PU uninvites Nonie Darwish
As reported in the Daily Prince, Egyptian activist’s invitation withdrawn
A planned Wednesday talk by controversial Egyptian-American activist Nonie Darwish was cancelled Tuesday evening when both of the event’s sponsors, Tigers for Israel (TFI) and the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, withdrew their sponsorship, citing her criticism of Islam.
Darwish, a writer and the founder of Arabs for Israel and Former Muslims United, was scheduled to give a talk Wednesday afternoon titled “Sharia Law and Perspectives on Israel.” TFI officers rescinded their invitation, however, explaining that they had not been fully aware of Darwish’s views when they invited her to speak.
Though TFI had been planning Darwish’s visit for nearly three weeks and advertised it with posters across campus, TFI president Addie Lerner ’11 said that her organization, which is affiliated with the Center for Jewish Life (CJL), did not wish to be seen as endorsing Darwish by sponsoring her lecture. “We didn’t know in the beginning that [Darwish’s] views were not at all in line with what we believe,” Lerner explained.
They have to have known before they invited her, wouldn’t you think?
Coordinator of Muslim Life Sohaib Sultan and CJL director Rabbi Julie Roth both said they played a role in changing TFI’s opinion of Darwish. Sultan said he contacted Roth on Monday and discussed with her why Darwish’s appearance on campus could offend the Muslim community.
But of course, there is no room in academia for offending anyone, is there? Of course not:
On Wednesday afternoon, Lerner sent an e-mail to the members of the Muslim Students Association apologizing for the initial decision to invite Darwish to campus and explaining that the event had been canceled. “I sincerely apologize for offending any person or group on campus, especially the Muslim community,” she said in the e-mail. “Tigers for Israel deeply regrets the initial sponsorship, and we do not in any way endorse [Darwish’s] views.”