Dec 12 2010
[UPDATED] WELL, WELL…Oregon college's cancellation of 'What is Islam' class due to pressure from CAIR is unconstitutional
A community college in Oregon that abruptly and without explanation canceled a “What is Islam” class it already had approved following complaints from Terrorist Front Group CAIR, which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing trial, is being warned its actions violate the U.S. Constitution and the class should be reinstated.
WND–“While CAIR (COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS) is free to exercise its freedom of speech to criticize viewpoints with which it disagrees, [Lane Community College] is not free to breach a contract and censor viewpoints in the name of ‘sensitivity’ or political correctness,” said a newly released letter from the American Center for Law and Justice.
“For a biased and questionable group such as CAIR to willfully try to interfere with a contract and attempt to stifle First Amendment rights of any potential opposition is to be entirely expected. However, for a state institution to follow suit is not!” said the letter signed by CeCe Heil, senior counsel for the ACLJ.
The letter set a deadline of Dec. 15 for assurances to be issued by the school that the course will be reinstated and Barry Sommer will be allowed to teach or “we will discuss with our client his right to pursue litigation in federal court to seek a remedy for the violation of his rights.”
The ACLJ’s letter said Sommer had proposed the course, it had been approved, and in fact was being advertised by the college and Sommer, at the college’s recommendation, when CAIR intervened.
That organization, in a statement from its Washington state chapter, called for LCC to replace Sommer because statements Sommer had made “were offensive to Muslims.” The result of the pressure from the activists was that Lane canceled the class and pulled it from the school’s website, without explanation.
CAIR calls Sommer a ‘hate monger’ because of his affiliation with Act! for America (Brigitte Gabriel’s highly respected anti-Islamization organization)
“LCC’s stated commitment to tolerance and diversity is completely jeopardized when it censors an approved non-credit course at the mere behest of one biased and questionable organization,” the letter said. “There is absolutely no legitimate justification for shutting the course down because someone disagrees with an opposing viewpoint,” Heil wrote.
“LCC’s decision to cancel Mr. Sommer’s course due to CAIR’s unfounded and biased criticism of Mr. Sommer flies in the face of the First Amendment’s protection of academic freedom,” the letter said. “LCC has trampled upon academic freedom in an attempt to quell controversy.
“It is not ‘insensitive’ to discuss the interplay between the teachings of the Quran, the geo-political impact that Islam has across the globe, and the ongoing threat of terrorism posed by various Muslim groups,” the letter said.“Canceling Mr. Sommer’s course due to CAIR’s complaint conflicts with the longstanding tradition at public colleges, commanded by the First Amendment, of protecting academic freedom in order to prevent an orthodoxy – often fueled by the political correctness of the day – from being imposed upon college instructors and students. LCC should right this wrong by reinstating the course and allow interested students to register and draw their own conclusions.”
” The school clearly violated the First Amendment free speech rights of our client. It’s disappointing that a community college that should uphold an environment of academic freedom along with diversity and acceptance has failed to do so in this case. We’re demanding that the school rehire our client and reinstate the class he had been scheduled to teach. If corrective action is not taken, we’re prepared to take legal action to protect the rights of our client.”
CAIR was cited as unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism funding trial in 2008.
Apparently to satisfy the demands of Terrorist Front Group CAIR, Lane Community College has replaced Barry Sommer with a politically correct IslamoFascist apologist to teach the course on Islam.
From Barry Sommer: Islam Today Oregon — In their last statement to the media,, LCC announced that they are creating a credit class on Islam, to be taught by one Prof. Frederick Colby, an associate professor at the University of Oregon.
Well, well, how convienent it is for them to now decide that a tenured prof from the UofO will teach a credit class on Islam, instead of allowing the average student/person to learn about Islam in a casual, non-credit, conrinuing education setting. Now you must be a registered student at LCC in order to take a class on Islam. Now the question becomes: is Prof. Colby right for this class?
No, he is not. Here is his general biography and here is his class overview. Outward appearances seem innocuous enough, yet read carefully and you realize that Prof. Colby has a narrow area of study: the ascension and night journey of Muhammed. Now do not get me wrong, the ascension and night journey are important pieces of Islamic tradition, as is the death and resurrection of Jesus to Christians. To have a historically factual and accurate overview of Islam presented correctly, it should be done by someone who has studied Islam in a broad context, rather than one who’s area of expertise is so small and specific. READ THE REST