Drawing concern from liberal and minority-based campus groups, conservative author David Horowitz kicks off a weeklong event at the University of Wisconsin today opposing Muslim extremism....The event is about to start (at the Memorial Union Theater). I'm back in New York, so I can't report first hand. If you are there, email me your descriptions or links to blog posts, photos, and videos.
The author’s visit is part of “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”... The event has been criticized by the Muslim Students’ Association, Black Student Union, MultiCultural Student Coalition, International Socialist Organization, Campus Antiwar Network and College Democrats, according to College Democrats Chair Oliver Kiefer....
[UW College Republicans Chair Sara] Mikolajczak said the UW Police Department has been notified of a possible disruption during the lecture and will be present during the event.
“They’ve got every right to be there, as long as they’re not disruptive while he’s speaking,” Mikolajczak said. “I actually hope they do show up.”
Chancellor John Wiley, who was contacted by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee last week, wrote a letter Friday to explain the university’s view on what he called an “inflammatory campaign.”
In the letter, Wiley wrote UW does not endorse Horowitz’s ideas “but is providing an environment where the widest variety of views can be aired.
“We also have a strong commitment to academic freedom and First Amendment rights, and a belief that, in an open marketplace of ideas, the strongest ideas will be embraced and fraudulent ideas will be exposed,” Wiley wrote in the letter.
ADDED: I heard that there was going to be an effort to fill the room with those who objected to the speech to provide "a respectable non-violent opposition." I'm not sure what that means. Noisy disruption is nonviolent. Let me know what happens.