CAIR-CA: SPEECH BY SELF-PROCLAIMED EX-TERRORIST PROTESTED AT UCD
The somewhat mysterious "former Islamic terrorist" Walid Shoebat told an audience of about 1,800 on the University of California, Davis, campus Tuesday night that Muslim extremists helped carry out Hitler's "Final Solution."
He went on to claim that to this day the majority of Muslims in Pakistan, Iran and Jordan support Muslim fundamentalism, as do most American Muslims.
After his speech in Freeborn Hall, several dozen Muslim students, who had taped their mouths, walked out.
They claimed that the questions for the following question-and-answer session had been rigged.
Student organizers of the event denied that.
Before the speech, dozens of UC Davis students and other local Muslim Americans called for the arrest of Shoebat.
Shoebat, whose latest book is titled "Why We Want to Kill You -- The Jihadist Mindset and How to Defeat It," claims to have been an Islamic terrorist in his youth.
In a telephone interview, Shoebat said he has since come to his senses and now lectures to shed light on terrorists' thinking and to condemn Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Semitism.
Shoebat's appearance Tuesday was sponsored by the UC Davis student chapter of Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Shoebat's own Pennsylvania-based foundation. . .
Although Shoebat insists his motives are pure, Muslim groups on and off campus called for his arrest by federal law enforcement officials.
The UC Davis Muslim Student Association asked the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to investigate or deport him for past acts of terrorism.
"We are concerned that a self-confessed 'ex-terrorist' is walking free in this country, simply because he has converted to Christianity and supports this country's policies toward Israel," said Shazeb Qadir, president of the Muslim student group.
"We repudiate and unequivocally condemn terrorism as a grave and serious crime that should be punished," Qadir said. "We also condemn the intentionally Islamophobic and erroneous association of Islam and violence that will result from the fear-mongering employed in Shoebat's message."
The Sacramento chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations -- a frequent target of Shoebat -- asked UC Davis Campus Police to detain him.
"Walid Shoebat is either a self-admitted criminal or complete fraud," said Basim Elkarra, a Palestinian American and area director of CAIR.