Tolerance and Terrorism at Queens College

Mitchell Langbert

Jeff Wiesenfeld, trustee of the City University of New York, has written a letter to the New York Post concerning an alleged terrorist's appearing as a speaker at Queens College (h/t Sharad Karkhanis).  The Post reports that the Muslim Students' Association (MSA) invited "an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing"  to speak.   James Girdusky, vice president of Queens's College Republicans, has called for an end to funding of the MSA.  Queens College argues that this is a free speech issue.  Trustee Wiesenfeld writes that while free speech must be protected, the CUNY community ought to speak out. I wrote an email to President James Muyskens:

I am writing a blog for the National Association of Scholars concerning Trustee Wiesenfeld's recent letter to the New York Post concerning the spat between the QC Republican Club and the MSA. The article writes that Queens has taken the position that this is a free speech issue. First, if this is a free speech issue, do you apply free speech standards to "words that wound" other groups as well as Jews? Second, if a student applies for funding of a campus Ku Klux Klan or Neo-Nazi club, would you fund that as you fund the MSA, which has stimulated anti-Semitic feeling similar to what might be feared from a KKK-type group? Third, do you see a distinction between allowing the members of the MSA to speak and providing them with funding and campus support such as student center meeting rooms?
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March 23, 2011

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