A Muslim activist group is trying to treat a University of Central Florida professor’s planned speech on “The Islamic Threat to America” like a threat to Muslims in America.
And trying to stamp it out.
According to an Orlando Sentinel report, the Council on Islamic-American Relations wants Brevard County officials to prevent UCF Professor Jonathan Matusitz from speaking Tuesday at a county-owned facility in Viera.
Matusitz is addressing the Space Coast chapter of a national group called ACT! For America, which was formed to fight what it considers “radical Islam” and its growth in the United States.
A communications professor at UCF, Matusitz published a book last year called “Terrorism & Communication: A Critical Introduction” based on one of his courses.
Matusitz is no stranger to conflict with CAIR. In June, for instance, the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee withdrew an invitation for him to speak before a meeting after CAIR complained publicly.
He did not respond to interview requests Monday, but in the aftermath of the Pinellas County incident wrote a letter to the editor of SaintPetersBlog to explain his approach to public engagements.
“As a UCF faculty, I never intend to be controversial; rather, I try to be factual and 100 percent correct,” he wrote. “If I didn’t think Islam poses a threat to Western civilization, then I would not stick my neck out by delivering public presentations on that subject.”
It’s that very outspokenness that has CAIR wanting him cancelled.
Hassan Shibly, executive director of CAIR-Tampa, said Monday that ACT! is “no different than the KKK.”
“In America, you have the right to spew hateful” rhetoric, he told BizPac Review on Monday. “The statements that ACT! makes (against Muslims) would not be tolerated against any other community.”
That’s not quite true. Conservative Christians draw a lot more hateful rhetoric from the mainstream media than Muslims in this country and it gets more than tolerated. It’s celebrated – rewarded with millions of dollars in speaking fees, book sales and cable television shows.
But you don’t see them, or any other community that really believes in freedom, trying to stop it.
That would be a threat to America.
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