A planned Wednesday talk by controversial Egyptian-American activist Nonie Darwish was cancelled Tuesday evening when both of the event’s sponsors, Tigers for Israel (TFI) and the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, withdrew their sponsorship, citing her criticism of Islam.
Darwish, a writer and the founder of Arabs for Israel and Former Muslims United, was scheduled to give a talk Wednesday afternoon titled “Sharia Law and Perspectives on Israel.” TFI officers rescinded their invitation, however, explaining that they had not been fully aware of Darwish’s views when they invited her to speak.
"Views" which don't pass muster.
Though TFI had been planning Darwish’s visit for nearly three weeks and advertised it with posters across campus, TFI president Addie Lerner ’11 said that her organization, which is affiliated with the Center for Jewish Life (CJL), did not wish to be seen as endorsing Darwish by sponsoring her lecture.
Since when does sponsoring a lecture equal endorsement? This isn't the reason for the hasty and rude disinvitation. It isn't that the "Tigers" don't endorse Darwish's views. Her views are verboten.
“We didn’t know in the beginning that [Darwish’s] views were not at all in line with what we believe,” Lerner explained.
And thus beyond the pale.
After TFI co-vice president Rafael Grinberg ’12 proposed inviting Darwish to campus, Lerner said she read “the first couple of paragraphs” of Darwish’s entry on Wikipedia before extending the invitation. She added that she did minimal research on Darwish largely because she trusted Grinberg and the nonpartisan media watchdog group Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) to vet Darwish.
“I accept complete responsibility for the fact that I did not vet her fully,” Lerner said. “I am very sorry if people thought we agreed with [Darwish’s views].”
On her blog, Darwish — formerly Muslim and now Christian — has called Islam “the greatest lie in human history” and criticized Muslim law for encouraging “vigilante street justice to bring about Islamic submission.”
Sounds interesting. Maybe Darwish should have been asked to explain why her experience growing up the privileged daughter of a shahid, a high-ranking Egyptian military official and close associate of Nasser's who was assassinated by Israeli commandos when Darwish was a child, led her to these conclusions.
“It was clear that she was very critical of radical Islam in the contemporary Arab world,” TFI co-vice president Jeffrey Mensch ’11 said in an e-mail. “However, we did not realize the extent to which she denounces not just radical Islam, but all of Islam.”
Gee, I guess that means she denounces religious supremacism, repression of conscience, censorship, sexual inequality, capital punishment for the "crime" of "leaving Islam, polygamy, ethnic cleansing, etc. No wonder there's no place for her at Princeton.
Whig-Clio president Ben Weisman ’11 said the society withdrew its sponsorship and did not permit the event to take place in Whig Hall as planned because of the withdrawal. “Our decision to co-host the event was based on our belief that by extending an offer to speak to Ms. Darwish, members of TFI deemed her views a legitimate element of the mainstream discourse and in part agreed with her incendiary opinions,” Weisman said in an e-mail. “By rescinding their offer, TFI indicated their understanding that Darwish’s views have no place in the campus community, essentially rendering irrelevant our attempt at opening them up for debate.”
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