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Thread: Editor who published Mohammed cartoons confronted by students

  1. #1
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    Editor who published Mohammed cartoons confronted by students

    Danish journalist and free speech advocate Flemming Rose recently drew an aggressive pack of student protesters to his speech at Franklin & Marshall College as he spoke on his book The Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate on the Future of Free Speech.

    Rose in 2005 published cartoon depictions of the Islamic prophet Mohammed in his role as cultural editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, sparking international controversy and catapulting him to the forefront of free speech debates.
    With that, several dozen student protesters converged at his campus talk March 2 voicing anger and outrage that Rose was allowed to speak on campus.
    The Judaic studies professor who invited Rose noted in the campus newspaper that prior to the event he was confronted by the students, who “expressed feeling threatened and unsafe” and asked why he would bring someone to the campus who contributes to “ever-increasing feelings of vulnerability, marginalization, and fear for our safety.”
    “The Q&A started in a hostile atmosphere, but as we went through the session it was my sense that everybody calmed down a bit, there were no boohs or interruptions, quite civilized but tense – and that’s the way to manage disagreements,” Rose added.
    “Before the talk, I tried unsuccessfully to engage some of the protesters in intellectual debate on the issue of the cartoons, and speak to the value of free speech as beneficial for the oppressed and marginalized,” Hoffman wrote. “Indeed, their vociferous protestations, and, at times, discourteous shouting of comments at the speaker exhibited precisely just how important the right to free speech is for all, regardless of power or privilege.”

    Hoffman admitted, however, that he “did not address the emotional distress they [protesters] were experiencing that I now realize was for them the heart of the matter. And for that I am truly sorry. I never wanted to cause anybody pain and didn’t think that Rose’s words or ideas should have done so.”
    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/31621/

    The good news: His invitation was not revoked. He was allowed to speak. The protesters did quiet down and participate.

    The bad news: Some students don't understand the value of free speech and exchange of ideas. They feel threatened.

    I don't think Hoffman should have apologized.

  2. #2
    Sponsor GiftOfFlavor's Avatar
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    Ideas that are different than yours can be so terrifying and threatening

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    Premier Sponsor Jasmine's Avatar
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    If I told them that they are "gutless, ignorant pussies", would that be threatening and unsafe?
    "Life is about dreams. Teaching is about making them come true."

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    Sponsor GiftOfFlavor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
    If I told them that they are "gutless, ignorant pussies", would that be threatening and unsafe?
    You'd probably be expelled.
    Sticks and stones may break their bones, but words can threaten their feels. #paddedroom

  5. #5
    Real American™ nam's Avatar
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    I know, right? Everybody has free speech rights except student protesters.
    If you are not willing to fall flat on your face, then the only thing you will have is a pretty face.

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    Non-praying member Mamapalooza's Avatar
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    “expressed feeling threatened and unsafe” and asked why he would bring someone to the campus who contributes to “ever-increasing feelings of vulnerability, marginalization, and fear for our safety.”
    My level of tolerance for these buzzwords is worn the eff out. They are meant to trigger an empathetic response, and are overused to the point of silliness.

    They are protesting an individual who published political cartoons meant to invoke a reaction, and they invoked a few. There were several riots in response to the cartoons, but there was also a more subtle reaction of self-censorship that goes on even still. And of course the whole thing was predicated on the idea that it's the worst.thing.ever. to visually depict Mohammad, which of course we know is complete bullshit. There are a multitude of depictions of him, including in the United States Supreme Court. Yet that's what we were told and most of us believed it, or at least didn't question it.

    How exactly do these students feel unsafe in this man's presence? Seriously. Is his presence going to invoke someone to shoot them? Behead them? Give them the stinkeye? How are these students marginalized by his presence? How are they made vulnerable, and to whom? One of the signs itself had picture of Mohammad with a bomb in his turban -- so what was Rose's crime again?

    Another said "check your privilege at the door". Yes, free speech is a fucking privilege, get used to it. It's also a right and an obligation in our world. It is the very mechanism by which we fine-tune our existence in a western democracy and negotiate improvements to our society. The fact these kids have not only failed to learn that, but are going so far as to undermine it by silencing every whisper of an idea they can't be bothered to understand makes them not only ignorant but dangerous. They are a disjointed, unfocused contingent of anger and angst and need for validation. But unsafe? Get a fucking grip. Go to Iran or Saudi Arabia and see what the right to protest looks like under the ideology you're half-assed attempting to defend in your effort to "smash the patriarchy". These people are not even useful idiots and have the inability to even grasp their own damn privilege in the world.
    "Wherever in the world much poverty is found, much religion is found also"

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    Heartless Wench Alice Chalmers's Avatar
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    I find this story reassuring. Students protested, were allowed to do so, and the university still hired the speaker.

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    Full Sponsor TapToTalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Chalmers View Post
    I find this story reassuring. Students protested, were allowed to do so, and the university still hired the speaker.
    I found it reassuring that some of the protesters took the time to have a discussion and listen. That's what it's all about, even if you don't end up agreeing with the speaker.

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    Non-praying member Mamapalooza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Chalmers View Post
    I find this story reassuring. Students protested, were allowed to do so, and the university still hired the speaker.
    Yes, it was peaceful which is far preferable to some similar protests recently. I'm still at a loss as to their point, of why this individual's presence renders them unsafe.
    "Wherever in the world much poverty is found, much religion is found also"

  10. #10
    Moderator jen's Avatar
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    After Charlie Hebdo, I understand feeling unsafe with him on campus.


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