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Report: Jewish student group threatened over ‘Obsession’ showing

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By mmguestblogger  •  January 9, 2007 05:23 PM

“Obsession” is, of course, a documentary about radical Islam. You may have caught it on Fox News or Hot Air.

Students:

Michael Abdurakhmanov, president of Pace Hillel, said two deans warned that showing the documentary film would implicate club members as suspects in two hate crimes involving the desecration of the Koran at the university’s lower-Manhattan campus last fall.

In addition, Abdurakhmanov said an assistant dean physically restrained him as he attempted to defend the film and his group in a meeting with administrators.

“The message was pretty clear, if you show this film, you’re going to incriminate yourself,” Abdurakhmanov said…

Hillel had planned to screen “Obsession” during Judaism Awareness Week in November. The school stepped in after receiving complaints from Muslim students that the film negatively portrayed Islam.

In September and October, copies of the Koran were found in toilets in men’s rooms on the Manhattan campus. Those incidents were followed by the discovery of a swastika scrawled on a bathroom wall and a Hillel event poster.

Pace University administrators:

Pace spokesman Chris Cory acknowledged that officials encouraged Hillel to postpone the screening until tensions over the hate crimes dissipated, but dismissed the accusations of coercion as “far-fetched,” “implausible” and “unprofessional.”…

“The bottom line is the university never told them not to show the film,” said Cory, the Pace spokesman. “This was a good-faith effort by the deans to mediate between the Muslim Students Association and Hillel.”

They “encouraged” Hillel? Vee-haf-vays-of-makeeng-you-tolerant kind of “encouragement?” Even if the administration isn’t actively threatening him and others, as Abdurakhmanov says it is, it is collapsing big-time in the face of Muslim criticism, which I think is now officially a major at most U.S. universities. I hope an investigation of Abdurakhmanov’s serious allegations will be as quick and thorough as the investigation of the Koran “hate-crime.” Ha, let’s not hold our breath.

The Muslim Student Association at Brown managed to get a speech by anti-jihad critic Nonie Darwish cancelled this fall before Brown reconsidered the knee-jerk and re-invited her.

Check out the Pace administration’s fold to MSA criticism in the wake of the Koran incident in the fall. According to the MSA, the administration was not conscientious enough in its dealings with the matter even though an investigation had started and a properly P.C. e-mail had been sent within hours (emphasis mine):

In his email, Caputo alerted the community about the issue and condemned the act, calling it “despicable,” asking for tolerance and respect throughout the University. Caputo also said the Quran was “water damaged but not defaced in any other way,” prompting shock throughout the student body, including the Muslim Students Association (MSA), who demanded a vigorous investigation and rejected the notion that the act only resulted in water damage.

Members of the MSA said Caputo’s email was misleading, noting the act was indeed one of defacement and the letter “added insult to injury (…) and the act must be documented as a hate crime and penalized to the fullest extent.”

Just one meeting with students later (emphasis mine):

After students spoke, Caputo addressed the town hall guests and community by saying, “I apologize. We were trying to handle this situation the best we could.” He also said he wanted to further efforts to promote tolerance and respect, and to reassure the community that the incident was being taken seriously.

Pace later collaborated with CAIR in its healing “Campaign Against Hate:” (emphasis mine)

In addition, the sessions will provide an open forum for dialogue about the recent incidents and an opportunity for questions about different cultures, groups, or practices. Information on Islam has been developed in consultation with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Well, isn’t that special?

Democracy Project reported on this back in November. At the time, a letter from Abdurakhmanov about the incident claims he asked the Muslim Student Association about collaboration:

I am President of Hillel, a Jewish club at Pace University. Part of our Judaism awareness week (week long full of events relating to Judaism- Nov 13 – 17th) we wanted to show the film “Obsession.” Three weeks before the day of the event I contacted MSA– Muslim Student Association, and notified them that I was going to show the film and have a panel of speakers discuss the film before and after it was viewed. I asked MSA if they would like to collaborate with us on and offered them a chance to bring a speaker of their choice.

“Obsession” is a movie– a serious, well-made movie about the No. 1 political issue of the day. There is no speaker, concern for whose safety can allow Pace to weasel out of standing up for academic freedom in the Columbia-approved fashion.

It’s a political movie. On a college campus. How whiney-baby lame can these guys get? Make no mistake about it, the tolerance fetishists are not pro-free speech. Pace administrators and the MSA: Suck. It. Up.

Update: LGF says, “Notice that doing something to a book is now being routinely labeled a “hate crime.”

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