Professor at publicly-funded institution works with anti-Muslim hate group, says Germany will be 'Islamic republic' by 2050
(TAMPA, FL, 6/17/13) - The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), along with other community organizations, announced today that it has called on the University of Central Florida (UCF) to review the accuracy and objectivity of information offered to students in courses taught by Dr. Jonathan Matusitz.
CAIR-FL says Matusitz, an associate professor in the UCF Nicholson School of Communication, is "membership director" for the anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America and bizarrely claims Germany will "become an Islamic republic by 2050."
ACT! for America leader Hanah Kahwagi Tudor, who goes by the pseudonym "Brigitte Gabriel," says an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real enemy." She once told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim." Tudor also claimed that "Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word ... it's the vehicle for Islam ... Islam is the problem." The New York Times describes Gabriel as a "radical Islamophobe" who in the past has made statements like "Arabs have no soul" and "Arabs are barbarians."
Backgrounder: Brigitte Gabriel and ACT! for America
Matusitz recently told a Tea party gathering, "The problem is not so much the average Muslim, as it is the ideology," and falsely claimed that the Quran has "a lot of hateful verses that urge the adherents to kill non-Muslims." Public outcry forced Florida Republicans to cancel a scheduled lecture by Matusitz titled "The Islamic Threat to America."
Moderates within the Republican Party, such as Chris Latvala, son of state Sen. Jack Latvala, expressed concerns with Matusitz's talk, describing it on his Facebook as "bashing an entire religion practiced by many in Pinellas County."
In a letter outlining Matusitz's Islamophobic views sent to the Dean of the UCF College of Sciences Dr. Michael Johnson, CAIR-FL wrote in part:
"His presentations on these subjects are full of anti-Muslim bigotry in the form of hate speech, inaccuracies, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes that would mislead students to believe that all Islamic societies are nothing more than violent, hate-filled terrorist factories. ...
"The focus of Dr. Matusitz's teachings appears to be more about his personal ungrounded fear of Muslims than about teaching students how any culture actually facilitates terrorism. ...
"We are requesting that courses taught by Dr. Matusitz be thoroughly reviewed by the College of Sciences so that your students are not subjected to his apparent disinformation and bigotry."
Last week, Florida Atlantic University distanced itself from an advisor who made anti-Muslim statements on Facebook.
Visit CAIR-FL's link 'Islamophobia in Academia' for the latest on this developing issue.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Nezar Hamze,954-673-9459, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org