Its been a while, and many things going on with Muslims.
There's a website www.loonwatch.com which is pretty unique, the writers there are commenting on the seedy world of anti-Muslim rhetoric that exists in various media platforms primarily blogs.Its a much needed commentary site, and they try and tackle modern day polemical writers like the folks over at jihadwatch.
On October 21st, Geert Wilders controversial MP from the Netherlands came to Temple University much to the protests of various student groups on campus.This is the fellow that was behind the film Fitna depicting Muslims and Islam as the source of terrorism, violence and all the radical rhetoric high school teens dream of.Wilder's has gained a reputation as a staunch anti-Islamic figure, and it was David Horowitz of Jihadwatch linkages that sponsored him over at Temple.
Loonwatch noted an article prior to the event that Temple considered canceling the lecture, but in my opinion for the better (though i'm not part of campus/philadelphia city life) Wilders spoke and people were able to judge for themselves how off the mark he really is.
There was a movement to get him to stop speaking, and personal feelings aside, (i dont think highly of wilders at all- obviously) movements to stop him from speaking led to speculation and Temple apparently faced pressures to uphold the right to 'free speech' , even if it is xenophobic, and highly provocative rhetoric. Wilders was met with numerous protestors.
As the comments show, most people realize that this was a good exercise in hearing both sides, no matter how skewed and how negative one side can be.
Seeing first hand at BU, groups protesting against lectures made by pro-Palestinians or Iranians and me being on the other side as in "letting them speak" made me realize it not so much about taking sides on an issue that makes you a better individual, but respecting the right to have someone you disagree with express their discontent. Wilders is a flat out racist in my book, but the potential for a better situation played out; by allowing Wilders speak for 30 minutes, and having what it seems much more protestors outside his event, observers of the situation can conclude on their own, the worth of such a headline grabbing political event.
In the same way the KKK meets in public in NYC, people realize how absurd they are and generally let them assemble, knowing theirs is a futile cause. Jihadwatch, Wilders and the like have the right to believe what they choose when it comes to Islam, but when it comes to pressuring people into adopting their absolutist, axiomatic positions, then further using their resources to create a dangerously hostile attitude towards others, the line must be drawn.
Hats off to Loonwatch for being an alternative, and in the right way against their much more hostile counterparts.