November 1, 2007, - 2:49 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Who has more free speech in America–you or the Islamic terrorists on our shores? If you think it’s you, you’re sorely mistaken.
In 2002, I represented the University of Michigan Student Zionists when they sued Michigan to stop the Divestment Conference from happening. The keynote speaker was Islamic Jihad founder and convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian. At the time, he was already banned from the campus where he was a professor, the University of South Florida, because he was deemed a safety threat to students and personnel. Previous Divestment Conferences on other campuses resulted in dozens of violent attacks on Jews in the subsequent months. (And after “Annihilate the Jews” was shouted in unison at the Michigan conference, there were many similar violent attacks against Jewish students in Ann Arbor, all by Muslims).
The thing is, limp-wristed, spineless University of Michigan officials, like University President Mary Sue Coleman, spokeswoman Julie Peterson, and Jewish U-M Regents Andrea Fischer-Newman and Larry Daitch, were constantly shouting, “free speech, free speech, free speech.” They claimed they could not stop the free speech of Sami Al-Arian on campus.
But, not so fast. Ever since then, I’ve compiled a giant file folder documenting how University of Michigan and other public campuses are restricting free speech. But, it’s not the Islamic terrorists’ free speech they’re squelching, it’s yours.
Today, USA Today’s sports section has a lengthy piece on the ways college administrators stifle the free speech of students on campus at sporting events. And guess what? Michigan is in the story. Most of the examples are of universities not allowing students to yell sexually suggestive and profane chants to athletes of opposing teams at sporting events. And Michigan is in the bunch.
The article quotes Michigan assistant athletic director Bruce Madej as complaining that a rule allowing fans to be ejected for offensive language isn’t working:
We’re still working on the language thing.
Not that I approve of profane chants at sporting events, but why is eliminating that more important than eliminating hate speech by terrorists on campus. Why is a sports fan’s free speech not important, but a terrorist’s is?
USA Today reports that the crackdown on “stadium speech” is taking place because college
Administrators want their universities to be viewed positively and students, as well as fans, to act with dignity. Schools also don’t want children hearing foul language, let alone people watching on television.
Ah, now I get it. “Annihilate the Jews,” dignified; F— Michigan State, undignified. An Islamic terrorist who raised money to bomb buses and kill people, positively viewed. Unruly sports fans, not so much. Thanks for the distinction,er . . . the distinction without a difference. If children hear, Death to the Jews, no prob.
The fact is there is one school where they don’t practice selective enforcement of free speech rights for terrorists. That’s Rutgers. When the Divestment Conference was scheduled to be held there, the organizers were told, “no dice.” (The conference had to be held in a private hotel and was poorly attended.)
You see, Rutgers has many Jewish alumni who are donors, and unlike the Jewish alumni donors to Michigan–who have no scruples and shower Michigan with bucks, anyway–Rutgers saw the handwriting on the wall. The school was told by Jewish alums that they would no longer give if the school hosted hate.
Yup, a few schools–at least one–truly are interested in what’s really important regarding their public image. It’s more important to worry about aiding those who want to murder us all than some drunken students a little too caught up in school spirit.
Just remember: You really have less enjoyment of the First Amendment than terrorists like Sami Al-Arian do.
Tags: America, Andrea Fischer-Newman, Ann Arbor, assistant athletic director, Bruce Madej, founder and convicted terrorist, Free Speech By Debbie Schlussel, Islamic Jihad, Julie Peterson, keynote speaker, Larry Daitch, Mary Sue Coleman, Michigan, President, Professor, Rutgers, Sami Al-Arian, spokeswoman, terrorist, The University of Michigan, University of Michigan, University of South Florida, USA Today