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Tufts Panel on the Mohammed Cartoons:

This story describes the panel, which was sponsored by three departments or centers in the school (the International Relations department, the Peace and Justice Studies department, and the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies) as well as three other groups. Oddly, as best I can tell, all five panelists seemed to be largely critical of the publication of the cartoons.

Do any of our readers know more about the panel? Was it more balanced than the story suggests? (Surely it wouldn't be the first time that a college newspaper, or any newspaper, failed to properly capture the spirit of an event.)

Seems to me that when an academic institution (as opposed to an advocacy group) participates in putting together a panel on a contested subject such as this one, it makes sense to include the cartoons' defenders as well as their critics. I wouldn't by any means impose such balance as a legal or even administrative requirement, and one can imagine situations where the balance is unnecessary: A panel on paleontology need not, for instance, have a Young Earther on it. But the cartoons controversy seems to be the sort of topic on which real debate would be helpful, and on which universities should try to provide real debate.

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