Muslim Group Defends Interruptions of Campus Speaker

February 15, 2010

The Muslim Public Affairs Council has come out in defense of the students at the University of California at Irvine who repeatedly interrupted a speech last week by Israel's ambassador to the United States, leading to arrests and university investigations. Advocates for free speech generally defend the rights of those opposed to a speaker to picket or rally outside, ask tough questions or hand out literature, but generally object to heckling mid-speech. But the council is taking a different view. "These students had the courage and conscience to stand up against aggression, using peaceful means," said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the council. "We cannot allow our educational institutions to be used as a platform to threaten and discourage students who choose to practice their First Amendment right."

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