The American Library Association has canceled a panel discussion on Islam planned for its annual conference over the weekend, after three speakers withdrew in protest at the inclusion of the fourth, a controversial critic of the Muslim religion.
The critic, Robert Spencer, who runs the blog site JihadWatch.org, told The Washington Times that he learned of the decision to cancel Sunday's panel - "Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping" - in an e-mail message Saturday morning from Myra Appel, the event organizer…
"Would (the ALA) invite an anti-Semite to be on a panel aiming to dispel stereotypes against Jews?" asked CAIR Chicago chapter Executive Director Ahmed Rehab in an interview with The Times.
"I believe in his freedom to speak," he added of Mr. Spencer, saying the author regularly gives talks all over the country and CAIR does not try to stop him. "But why should a respectable organization, with connections to academic institutions ... invite an Islamaphobe who promotes stereotypes of Islam to a discussion aimed at dispelling [such] stereotypes?" (More)