Viewpoints: UNC Hillel won’t stand for vilification of Muslim students

As co-president of UNC Hillel, I was surprised to receive an invitation from the Committee for a Better Carolina to publicize David Horowitz’s upcoming speech. I would have hoped that our opinions were already publicly known: UNC Hillel does not support Horowitz’s repeated vilification of Muslims.

Over the past few years, Horowitz has periodically published ads in The Daily Tar Heel promoting his view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which are, to say the least, inflammatory.

Though I personally disagree with the views furnished in these ads, UNC Hillel has not publicly challenged Horowitz’s political views in the past. Rather, we have and will continue to publicly denounce the ads’ anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Following each ad published in the DTH, UNC Hillel leaders have made it a priority to speak out in support of our Muslim peers. As a pluralistic organization, UNC Hillel sees inherent value in diverse opinions and therefore does not object to Horowitz being invited to speak on this campus.

However, after meeting with Horowitz personally and hearing his speech last night, I feel obligated to, once again, stand up against him.

To make the broad claim that Arabs want to kill Jews — and that Islam is a militant religion bent on the destruction of Israel and the United States — is to destroy the principle of pluralism that the freedom of speech is meant to uphold.

Horowitz’s remarks marginalize Muslims and their faith, undermining the respect for minorities that makes possible UNC’s diverse but unified student body.

We will not stand for discriminatory generalizations directed toward any group of students on this campus, especially ones with whom we have such a good relationship. UNC Hillel students stand in public solidarity with the UNC Muslim Student Association and all those whom Horowitz has offended. Hate speech has no place in our community.

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