By Hassan Shibly, Orlando Sentinel, 8/28/13
When we learned that Jonathan Matusitz, a University of Central Florida associate professor, would give a presentation vilifying Islam and Muslims in a Brevard County Commission meeting room, we expressed concerns to the commission that taxpayers should not subsidize hate speech.
Unfortunately, our concerns about Matusitz’s lecture were fully realized when, according to Florida Today, one audience member during the program “stood up and advocated violence against Muslims.”
Matusitz certainly has the right to express his views; we just want to make sure that taxpayer funds are not used to further the demonization of a religious minority.
Just because you have the right to preach hate and intolerance doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. For example, Matusitz has said publicly: “So when my colleagues tell me that Islam is a religion of peace, I tell them that Islam is a religion of pieces — piece of body here, piece of body there.”
Promoting hatred against any group makes our nation weaker, not stronger. (Read more)