Thursday, March 23, 2006

That was all she wanted 

Last week when I wrote about Karen Murdock and the Century College story I mentioned CC was having a forum on Islam. Karen reports that the forum went very well:
Hi, King, I just got back from the panel discussion held here, entitled "Muslims and the Religion of Islam: Misperceptions and the Facts." The title was a bit misleading, but the discussion was suprisingly good. There were 4 speakers on the panel, including a Muslim student from Century ... The other 3 speakers were Muhammad Banyeh (sp?) from Macalester College, who was the most impressive of the group, Hassan Muhammad, imam of a mosque in St. Paul, and Ahad Zamman, another imam and directorof a charter school in Inver Grove Heights (who was a little bit scary).

The room was packed (at least one teacher here required his/her class to attend) and the tone was cordial and respectful. I am sure such a dialogue was the result of the controversy I started here, so I am pleased. Nobody pointed me out or identified me in any way.
Yes, that is very much the whole point. She created a display and got her college to discuss the Religion of Islam in a panel discussion. Of course that will be harder now that the faculty in her division have required approval of displays on bulletin boards out of concerns that it leaves "spaces for ads, inflammatory remarks, profanity, and personal attacks because there is little accountability or structure," according to minutes from the division's meeting. There's no such thing as "enough" free speech; Murdock's display is just one more example of what good can come from more of it.