April 29, 2008

Liveblogging "Why We Want To Kill You"; Update--"Wake Up And Smell The Hummus;" Former MSA Student Removed, Audio Of Event Posted

"Wake up and smell the hummus!"--Walid Shoebat and Kamal Saleem

**Update 2--former Muslim Student Association president removed by police (scroll for video)

**Update--here are some pics from the Walid Shoebat/Kamal Saleem "Why We Want to Kill You" event:

There was a heavy police presence, with CU-Boulder, Boulder PD and Boulder County Sheriffs out in force

Spring was in the air, and were soon to be joined by the local MSM's broadcast signals

Attendees waited their turn to empty their pockets and get the wanding treatment, as security was tight, including metal barricades

Once inside, placed upon every seat was a "formal warning" flier about disturbances, interference, etc.--it was clear that any moonbattery would be dealt with quickly

Audio--Walid Shoebat (48 minutes) and Kamal Saleem (27 minutes)

Recap from the Daily Camera:
Two ex-terrorists who have caused controversy with their criticisms of Islam told a University of Colorado crowd to "Wake up and smell the hummus" Tuesday night.

Walid Shoebat and Kamal Saleem, whose talk was titled "Why We Want to Kill You," spent 90 minutes in the Glenn Miller Ballroom detailing their terrorist experiences and explaining flaws in American terrorist policy.

"I am standing on (America's) wall, crying out, saying, 'Wake up, wake up,'" Saleem said. "We have a saying that goes, 'Wake up and smell the hummus. If you don't, you'll be smelling it for a long time.'"

They say Americans don't understand the resolve of Islamic fundamentalists and that the public should do more to understand the dangerous aspects of the religion.

The speakers have drawn criticism at many of their tour stops in support of Shoebat's book of the same name. They drew a crowd of roughly 1,000 on Tuesday night.
Striking a tone of urgency, both speakers felt it important to remind the audience of the threats faced by America, Israel, and the West.

But of course, much attention in the MSM and at the event centered around the fees involved:
The College Republicans invited the speakers to CU, and $10,000 in student fees was used to pay for the event.

According to Kathleen Patrick, College Republicans chairwoman, roughly $5,000 of that was paid to the speakers, while the rest went to a large security presence and other logistical costs. The speakers said they spent $20,000 to come to CU.
Shoebat challenged his opponents in the audience to prove that he and Saleem were making a huge profit from the event--essentially marketing fear and cashing in on anti-Muslim sentiment (as they had been accused of in media leading up to the event, and during the Q & A).

Neither Shoebat or Saleem made the kind of broad generalizations that opponents have alleged they make about all Muslims, and in fact, repeated several times the distinctions between radical jihadist elements planning operations in the West to the vast majority of Muslims. They did note, however, that Muslim affinities and opinion polls suggested that in some cases more than a majority of Muslims in a given area supported jihad, terrorist organizations, attacks on the West, etc. These factors could not be denied:
Both claim to have been Islamic terrorists in the Middle East and to have converted from radical Islam to Christianity. They said they are not anti-Islam and that criticizing a religion is not racism.

The discussion was mainly civil until the end of the question-and-answer portion. Several shouts of "What is your message?" came from the back of the hall. Shoebat's response was, "What is my message? My message is, 'Shut up.'"

There were no organized protests, and no one was removed from the room.

Shoebat told the crowd that Islam isn't just a religion but a "constitution" and that Muslims are told to "fight all nations until they all say they are Muslims." He also told a story in which a Muslim man was killed as a suicide bomber and his family held a celebration.

Saleem also criticized moderate Muslims in the United States. He said he wants to see those Muslims "wearing the American flag." But he also said several times that not all Muslims are terrorists.

"Don't go outside and hate Muslims," he said. "Know who's who, and that some are here for propaganda, and some are not."
Note the bolded section--no organized protests or removals. Au contraire--though the students did not have any coordinated efforts, it was clear that the student opposition was intentionally positioned throughout the venue, and offered clear support to the few who managed to ask questions of the speakers. Not to mention the self-proclaimed former Muslim Student Association president who was escorted from the ballroom, and just so happened to be sitting next to yours truly:

Thankfully, both speakers noted that although the university setting should, in theory, provide an open venue for the exchange of ideas, it was in fact these exact places that offered the most in the way of preconceived opposition and a clear disregard for alternative opinions or even an opening of debate:
The speakers' tour hasn't been confined to college campuses, but they criticized the American university structure. Shoebat said, according to statistics he didn't specifically cite, that for every seven leftist professors on campuses, there is one "for America, you know, 'God bless America.'"

Shoebat asked if it was worth risking his life to educate others about the dangers of Islam. His answer was, "Yes, but I'm not so sure on university campuses."
Even the 7-to-1 ratio sounds a bit low. Especially for CU-Boulder.

More at 9NEWS (video), who sat with Shoebat and Saleem for an interview, and have a brief glimpse of one of the hecklers from the Muslim Student Association accusing the speakers of fostering Islamophobia by attacking "one fifth of the world's population."

Liveblogging from the BlackBerry--should any "spontaneous" moonbattery
break out.

Got the camera with video ready to catch it all, despite a bright pink
flier on every seat warning that any "interference" will not be
tolerated, violators will be suspended or expelled (students) and
subject to prosecution (everyone).


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