Buffalo News, October 20, 2009
A European lawmaker whose anti-Islamic views once led British officials to ban him from visiting that country will address Temple University students on Tuesday, despite protests from campus organizations.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders has outraged Muslims by comparing their holy book, the Quran, to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and for his calls to end Muslim immigration to the Netherlands.
Muslim students at Temple, a public university serving about 34,000 students, and their supporters plan to protest the evening event, which was organized by a student group called Purpose and is being funded by the California-based David Horowitz Freedom Center.
“The Muslim population at Temple feels attacked, threatened, and ultimately unsafe that Mr. Wilders has been invited to voice his hate-driven opinions,” the Muslim Students Association wrote in a letter to university officials.
Temple officials issued a statement saying the university “is a community of scholars in which freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression are valued.”
“We respect the right of our student organizations to invite people who express a wide variety of views and ideas,” the school said in a statement.