Students at prestigious Georgetown University are protesting a speech by Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-American human rights activist they are accusing of “hate speech” and “Islamophobia” for her opposition to extreme sharia law.
This despite that fact that the same Georgetown students recently had no problem with an Islamic Studies professor’s defense of slavery and rape.
As for Darwish, she was born a Muslim in Egypt but fled to the United States, abandoning her old religion. She was invited to speak before the Georgetown University College Republicans group about her new book, “Wholly Different: Why I Chose Biblical Values Over Islamic Values.” The Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute co-sponsored the event with the college group.
Referring to Islamic extremism, Darwish has previously declared it a threat, stating it “should be feared, and should be fought, and should be conquered, and defeated, and annihilated, and it’s going to happen.”
Her enemies at Georgetown denounced the invitation, condemning the Republican group that invited her in an op-ed for the Georgetown Voice that condemned Darwish for her “hateful and violent views” in a piece titled “Upcoming Campus Speakers Fuel Anti-Muslim Rhetoric.”
With no shortage of self-contradictory doublethink, writer Aly Panjwani, says in her article that she’s only trying to fight “hate speech”.
“My critique of these speakers is not an effort to silence free speech,” she claims. “These speakers are not exercising free speech, they are exercising hate speech, a speech of the kind that no organization, especially at Georgetown, should endorse or give a platform to.”
The criticisms are having an effect. The secretary of the GUCR just resigned following a barrage of complaints directed towards the organization. Explaining his resignation, Javon Price wrote that there is a “clear distinction between free speech and hate speech,” and that inviting Darwish crossed the line into unacceptable territory.
“I for one, reject and condemn any organization that hides behind the righteous principles of free speech,” Price wrote on Facebook. “I implore the College Republicans to cancel this event. If not, we not only choose to ignore the voices of our fellow Hoyas, but to maliciously offend them and their beliefs.”
His views were echoed by other students, who declared Darwish a “bigot,” whose views are “deeply disrespectful to the Georgetown Muslim community and to imam Yahya Hendi.”
The Georgetown University College Democrats praised Price for resigning.
“Hate […] is unworthy of the noble privilege of free speech,” they wrote. Darwish’s “invitation to speak on campus is undoubtedly a sanctioning of hate speech, and we will not stand idly by as she is giving a free platform for her dangerous ideas.”
Students in opposition to Darwish held separate events, organized by The Bridge Initiative, a Georgetown University project on Islamophobia.
But Darwish’s speech went on as planned, and during her speech she addressed students’ objections. Speaking to Campus Reform, she stated that she only wishes that the offended students had come to her event to ask questions, and said that no ideology should be above criticism.