Silencing Debate at Temple – by FrontPage Magazine

Islam Speech Controversy

Even before Dutch politician Geert Wilders delivered his address at Temple University this week, in which he warned students that a “stealth jihad” was stifling discussion of radical Islam, student groups and Temple faculty administrators had collaborated to confirm the urgency of his message that free speech is under assault in modern academia.

Indeed, Wilders’s speech, which was part of the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week campaign sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, almost didn’t take place. Although Wilders was invited to Temple by a student group, Temple University Purpose, other student groups tried to cancel his appearance. Ultimately, they did not succeed. But the difficulty of bringing Wilders to Temple, as well as the abrupt ending to his appearance due to student invective and interruptions, spoke volumes about the severely restricted range of expression on college campuses.

Opposition to Wilders began before he even set foot on campus. But rather than challenge Wilders’s ideas, or even accurately describe them, student groups demanded that they should not even be heard. Thus, the Student Senate at Temple passed a resolution denouncing Wilders for his “intolerable, disgraceful and prejudiced slandering of the Islamic faith” and urged the university to shut down the event. Another student leader, Megan Chialastri of the campus group All Sides, opposed giving Wilders the opportunity to present his side of the argument because that’s “just the way people feel on this campus.” Even the Temple University College Republicans, who initially co-sponsored Wilders’s appearance, in the end joined the chorus insisting that he should not be allowed to have his say.

Behind the scenes, university administrators pushed Temple University Purpose to call off the event. When TUP leader Brittany Walsh objected that Wilders, as an invited guest, was entitled to free speech protections, school officials rejected her appeal on the grounds that, as she put it, “Wilders is not an American citizen and therefore the First Amendment does not apply to him.” (Walsh pointed out that, in the United States, free-speech rights are also afforded to foreigners.)

Spearheading the most vocal part of the opposition to Wilders was the Temple chapter of the Muslim Student Association. The MSA is a creation of Egypt’s extremist Muslim Brotherhood that has given funds to Hamas-tied charities. But that dubious history did not deter the Temple MSA from charging that allowing Wilders to speak at the school was a danger to “the public safety of Muslims.” Revealingly, the MSA also protested Wilders’s appearance because it would not “honor the core principles of Islam.”

Of course, this complaint – that Islam should be specially exempt from criticism – is central to Wilders’s contention that the religion at heart is incompatible with Western legal traditions like free speech. Wilders’s used his 30-minute address on Tuesday to remind students of that point. As an example, he pointed to the Obama administration’s support earlier this month for a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution that would exert a chilling effect on free speech. Backed by Egypt and long supported by Islamic states, the resolution condemns attacks on all religions, though there is little mystery about which religion in particular it is designed to protect. Calling the resolution a “disgrace,” Wilders warned that such appeasement of Islamic mores would signal “the beginning of the end” for Western liberties. Unless Western societies opposed the spread of Islamic extremism, “you might at the end of the day lose your Constitution,” Wilders told students. “Wake up, defend your freedom,” he urged.

Instead, the students chose to shout him down. During a question-and-answer period, Wilders was repeatedly heckled by student agitators who berated him with insults and abuse. One student yelled that Wilders was “a genocide-loving racist clown.” Never mind that Wilders has always expressed support for individual Muslims even as he has opposed fundamentalist Islam – “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam,” Wilders has often said – while calling for Western countries to welcome gay Muslims fleeing persecution in their home countries. Regardless, the students in the audience weren’t interested in hearing Wilders explain his views. For all the pre-event concerns about supposed threats to Muslims, it was Wilders who had to be escorted from Temple’s Anderson Hall with the help of armed security guards and police.

That Wilders was not even allowed to finish his remarks was a sad commentary on the perilous state of campus free speech, observed DHFC president David Horowitz. “I think this [event] demonstrated how difficult it is to be critical of Islam on American college campuses today,” said Horowitz, who was himself recently prevented from speaking at St. Louis University when student groups claimed that his speech would insult Muslims. “These students ought to know that you don’t achieve tolerance by an act of intolerance like trying to keep the campus from hearing Wilders’ ideas. You banish intolerance by letting the light shine, not by creating darkness.” Had Geert Wilders not been forced from the stage, he might have made the same point.

  • antioli

    A case of the “Closed Mind Mafia in action”.
    They act like they say the “Right Wing Acts” but doesn't.
    A perfect example of psychological projection.
    They are the shadows of the derangement that Kim Il Sung ,Stalin ,Poll Pot etc. were suffering from.
    When they do meet Right Wing resistance they run and flee like the cowards they really are.

  • Jonny

    Who owns these universities? The taxpayers or the dope smoking Marxist traitors? I've never seen such a nation of grovelling pussies in my life. What a disgusting bunch of wimps Americans are.

  • libral

    Type your comment here.

  • libral

    i think part of liberty is to allow everyone to express his views , also i think some of the protestors are athiest so why they suddenly defend a religion!!

  • GBArg

    This information should go to every Temple University alumnus.

    I wonder if they know that their alma mater has been
    hijacked by the left and by Islamofascists.

  • josephwiess

    So much for freedom of speech. By the way, the freedom of speech, is the freedom to speak, without fear of government reprisals. Colleges are supposed to be bastions of free thought and discovery, but thanks to the MSA, anyone who even looks cross-eyed at a muslim gets sued, or shouted down.

    What ever happened to free debate in our society? I think it's gone, and I feel that one day we'll wake up and we won't be able to say anything against anyone and we'll be slaves to an overpowering government.

  • krislepine

    The most telling part of this story is in paragraph #4 where “school officials cited the fact Mr Wilders is not an American citizens so is not entitled to free speech”. Wait and watch America, as we will soon be giving “free speech” to the Islamic Terrorists, currently housed at Gitmo, as we bring them onto US soil and they are allowed to spew their filth and lies to any and all that will listen. And their will be many throughout the WORLD lapping up every word, just as the Obama Administration wants them to.

  • Krusader

    True defenders against Islamofascism are on the front lines engaging the enemy where they are attempting to do their most damage, colleges and universities. Aside from David Horowitz and the the brave people and frontpage, Geert Wilders is the only conservatives risking livilihood and life for what is the truth. The rest seemingly write and speak at a safe distance before an audience of like minded indivduals. I am poor and do not have a disposable income at all but am proud to have donated to the causes of both individuals.

  • mikemorano

    Ahhhhhhhhhh Temple University: All the embarrassingly, hypocritical leftist venom you'd expect from an Ivy League school, but coming from students and staff with retard-level IQs.

  • buzzzzzz



    Many STUDENTS and other observers will see the truth and they will eventually fill the ranks to fight against the groups that invite the real haters of our country and its Constitution!

    “The freedom of the Constitution to overthrow the Constitution!” Steve Chavez

  • vivianesu

    Islam is not ! a religion. It is a fascist and totalitarian ideology

  • PRCS

    Please consider the confusion that resluts from stating, in one sentence, “even as he (Wilders) has opposed fundamentalist Islam” while also stating in another that “The MSA is a creation of Egypt’s extremist Muslim Brotherhood”.

    As Muslims believe the Qur'an is God's literal word, and that they are expected to follow those words to the letter (though most–thankfully–do not), it follows that individual Muslim fundamentalists and fundamentalist groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are NOT extremists, and their behavior–rather than being the 'perversion of Islam' we're expected to believe it to be–is actually the behavior of true believers.

    Only when we finally acknowledge what Islam, as it is written in Qur'an and Sunnah, really teaches will we be able to tell our Muslim neighbors that their 'complete way of life' is–in great measure–antithetical to democracy and incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.

    We should begin by making sure our fellow 'unbelievers' know the truth about Islam; without confusing them.

  • abijah

    The Truth is there is God and there is the Devil. God is Yahweh and He is Jesus Christ or Yeshua one and the same. There is no other God but the Devil or Satan is a pretender and the god of this world. God created all that exists and everyone who does not acknowledge Him will stand before Him one day to bow the knee confess He is LORD and be judged. It is all about Jesus Christ and not at all about you or me. “Jesus Christ is The Way, The The Truth, and The Life and no one comes to Father God except through Him.” That is why there is this death struggle between Islam and Moslems and the Marxist atheist Left and followers of Jesus Christ and the Jews.. Until we face the fact that this is what it is all about individually and communally we lose. Light scatters darkness and darkness cannot overcome it. Tell the Truth loudly and boldly and watch the darkness recede like the tide before you.

  • abijah

    Type your comment here.

  • allahwins

    So, what else is new? This has been going on at college campuses for so long, it's the norm. Those with the greatest need for information are having their minds closed. It is a travesty and we suffer fools at our own peril.

  • LB

    Type your comment here
    Anyone who protests our most fundamental rights to free speech (and I naively thought that liberals are for such rights), do us a favor: move to a country more in tune with your intolerant views, say Saudi Arabia or any of the 22 Arab League States, or 57 Muslim dominant countries. What ever happened to the marketplace of ideas, allowing people to hear ALL SIDES, and being able to make an informed decision on their own, rather than allowing some politically-correct self-righteous,arrogant holier-than-thou types to tell us who can and cannot speak, what can and cannot be addressed? Isn't college supposed to be exactly the place to explore the university of ideas, to learn to be open minded?

  • Anthony

    Remember the Spaniards? The Moors came in in 711 and were not thrown out until 1492. What caused the long, protracted presente of the Muslim regime? In-fighting. The Spaniards were busy fighting among themselves for 781 years. But, finally, the Spanish Crown did not fooled around; they told the Muslims, either you accept our way of life and abide by it, or –YOUR ARE OUT!! for good.

    Will the Americans learn from the Spaniards? or will they continue to simply think about bread and circus (jobs and entertainment), while the 'stealh jihad' goes on unnotices by the general public? The goal of the Muslims, (good -moderate so called- and bad-jihadists) is to actually overthrow the US Constitution and set up a Caliphate, you know like the one in Cordoba, Spain. And it will take place in time given the apathy and ignorance, and shameless propaganda they are subjected to by our own government.

  • jfkessler

    well, there are faiths and there are faiths. Islam as a faith has reverted to its roots, in its Founder's era. All Infidels live under the perpetual sentence of death, unless they turn to Islam. It is simple. For Infidels to militate for Islam is both barbarous, ignorant of the Enlightenment, in the US and less so today in the EU, and perverse in the extreme. Of course, Stalin and Hitler were most Modern and Progressive, and would have seen to the extinction of the Believers, or removal to Central Asia and Gulag and/or crematoria eventually. We seem to be determined to head back towards that future.

  • LindaRivera

    As Americans we cherish our freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. We recognize our freedoms and human rights are given to us by G-D. Why are Muslim immigrants allowed to make constant attempts to take away our freedoms?

    Courageous Mr. Wilders placed his life in great danger for every non-Muslim. What has he done to make these Muslims so angry? He has simply showed the words of the Koran and the words of Muslim Imams.

    Americans are disgusted by the incredible religious hate: The Palestinian Authority call for the MURDER of ALL Jews and the MURDER of Americans:

    Broadcast from Gaza mosque, Oct 13 2000, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, on Palestinian Authority TV (transcribed by Memri): “Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them…”

    Hezbollah leader Nasarallah:

    If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. (Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002)

    There have been no Muslim street demonstration to protest the cruel Islamic attacks on non-Muslims in New York, Bali, India, Phillipines, Israel, London, Beslan, Madrid and more.

    The Creator of the Universe – the G-D who NEVER changes. The G-D whose word NEVER changes – He knows the future, Pure, Holy and Absolutely Good, G-D's requirement for ALL humanity is KINDNESS:

    'And what does the L-RD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your G-D.' Bible, Micah 6:8

  • LindaRivera

    Anti-Free World Netherlands SHOCKING ATTACK on Western Civilization

    Leaflets were distributed in major British cities which included slogans such as: “The final hour will not come until the Muslims kill the Jews.”

    Britain's response? “police appeared reluctant to prosecute because the calls to fight the Jews were carefully couched in quotes from the Koran.”

    Does Britain believe it's acceptable to call for the RELIGIOUS MURDER of Jews and other innocents because it's in the Koran? What a frightening violation of the Peoples' right to protection! !

    In Europe & other countries, Muslim mobs shout in our streets: 'Jews to the Ovens', 'All Jews to the Gas`.
    What is the European response to this great evil? They are persecuting innocent Geert Wilders! A frightened European asks: “When can we expect Kristallnacht part 2?”

    Why is Geert Wilders being punished for the WORDS of the KORAN and MUSLIMS?

    “the umbrella group for Dutch Muslims said that the film does not insult their religion”

    In prosecuting innocent Geert Wilders, the Netherlands is declaring non-Muslims have no human rights. No right to protest against the violent Islamic written and verbal calls for our murders. The Netherlands betrays all of innocent humanity.

    Protect Wilders and the Free World: Gobal street demonstrations for Wilders!
    PA Muslims CELEBRATE Murder of 3,000 innocent Americans 9/11

  • guest

    Alright, let's just go by these debate rules. If all you got is precedent, then we can start caning intellectuals again. Obama needs to remember what party freed his black ass before we bring back natural rights, a la, the right for the Jewish Republicans to hire the Protestant delinquents to beat up on those who don't know to shut their mouths. We got their industry. Tell Barak the Republicans took his stimulus dollars faster than he can spend them. What the hell is he going to do?

  • Kathleen3

    Interesting that those at Temple who do not believe a non-citizen is entitled to free speech, yet these are the very same people who support illegal aliens who march through our tax paid streets carrying foreign flags and demanding “rights” to which they are not entitled nor deserve. I hope these are not Temple Law staff/students!

    The same “know-it-all” staff/students who attempted to suppress free speech should be made to realize that, in large part, it is our tax dollars that allow this university to operate. For this reason they should also be made to realize it is not their privilege or right to determine who does/does not appear on campus.

    This incident only confirms reports that Temple University is on a steady decline. It is sad, as this University was once considered one of the best in the state.

  • Federated Republic

    And there shall be one to come among you, one who will shine the light of truth on the Demon and he shall be called, “The One”! (And it ain't Barack Hussein Obomber!)

    America Again in 2010;-)

  • Someone Who Was There

    Geert Wilders delivered his entire speech and screened his 16 minute “documentary.” The floor was then open to Q&A, but as it became more obvious that students weren't his biggest fans, they announced that he would be leaving – they did not say it was due to negative comments, but that too many people “wanted to make speeches.”

  • Federated Republic

    “This incident only confirms reports that Temple University is on a steady decline. It is sad, as this University was once considered one of the best in the state.”
    This statement is true of almost ALL colleges and universities across the nation with California being the worst and the breeding ground for all this leftist think speak rhetoric being spouted by brainwashed communist inculcated louts with tenure!

    DH & FPN have been on a tirade to expose this nationwide breeding ground of radical Marxist ideologists and the ideals of communists like Saul Alinsky and company since I fist came across his site in the late 90's. I have witnessed this personally as has my daughter when she went to Cal-Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. The surrounding town is so inculcated with liberal envronut whackos that they took over the local government and started passing a bunch whacko LAWS that banned, get this, ALL DRIVE THROUGH WINDOWS, including Taco Bell! Check it out if you don't believe me. If fact ask anyone who lives near any California university and you will find that most of the local governments are stacked with card carrying communists of one form another!

    This what you have coming at you friends and neighbors, the Fifth Column has arrived and NOT from Mexico or South America, but right here in our own University system all across America. This what David and his people having been desperately trying to impart to those paying a little bit of attention to what is going on the world. ALL of the poepl you see spouting the stinking lies of the left came out of our University system, not Russia, not Cuba, not any other nation of Marxist muddle!
    It's the Good Ole U.S. university system, full of tenured communists and radicals that could not get the '60' 'revolution' jump started, so they settled into a life of pernicious poisoning of our young minds and the university system in general. The current examples are fine examples of what tyrannical socialism and communism really means in everyday application! And they said it could never happen here, well it has, just look at WHO is the WH and WHO is controlling Congress then tell me what David and company has been saying is lie!

    The Dark Side has taken over the US government and the Empire has come to power. It's up to the brave band of 'rebel scum' to defeat the evil emperor and his menacing socialist minion Darth Rahm! As soon as we find our Jedi Knight, we'll get cracking, cracking some Demoncratic Empire heads;-) Hopefully Soon!

    America Again in 2010!

  • Jeff

    Maybe Temple University should change its name to Mosque University

  • tom bombadil

    Type your comment here.

  • akreynin

    As a student at Temple University, I am disgraced at the way my University treated Wilders. To Wilders and Horowitz: my sincerest apology for my University's wrongful behavior.

  • truthywood

    Wilders the Christian terrorist want to ban all Muslims , destroy Muslims, Kill Muslims and these right winger thugs here want to destroy Islam , kill every body in Iraq and other countries and they talk about freedom, Do they think that world is so stupid ,that they can fool whole world.

  • Max Friedman

    Guess who won't be making a donation to the Alumni fund this Fall?

    Max Friedman, LA '66; Vietnam/Cambodia journalist, 1970

    It will go to one of the funds that helps American soldiers, like my son who was one of the first into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It will be better spent than donation to a university that is run by cowards and appeasors

  • truthywood

    These are the same people , Who support illegal occupation by Israel, These are the same people who want to kill all blacks, all Mexicans, all non whites, these racist thugs are new version of Hitler.

  • truthywood

    They run around with guns to kill their president Obama because he is black, first non white president of America (Amerikkka?).

  • truthywood

    When did you kill you last black ?

  • truthywood

    Muslims are new blacks for racist white thugs like you. Whole world could see this.

  • Jonny

    Amen brother!

  • diginess

    I find this story ridiculously short on information, like why the students might not want him to speak there, who this guy is and what he stands for, what he's done, why the David Horowitz Freedom Center wants him to speak at the school, etc. Yet, I see all kinds of wide eyed remarks on the comments. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe it's a sort of running commentary.
    So far all I know is that the David Horowitz Freedom Center is some sort of right wing think tank, just looking at the article.

  • akreynin

    Good man!

  • diginess

    OK, let me give you my perspective on a couple of your points. Before you judge me just by reading these, know the following: I am a military member, yet I am still somewhat “left” by your standards. Reading your background information on your political opponent Soros, I don't know how you can read that and not empathize with the man somewhat in some of the things he is trying to do. For instance, I only disagree with his wanting to disarm people and getting rid of the death penalty. I also have sworn to defend the Constitution, so I can't justify us just giving control to the UN.
    However, I see serious faults with your party's thinking that I think will continue to cost you elections. Your post and some of the others encapsulates (contains) most of them:
    1. Everybody's out to get you. No they aren't. It's not the Muslims, the Communists, Marxists, Socialists, etc. all against you. That is, unless you specifically state they should all be against you because you're out to get them.
    You can always disengage. Currently we do fairly good business with China for instance. The Bush family could tell you all about their excellent relationship with all sorts of Muslims in the Saudi Arabian royal family. I could go on, but you get the point I hope.
    2. The university system is poisoned. Just because you find it hard or are too lazy to get an education doesn't mean the entire higher education system of the country is out to get you. Hard work yields success, now get out there and get cracking.
    3. The Dark Side has taken over the US government. This one is very obscure, I'm not quite sure where you're coming from on it, but I'll try to understand. OK, so they're not all Christian like you. They're not all the same color as you. They don't all have the same economic and cultural perspectives as you…that doesn't necessarily mean they're evil.

    I personally think you guys are somewhat evil (evil arises from ignorance). You know why? Primarily your complete non-tolerance of other peoples and inability to think objectively. Every single one of your statements could be directly transferred to the other side with a slight change of proper nouns to reflect the switch.

    Let's get back to Soros. That guy saw in Bush someone who had the country going towards tyranny. His family has direct experience with having to flee from the Nazis, so he knows what to look for. The simple fact of the matter is that our executive office has gotten to be quite powerful. Can't you recognize that his political influence in the long run will help you when your opposition is in power?
    You guys have turned your party into one that can only function at the lowest level of debate. You have to turn to talk shows for talking points, they never have enough data to back them up so you end up looking stupid, then in the long run you lose Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial System.
    It's because of the complete radicalization of your party that we no longer have a balanced political system. You know why your party has been radicalized in favor of religious fundamentalists?
    Your leadership favors a small elite leading massive corporations with no accountability. Sure, the corporation can be nice for a small business owner to shield from pointless law suits, but turn that into a massive organization, and you have an elite set of individuals who sit on a board, make 100x what their workers make, pay no health benefits, send jobs overseas to employ sweat shops, employs lobbyists who write bills which get voted into law by bought politicians, have their own security apparatuses which even participate in our wars, basically shit all over you. And you like it?
    That's what you stand for, that's who you are.

  • Randy Phillips

    Geert Wilders should speak at UC Irvine, the home of the islaofascist, racist abdel malik ali.

    Lets see if “free speech” is OK for Mr. Wilders as it is for abdel malik ali.

  • Someone Who Was There

    You're on the right track. Research both Horowitz and Wilders, and you'll find more.

  • libral

    i agree that islam not a religion . i mean that the anti islam conferences should have the freedom to express thier opinions and thoughts.