Eric Owens, Daily Caller, January 21, 2015
A black Vanderbilt University professor’s op-ed critical of Islamic terrorism has touched off a wave of protest by Muslim students and other critics.
The op-ed author is Carol Swain, a longtime professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt and a self-proclaimed political conservative. Her op-ed, entitled “Charlie Hebdo attacks prove critics were right about Islam,” appeared in The Tennessean (Nashville’s main newspaper) on Jan. 15.
Swain, who opposes burqas and advocates stronger efforts at assimilation for American Muslims, argued that radical Islam “poses an absolute danger to us and our children unless it is monitored better than it has been under the Obama administration.”
In response, Muslim students, led by Vanderbilt undergraduate Farishtay Yamin, took great offense.
Yamin told The Vanderbilt Hustler, the campus newspaper, that she “could not believe her eyes” when she read Swain’s column. The student also quickly labeled Swain’s opinion as “hate speech.”
She then used Facebook to set up a “Campus-Wide Protest Against Hate Speech Published in the Tennessean” on Saturday afternoon.
Attendance at the fairly brief event was in the low hundreds, The College Fix reports. Students who showed up brought signs emblazoned with slogans such as “Better a brat than a bigot.”
Yamin, who is the publicity chair for Vanderbilt’s Muslim Student Association, told the audience in no uncertain terms that a black female professor’s speech must be restricted if she says “these kinds of things” in the future.
“What I’m really trying to show her is that she can’t continue to say these kinds of things on a campus that’s so liberal and diverse and tolerant,” Yamin declared.
Swain “used a platform of murdering people to gain publicity,” Yamin charged.
“There is no way the students here are going to allow further attacks on their own peers,” the Muslim undergrad also threatened, according to the Fix.
“And if the university respects us as human beings, it has to come out and condemn these statements and promise us that it’s not going to happen again in the future.”