The [Muslim Student Association] joined the case after the publication of an April 11 item in the Source saying that Islam is a violent religion. "We have to take it seriously," said junior Shirwac Mohamed, the MSA co-chair who will represent the organization at today's hearing. He said that many Muslim students, even those not normally active in MSA, have complained about the item.
"I looked at the article and was flabbergasted," he said. "It's intentionally putting a negative spin on Islam."
My first reaction was — welcome to America: We're allowed to intentionally put a negative spin on religion here, just as we're allowed to criticize any other ideology. There should be nothing flabbergasting about open debate in America, debate which doesn't assume that any religious belief is sacrosanct.
But I guess the joke is on me, because welcome to Tufts: A university panel (consisting mostly of faculty members) has concluded that in fact Tufts does not allow "attitudes or opinions that are expressed verbally or in writing" that create a "hostile environment" through "unreasonable attacks based on [students'] religion." Or at least that's so when, in the commitee members' views, the criticisms of religion somehow manage to avoid "promoting political or social discourse"; somehow "putting a negative spin of Islam," which I would have thought is a form of political or social discourse, doesn't actually promote such discourse.
So, my apologies, Mr. Mohamed: You're right to be flabbergasted when people "intentionally put a negative spin of Islam," when you're in Tufts' No Unreasonable Anti-Religious Attitudes Or Opinions Zone.
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- McLean's Article on the Campaign to Create an International Law Norm Banning "Defamation of Religion":
- Opinion Preliminarily Enjoining SFSU Civility Code...
- FIRE's Greg Lukianoff on the Tufts Punishment of Blasphemy:
- "Intentionally Putting a Negative Spin on Islam" -- Flabbergasting!
- The New Anti-Blasphemy Rules, Again:...
- The Effort to Ban "Defamation of Religion" and the Democracy Deficit of International Law:
- Baltimore Hebrew University Professor Supporting Legal Penalties for "Negative Depiction of Religion":
- A New International Law "Value" -- Freedom from "Defamation of Religions"?