UNC’s chapter of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) hosted “Reflections on September 11,” an event remembering the events of 9/11 in Gerrard Hall on Thursday. Gary Bauer, former chief domestic policy advisor for Ronald Reagan, was the keynote speaker.
In his speech, Bauer discussed what he believes were the reasons behind the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and talked about past violence from extremist groups.
“9/11 happened because there was a growing and quickening element that wants to kill the infidel,” he said. “Notice I didn’t say that every Muslim wants to kill the infidel.”
Bauer warned the audience that there is potential for another similar attack and elicited a range of responses from audience members with like-minded and opposing political views.
“There are other people around the world meeting in dark places,” he said. “They love death more than we love life, and those men are plotting to bring us 9/11. They will not rest until they accomplish that goal.”
UNC senior Maggie Walker decided to come to the event because she said she knew the speaker had an agenda and wanted to voice her opposition.
“I took away that there’s still, in our community, a lack of understanding of Islam,” she said. “There’s still a use of misinformation of Islam and Palestine that’s used for fear-mongering.”
Tom Sparling said he drove more than an hour and a half from Winston Salem to attend his third CUFI event.
“I think it spurred really good discussion and debate about the issues going on in the Middle East,” he said.
Senior global studies major, Toyosi Oyelowo said that, for her, the speech was uncomfortable but eye-opening.
“I think that there needs to be a focus on humanity as a Christian and the human race and what that looks like in Israel, in America and Palestine,” she said.
Jeff Epstein, who was representing the office of Gov. Pat McCrory at the event, said Israel has great ties to North Carolina through economic investment.
“We need to cultivate and expand our relationships with friends whom we can rely on,” he said, adding that he understands not everyone shares his opinion of Israel.
CUFI seeks to raise awareness of Israel and combat anti-Semitism on campus.
“I hope this makes some discussion happen on campus,” said Olivia Byrd, this year’s CUFI president.
Bauer’s speech ended with a call to action.
“I believe that people in this country and around the world will defeat this evil,” he said.