Stanford permits 'anti-Muslim' conservative speaker...but not without SHARP condemnation
- Stanford University's College Republicans chapter invited Andrew Klavan of The Daily Wire to campus.
- Two administrators were not pleased with a video in which Klavan critiqued the concept of jihad.
Administrators at Stanford University wrote an open letter denouncing a conservative speaker visiting its campus, but still allowed him to speak on campus Tuesday night.
Susie Brubaker-Cole, vice provost for student affairs and Tiffany Steinwert, dean of religious life, co-authored a blog post criticizing conservative podcaster Andrew Klavan of The Daily Wire for his “anti-Muslim sentiment.” The Stanford administrators wrote that, in a YouTube video, Klavan “distorts the tenets of the Muslim faith, equating Islam with violence and barbarism.”
“We stand firmly against vilification of Islam,” the administrators wrote.
In the video, Klavan says “a proper reading of the Quran reveals that jihad is a spiritual struggle during which a Muslim attempts to rise to a higher plain of consciousness, by slaughtering unbelievers, raping their women, taking over their civilizations, and persecuting and oppressing them until they’re all dead.”
Brubaker-Cole and Steinwert also expressed dismay with flyers from Klavan’s host, the Stanford College Republicans, being featured at the Markaz, which is the school’s Muslim community center.
“This is unacceptable behavior that undermines our community values,” the administrators said.
They said that they “understand it can be deeply frustrating and painful to see speakers invited to campus whose ideologies disparage members of our community,” but encouraged students to stand “in solidarity even in the face of hatred and slander.”
Brubaker-Cole and Steinwert conclude the blog by saying “together we can be and do better.”
The Stanford College Republicans told Campus Reform that it was not surprised when first seeing the letter, but disgusted.
“The administration reverted to its typical tactic of distorting the views of our speaker (Andrew Klavan in this case) and whitewashing the legitimate criticism of Islam that Mr. Klavan did actually provide,” a Stanford College Republicans spokesman said.
The chapter also responded to accusations of ill intent when hanging posters for the event in the Muslim community center, stating that the administrators provided a “flat up mischaracterization of what happened.”
“We put up Klavan posters in multiple community centers, dormitories, and academic departments because we believe that Mr. Klavan's message, and conservative thought more broadly, are valuable to all students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Stanford intellectual community,” the spokesman told Campus Reform. “We have a higher opinion of our Muslim friends' mental and emotional fortitude than the University does, apparently, and this is shown by our unwillingness to exclude them from the discourse surrounding this event.”
The event went off without an issue. However, according to the Stanford College Republicans Facebook page, protesters attempted to barricade the door to the auditorium with chairs, tables, trashcans, and even cups of liquids.
The page also showed photos of posters that were hung up in opposition to the event, with one titled “SCR Presents-Yes: We Protect Islamophobia and Bigotry” demanding that the student group “stop inviting hate speech” to campus and that the administration “stop protecting hate speech.”
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