Posted by Curt on 12 May, 2007 at 10:35 am. 1 comment.

Welcome to America where free speech is protected…….or we thought it was anyways.

FIRE put out a statement yesterday describing a situation we see quite often nowadays.  A University has deemed a article filled with facts as harassment

Showing profound disregard for free speech and freedom of the press, Tufts University has found a conservative student publication guilty of harassment and creating a hostile environment for publishing political satire. Despite explicitly promising to protect controversial and offensive expression in its policies, the Tufts Committee on Student Life decided yesterday to punish the student publication The Primary Source (TPS) for printing two articles that offended African-American and Muslim students on campus. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has spearheaded the defense of TPS, is now launching a public campaign to oppose Tufts’ outrageous actions.

“We now know that Tufts’ promises of free expression are hollow,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “By punishing political expression—the type of expression at the very core of the right to free speech—Tufts has shown that, in spite of its promises, it has no regard for its students’ fundamental rights. Such hypocrisy must not go unchallenged.”

Last December, TPS published a satirical Christmas carol entitled “Oh Come All Ye Black Folk.” Although TPS runs a Christmas carol parody every year, December’s carol sparked controversy on campus because it harshly lampooned race-based admissions. Realizing that the carol offended large portions of the Tufts community, TPS published an apology on December 6, 2006. Four months later, however, a student filed charges alleging that the carol constituted “harassment” and created a “hostile environment.” Other students filed similar charges in response to TPS’ April 11, 2007 piece entitled “Islam—Arabic Translation: Submission,” a satirical advertisement that ridiculed Tufts’ “Islamic Awareness Week” by highlighting militant Islamic terrorism.

The two complaints were consolidated for a hearing before the university’s Committee on Student Life on April 30, 2007. Yesterday, the Committee issued a decision holding that TPS had violated the university’s harassment policy by publishing the two pieces. The Committee found that the carol “targeted [black students] on the basis of their race, subjected them to ridicule and embarrassment, intimidated them, and had a deleterious impact on their growth and well-being on campus.” The Committee also held that the parody of Islamic Awareness Week “targeted members of the Tufts Muslim community for harassment and embarrassment, and that Muslim students felt psychologically intimidated by the piece.”

Felt psychologically intimidated!  Intimidated by FACTS!  Not one of the statements they made was untrue, see for yourself:

Islam
Arabic Translation: Submission

In the Spirit of Islamic Awareness Week, the SOURCE presents an itinerary to supplement the educational experience.
 
MONDAY: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” – The Koran, Sura 8:12
 
Author Salman Rushdie needed to go into hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeni declared a fatwa calling for his death for writing The Satanic Verses, which was declared “blasphemous against Islam.”
 
TUESDAY: Slavery was an integral part of Islamic culture. Since the 7th century, 14 million African slaves were sold to Muslims compared to 10 or 11 million sold to the entire Western Hemisphere. As recently as 1878, 25,000 slaves were sold annually in Mecca and Medina. (National Review 2002)
 
The seven nations in the world that punish homosexuality with death all have fundamentalist Muslim governments.
 
WEDNESDAY: In Saudi Arabia, women make up 5% of the workforce, the smallest percentage of any nation worldwide. They are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle or go outside without proper covering of their body. (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001)
 
Most historians agree that Muhammed’s second wife Aisha was 9 years old when their marriage was consummated.
 
THURSDAY: “Not equal are those believers who sit and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit. Unto all Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit by a special reward.” – The Koran, Sura 4:95
 
The Islamist guerrillas in Iraq are not only killing American soldiers fighting for freedom. They are also responsible for the vast majority of civilian casualties.
 
FRIDAY: Ibn Al-Ghazzali, the famous Islamic theologian, said, “The most satisfying and final word on the matter is that marriage is form of slavery. The woman is man’s slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person.”
 
Mohamed Hadfi, 31, tore out his 23-year-old wife Samira Bari’s eyes in their apartment in the southern French city of Nimes in July 2003 following a heated argument about her refusal to have sex with him. (Herald Sun)
 
If you are a peaceful Muslim who can explain or justify this astonishingly intolerant and inhuman behavior, we’d really like to hear from you! Please send all letters to tuftsprimarysource@gmail.com.

This supposed Islam Awareness Week was an attempt by the staff of the University to teach the students about Islam.  But watch out, if you teach anything that casts Islam in an unflattering light it is now harassment.

Wretchard makes a great point:


In the case of the Tufts student newspaper article for example, one wonders whether the result would have been different had the target of the satire been the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

What happened to our schools responsibilities to teach different viewpoints?  Different opinions?  To give each student a well-rounded education?

Let the staff of Tufts know that this article is not harassment, it is facts:

President of Tufts = bacow@tufts.edu

Great email sent to the President of Tufts:

Dear President Bacow,

I read with distress about the disciplinary decision about The Primary Source.

I speak as a lawyer who practiced First Amendment law in the US Supreme Court for thirty-three years. Tufts receives federal assistance. Therefore, such decisions are partly government associated. Therefore, it is a classic civil rights violation for Tufts to shut down the freedom of speech of this, or any other publication.

I suggest that you, as President of the University, see to it that this egregious decision is reversed as quickly as possible, or prepare for a law suit in which the University will lose a large amount of money, deservedly so.

Mind you, I do not represent any parties in this matter, nor do I seek to do so. I’m just letting you know, in case your own counsel have not given you the same message, that your institution is in big trouble, and it is your responsibility to ask properly and quickly.

Sincerely,

/s/

John Armor, Esq.
Highlands, NC 28741
John_Armor@aya,yale.edu

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