leftists Brand Speaker “Islamophobe” & “Bigot”

It’s great that Rutgers apologized. Usually, universities and colleges shun those who have been smeared as “Islamophobes,” with no right of appeal or any chance for open discussion.

But note this: “The petition calling on the school to block Daftari misquoted the 2015 speech she gave at the Heritage Foundation when she said ‘Islamic terror claims to take its teaching from the Quran.’ The petition left out the word ‘claims,’ changing the meaning of her words and claiming she was ‘hate-mongering’ by ‘equating Muslims everywhere with ISIS.’”

There are numerous problems with this. If Lisa Daftari had actually said that “Islamic terror takes its teaching from the Quran,” would this mean that she was “hate-mongering” by “equating Muslims everywhere with ISIS”? Neither of those claims make any sense. The statement she made, and the statement she was misrepresented as making, are both statements about the Qur’an, which is a book that is publicly available and that anyone can read. Apparently, it is not “hate-mongering” to say that “Islamic terror claims to take its teaching from the Quran,” but it is “hate-mongering” to say that “Islamic terror takes its teaching from the Quran.” So it seems that one must believe that the Qur’an does not teach terrorism, or else one is guilty of “hate-mongering.”

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Why must this be so? The Qur’an has Allah saying that he will strike terror in the unbelievers (3:151), and that he inspired the angels to strike terror into unbelievers (8:12), and that Muslims should strike terror in unbelievers (8:60). Must one ignore this or explain it away, and deny the plain and obvious fact that Islamic jihadists cite the Qur’an to justify their acts of violence and terror, or else be charged with “hate-mongering”? Cannot one read a book and come to a particular understanding of it, and an entirely reasonable and well-supported one at that, without there being a moral judgment on his interpretation?

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And how would seeing the Qur’an as inciting Islamic terror be “equating Muslims everywhere with ISIS”? Is noting that the New Testament tells Christians to love their enemies and turn the other cheek equating Christians everywhere with Mother Theresa? There is the book, and there are the people. Any individual Muslim may or may not live by this or that teaching of the book, just as any individual Christian may or may not live by any given teaching of his or her holy book.

This is the muddled thinking that prevails in universities today. But anyway, Lisa Daftari only said that Islamic terror claims its inspiration from the Qur’an, not that Islamic terror actually has any connection to the Qur’an, and so she is acceptable to speak at Rutgers. Universities are places where ideas are evaluated on their merits, but only some ideas, you see. And fewer and fewer all the time.

“Rutgers apologizes for canceling alum speech after she was branded ‘Islamophobe,’ ‘bigot,’” by Caleb Parke, Fox News, October 17, 2018:

Rutgers University has apologized to a foreign policy expert and alum of the school after they scrapped her university-sponsored speech initially scheduled for Tuesday following left-wing protests.

Lisa Daftari was invited to speak on “Radicalism on College Campuses,” but her talk was “postponed” by Rutgers officials with no explanation following a petition that slammed her as a “hate-mongering” “Islamophobe” and “bigot” before a dueling petition urged the school to let Daftari speak.

“A small handful of campus bullies decided that they can throw around the word ‘Islamophobia’ in an unethical and irresponsible way, because it is one of the social justice buzzwords, and get their way,” Daftari told Shannon Bream Friday on “Fox News @ Night.”

The petition calling on the school to block Daftari misquoted the 2015 speech she gave at the Heritage Foundation when she said “Islamic terror claims to take its teaching from the Quran.” The petition left out the word “claims,” changing the meaning of her words and claiming she was “hate-mongering” by “equating Muslims everywhere with ISIS.”

Following a media firestorm, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui sent a letter Monday afternoon apologizing to Daftari and offering four new dates in November to reschedule her talk.

“I want to write to clear up any confusion regarding your invitation to speak at the University. To the degree that I may have contributed to the confusion, I hope you will accept my apology,” Sifuentes-Jáuregui wrote. “Such free and respectful discussion is fundamental to Rutgers’ core values and is practiced every day at Rutgers.”

But Daftari told Fox News she was unsatisfied.

“The university unilaterally canceled the event without looking into baseless allegations and falsified quotes,” Daftari said. “After the cancellation received considerable media and campus attention, Rutgers only proposed to reschedule the talk in an insincere, last-minute PR attempt to mitigate the appearance of bias.”…

Article posted with permission from Robert Spencer

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