07 March 2006

the clash of fundamentalisms, part three

For your reference here is Part One and Part Two. This will be the third and final part of the series. I wanted to wrap up all the hoopla that occurred during the week.

So, the Disgruntled Chemist and I attended a panel discussion at UC Irvine last Tuesday on Islamic radicalism and the Muslim cartoon issue. Here is his four-part coverage of the event.

Over the weekend, several large conservative blogs (including Protein Wisdom and Little Green Footballs) linked to his post. A plague of angry wingnuts descended on his blog and accused him of lying in his coverage of the UC Irvine event.

UC Irvine's newspaper The New U has a story about last Tuesday's event. The reporter Bryce Plank recounts the events just as The Disgruntled Chemist and I witnessed it:

A presentation by UC Irvine’s College Republicans and the campus-unaffiliated United American Committee on Feb. 28 in the Crystal Cove Auditorium devolved into chaos as audience members and panelists exchanged harsh words over three controversial cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Organizers claimed the forum, titled “Domestic Organizations in Support of Terrorism or Not? You Decide,” was designed to provide an arena for an open discussion of the global uproar caused by 12 Danish cartoons originally published in September of last year.

However, any attempt at rational dialogue was quickly subverted by unruly audience members and panelists. At least two of the approximately 250 audience members were escorted out of the room by police, including one man who got out of his seat to physically and verbally threaten an outspoken Muslim seated in the audience.

So, we didn't "lie" when we said that the discussion devolved into a festival of xenophobic name-calling. And how did Republicans feel after the event? After all, the event was sponsored by the Campus Republicans.

Second-year literary journalism and international studies double major Erin Vaughen, a Republican who was writing a paper on the event, was disappointed.

“I just don’t feel like it was an intellectual discussion,” Vaughen said. “It was just a bunch of name-calling, stereotyping and overgeneralizing in terms of ideals. It just wasn’t much of a dialogue.”

Puneet Toor, a second-year undecided/undeclared major, agreed that little real discussion had taken place.

“[The panelists] were completely biased,” Toor said. “They let the Republican side speak. They didn’t interrupt anyone who was cutting off the one speaker who was speaking on behalf of the Islamic population.”

That's "free speech" for ya.


I guess you could say this is the "Original Pime". I stopped blogging here regularly in May 2008 (if you don't count the B-Sides diversion - yes it gets confusing) when I joined the Tumblr revolution. Going forward bravely into 2009, this site will serve to house any large image work I produce.

Peace out.


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