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Confrontation at UNM

Think Pro-Women, Not Anti-Islam

I WAS PRESENT on Feb. 23 for Nonie Darwish’s speech. The views she expressed were neither pro-Israel nor anti-Muslim.

The core tenet of her speech, as well as her books, are against jihad and sharia law, which allows and encourages the rape, torture and “honor killings” of women.

She left Egypt and converted from Islam to Christianity to escape the violent abuse of women that she so passionately was speaking about.

The Students for Justice in Palestine have been involved in many other campus protests around the country, often leading to disruption and violence. This well-organized disruption got the result they were looking for — angry reaction and widespread publicity.

While I don’t condone the pushing and shoving that took place, I fully understand the peaceful crowd’s reaction to the protesters.

To be very clear, this was no violent attack against the protesters, as many news organizations and bloggers have suggested. Yes, people were pushed and shoved and yelled at, but at the same time, the protesters were throwing things, yelling obscenities and pushing back.

The entire confrontation could have been avoided if the protesters had taken their turn at the microphone during the question and answer period.

However, that would not have served their express purpose of disruption, attention and sympathy.

JEFFREY PAUL

Albuquerque

We Should Keep Our Debates Civil

ON FEB. 23, I attended a lecture in the Anthropology Lecture Hall at the University of New Mexico. Nonie Darwish spoke on the topic “The Arab Spring, Why it Might Fail, and the Relation to Israel.” Darwish is an Egyptian Muslim who moved to the United States and then converted to Christianity.

In her talk, Darwish was careful to repeat several times that her quarrel is with Muslim ideology and not with Muslim people; most members of her family are Muslims.

About 30 minutes into the talk, a group of about seven or eight protesters started yelling from the back of the lecture hall, disrupting the talk. Several of them were reading from pieces of paper in their hands, and were yelling as loud as they could.

They were loud, boorish and rude.

It’s too bad that these people had to interrupt what was otherwise an informative lecture of the dangers that some elements in current-day Islam pose for Western countries.

In the Q&A session at the end of the lecture, several attendees took issue with Darwish’s views, and she responded to them. These people, for the most part, were polite, and were given a chance to state their positions.

That’s the kind of give-and-take that should take place at a university, not the shouting of those trying to silence opposing views.

PHIL PICKMAN

Tijeras

Hatred Must Not Be Allowed Here

THERE IS NO space for hate speech on the UNM campus or anywhere else in our community.

Nonie Darwish’s controversial speech last Thursday crossed the thin line between free speech and hate speech when she painted all Muslims and the entire Islamic faith (at last count there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide) as extremists and fanatics who want to make “war on the West.”…

I can’t help but wonder what my Jewish friends and family would think if a speaker was up on stage denouncing Judaism in the way that Darwish denounced Islam. First, they would rightly shout “Anti-Semite!” and then, if they had their wits about them, leave the auditorium and go protest at the university president’s house. I hope those same friends and family will denounce Nonie Darwish as a fear-mongerer and Islamophobe.

Hate speech and Islamophobia must not go unchallenged. The sponsors of Nonie Darwish’s presentation, including the UNM Israel Alliance, the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Congregation Albert Brotherhood, should renounce this fear-mongering.

LORA LUCERO

Albuquerque

Distinct Shortage Of Adult Behavior

YOU MISSED AN exciting evening on Feb. 23 at a talk at the University of New Mexico by noted author and speaker Nonie Darwish. She was talking about the evils of sharia law. Having lived under it much of her life, her views are important and valid. She knows of what she speaks.

A group of a dozen or so little brainwashed students, chanting “Free Palestine” and calling the speaker names, decided to do one of two things:

A. Halt a talk given at UNM by a guest speaker (then howl when they were thrown out), or

B. Create a situation so they would be expelled and then could accuse the only adults in the room of attacking them.

Hint: Check out the number of YouTube videos posted.

Do these children know about freedom of speech, or do they think that those who yell the loudest win?

Universities are now the hotbeds of the politics of personal destruction. There is no rational point of view except what these leftists view. Any other point of view can’t be valid, so, obviously, your motive must be wrong. In their minds you must be a hater to say things they don’t agree with.

If you speak out against gay marriage, you are a homophobe. If you speak out against abortion, you are anti-woman. If you speak against Islam, which is what was happening, then you are an Islamophobe. If you speak of welfare destroying the family, you are anti-black or anti-poor people.

What happened to civil dialogue?

What do you think?

DAVE CADY

Los Lunas

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