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Response to Ynna

Reader comment on item: My Disrupted Talk at the University of California-Irvine
in response to reader comment: To Reut Cohen, a Question

Submitted by Reut Cohen (United States), Feb 7, 2007 at 19:27

Hi Ynna,

Dr. Pipes was probably not included because many people call him a racist. I think this is the farthest from the truth, but unfortunately, UCI administrators don't want to stir up controversy and associate with a speaker many in the Muslim community find to be "racist."

I've met with Chancellor Drake and Vice-Chancellor Gomez. Personally I felt that Drake was more sympathetic to Jewish and pro-Israel students than the vice-chancellor. He also offered several stories about his own college career and how it was difficult to find acceptance as an African American. Drake even released a statement last May after the MSU "Holocaust in the Holyland" event which featured some of the most anti-semitic speakers imaginable (Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Neturei Karta "Rabbis," Norman Finkelstein...). I was somewhat encouraged. However, the chancellor did not address where the hate-speech came from (there was no mention of the MSU) and therefore ignored the problem. Still, he did do more than previous administrators, so maybe there is a small chance he will be responsive.

Of course it is always worth a shot to try and write to him. I don't know that every letter he receives lands on his desk, but I am fairly certain someone is reading it.

Personally I am not calling for a restriction on the MSU. I am, however, calling for administrators to publically condemn hate-speech so that students and community realize that the behavior of the MSU is unacceptable whether it is protected by the constitution or not.

Thank you for your message.

Reut Cohen

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