Hecklers Try To Veto University Screening Of 'American Sniper;' May Find Themselves Watching 'Paddington Bear' Instead

from the this-alternate-option-is-perfect-because-YOU-ARE-SPOILED-CHILDREN dept

The University of Michigan has succumbed to a heckler's veto, mistaking an alternate point of view for the only point of view, and shutting down legitimate speech in response.

The Center for Campus Involvement announced Tuesday afternoon they would cancel a planned showing of “American Sniper” at UMix following a student petition over the depiction of certain communities in the film.
Notably, the students opposed to this screening didn't do any of the following:

  • Protest at the showing.
  • Offer a contrasting point of view, either by hosting a movie more closely aligned with their worldview or by asking to be allowed to provide some sort of rebuttal before or after the screening.
  • Note that they disapproved of the screening and leave it at that.
  • Write letters to the editor of the campus newspaper or any other related journalistic entity.

No. They chose to shut down the screening by circulating a petition that described how hurt their feelings were that the university hadn't consulted with every last student before choosing which film to screen.

“Although we respect the right to freedom of speech, we believe that with this right comes responsibility: responsibility of action, intention, and outcome,” the letter read. “The movie ‘American Sniper’ not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim and anti-MENA rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer.”
1/4 - would not recommend

The Center for Campus Involvement immediately folded and offered its apologies to everyone it inadvertently offended with its movie selection.
“Student reactions have clearly articulated that this is neither the venue nor the time to show this movie,” the statement read. “We deeply regret causing harm to members of our community, and appreciate the thoughtful feedback provided to us by students.”
"Harmed" how? By offering a movie no one on campus was obligated to watch? It wasn't a mandatory event and those offended by the movie had several options available, most of which didn't involve ensuring no one on campus could see the movie.

In what would appear to be a dig at the "victims" infantilization-by-proxy of the entire student body, but is more likely due to a limited selection of last-minute offerings (guaranteed not to result in a swift petitioning), the CCI decided to screen "Paddington Bear" instead. For a student body composed of 18-23 year olds.

Howard Wasserman, writing at PrawfsBlog, wonders where the notion of "counter-speech" has disappeared to -- the long-held belief that the best weapon against "offensive" speech is more speech, not less. He posits there are a few reasons we see this so infrequently exercised on campus: It's hard. It sometimes doesn't work. Restrictive campus speech rules -- free speech zones, permits, etc. -- make it almost impossible to mobilize counter-speech efforts.

But the big one is this: people tend to take the easiest route -- shouting someone down -- and many campuses are quick to indulge those engaging in this behavior. Wasserman quotes Floyd Abrams:
"Surely, this is the best evidence yet that a speech-destroying storm is sweeping across American campuses. The students who seek to ban speech have much to learn but a university that yields to their demands can hardly be trusted to teach them.”
There may be hope for Michigan's CCI. Sometime during the night following its capitulation, it rediscovered its spine and respect for free speech. This statement arrived the following day:
It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie “American Sniper” on campus as part of a social event for students.

The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters.


The movie will be shown at the originally scheduled time and location.
And, as a concession to those with nothing better to do and/or still offended by the "American Sniper" screening, the CCI still offering a film targeted at the 10-and-under crowd.
We recognize, however, that some students are uncomfortable with the content of the movie, and appreciate that concern.

Therefore, the university also will show an alternative movie, “Paddington,” in another location on campus at that same time and date to provide our students with additional options that evening.
So, if the hecklers aren't interested in staying home and brooding about their failed veto, they're more than welcome to sit through "Paddington" -- something guaranteed to be as blandly inoffensive as a documentary on vanilla ice cream. Or maybe those so thoroughly offended by this optional event might take this opportunity to actually engage in some speech of their own, rather than (virtually, via Google Docs) shouting down the speech of others.

And maybe the next time this sort of situation arises, the university won't be so swift to grant all of the credibility to a small number of complainers -- something far too many schools do by default.

Filed Under: american sniper, free speech, heckler's veto, paddington bear, protests
Companies: university of michigan


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:03pm

    Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

    Writing seems to be more in-your-face than obviously controversial film deserves. The Iraq war being ginned up out of nothing with deliberate "mushroom cloud" lies from the fascist Bush administration, the whole war was a crime.

    Yes, what events are depicted DO matter. For University or Techdirt: would you be so supportive of a similarly anti-Jewish film? Of course not.

    Double standard.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:12pm

      Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

      I would think of an anti-Jewish film as blatantly offensive and vile. But even if I consider its content abhorrent, I would still respect the film's right to exist, the filmmaker's right to make it, and the potential audience's right to view the film.

      Nobody needs to like offensive speech just so they can support its right to exist. More speech, not censorship, remains our best "weapon" against offensive speech.

      If you felt it necessary to censor legal content which you consider "offensive" for the protection of yourself/others, where would your journey end?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 5:08pm

        Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

        I would think of an anti-Jewish film as blatantly offensive and vile. But even if I consider its content abhorrent, I would still respect the film's right to exist, the filmmaker's right to make it, and the potential audience's right to view the film.

        There are a few points I want to make in response

        (1) While you might be OK with it, there is no way in hell the university would show such a movie. No protests needed, it simply would not even be allowed in the first place. If it isn't even allowed to get to a point where someone might heckle it, is that somehow better?

        (2) This was a showing by the university. They are endorsing this movie. It isn't like they provided the space any self-funded student group could show any movie they wanted. University funds paid the MPAA fees on this showing.

        (3) If somehow it were allowed, the university would have taken pains to assure that counter-speech was part of the agenda. They would have surrounded the showing with such discussion, a lecturer, maybe even an anti-nazi movie. Instead the unviersity decides to show a kids movie about a bear in a separate location. What the hell?

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        • icon
          tqk (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 6:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

          This was a showing by the university. They are endorsing this movie.

          See what I did there? I quoted your words back to you, despite the fact I strongly disagree with them. I am not endorsing your opinion by copying your words.

          The university (belatedly) sees this as a possible teaching moment which they offer to their students, as is their job. It appears to me that it's worked out marvelously! I'm glad to see such important discussions take place. It's good for everybody. Well, perhaps not for the warmongers and racists, but it is for everybody else.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

            I can't tell if you are being deliberately obtuse or are an asshole.

            The university spending the students' own money to promote bigotry against those same students isn't a teaching moment in anything other than the tyranny of the majority.

            If they want to open up the theatre room to any group that goes through a pro forma process, that's fine. But this is the university picking and choosing the content themselves. Once they start deciding what's OK and what's not OK they are already practising censorship. The people protesting this just want an equal say in that censorship.

            This is the difference between letting a student group host David Duke to come speak and paying David Duke's speaking fees out of university funds.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              promote bigotry

              And if the university decided to show the film as a way of actually endorsing the racist beliefs of its main character/the man who inspired the film, that phrase might actually mean something here.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:30pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                You don't understand the criticism of American Sniper. It isn't that a character is racist. It is that the plot of the movie uncritically presents a bigotted view of the legitimacy of the invasion of Iraq.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                  No, I understand the criticism.

                  My answer to that remains thus: So what?

                  The university's decision to show American Sniper does not necessarily mean the administration endorses the film's view of the Iraq War, Chris Kyle's racist beliefs, or anything you might consider "offensive" about the film. I bet plenty of theater owners disagreed with that crap, but they showed the film anyway because of course they did.

                  If the administration decided to show American Sniper as an explicit endorsement of the messages that film contains - and you could show proof of it - you'd have a hell of an argument to lean upon. As things stand, you don't.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:52pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                    The university's decision to show American Sniper does not necessarily mean the administration endorses the film's view of the Iraq War.

                    Yes it does. Perhaps you do not understand what "endorse" means. If you pay for something you are endorsing it because you made the active decision to pay for it.

                    I bet plenty of theater owners disagreed with that crap, but they showed the film anyway because of course they did.

                    Any theater owners who didn't like the message and still showed it did so because they liked the profit more than they disliked the message. Theaters regularly refuse to show movies based on content.

                    If you are now arguing that the university likes the money more than they care about principles of egalitarianism, that's a sad commentary on the university's standards.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:03pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                      If you pay for something you are endorsing it because you made the active decision to pay for it.

                      By that logic, any film critic who paid to see American Sniper - or Fifty Shades of Grey, or any other "controversial" film - and savaged the film(/its messages) in their review actually endorsed the film.

                      If you are now arguing that the university likes the money more than they care about principles of egalitarianism

                      My argument stands as such: The university has a right to choose whatever movie it wants to show as an optional/non-mandatory event for its student body - and a right to listen to or ignore the student body's wishes in making that choise. The administration's choice of film does not stand as an explicit endorsement of that film's messages unless you can provide proof of said endorsement. What one person considers "offensive" should not stand as the standard for what all people consider "offensive". More speech, not censorship (including the heckler's veto), remains the best "weapon" against offensive speech.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:06pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                        By that logic, any film critic ...

                        Ok, now I see the problem. You use bizzaro logic.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:16pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                          No, I don't. Your original statement:

                          If you pay for something you are endorsing it because you made the active decision to pay for it.

                          The decision to pay for something does not automatically confer an endorsement of that something. Tons of people pay for TV/Internet service from Comcast, but I don't think they'd all line up to give Comcast a ringing endorsement.

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                          • identicon
                            Rikuo, 11 Apr 2015 @ 1:32am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                            I'm an atheist skeptic, and I've long been critical of religion. Guess what I've got? Two fully paid for copies of the Bible. Wait...is that an endorsement? OMG, I never knew!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 9:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              In the fall it's common to see movies like Friday the 13th shown. But I don't see anyone claiming the schools are supporting murder.
              The real reason the movie is being protested is because that Group is anti-military and opposesUS foreign policy, and the film is notccritical of those things.

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              • identicon
                Pragmatic, 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                Well they're not obliged to watch it, are they? And they are at leisure to ask for a movie of their choice to be screened either before or afterwards. Surely the best way to provide a balance is to show movies that present opposing views and let the students decide.

                I don't like the movie myself but I wouldn't try to ban it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

          there is no way in hell the university would show such a movie

          And I would not, nor could not, force the university to show such a film. The university's administration has every right to decide what speech deserves its platform.

          This was a showing by the university. They are endorsing this movie.

          I wouldn't necessarily refer to a showing of the film as an "endorsement" of American Sniper - or at least not of the messages supposedly contained within the film, anyway. You can agree to show a film containing a specific message without either endorsing or decrying said message; regular ol' chain theaters do it all the time. I would need the reasoning behind the administration's decision for showing American Sniper to make a better call here, though.

          If somehow it were allowed, the university would have taken pains to assure that counter-speech was part of the agenda. They would have surrounded the showing with such discussion, a lecturer, maybe even an anti-nazi movie. Instead the unviersity decides to show a kids movie about a bear in a separate location. What the hell?

          I don't have a solid answer for that one. I don't (and can't) know why the administration thought of replacing the original film with a PG film/showing both films at the same time as good ideas. If I had to wager a vague guess, I'd say it has something to do with how the university hadn't made watching either film a mandatory event. Students could've likely set up some sort of competing event/meeting/etc. about American Sniper on their own.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

            The university's administration has every right to decide what speech deserves its platform.

            And the students being the people who hired the administration get a say in how the administration makes its decisions.

            You can agree to show a film containing a specific message without either endorsing or decrying said message; regular ol' chain theaters do it all the time.

            That analogy misses the mark because theaters don't require anybody to pay for films that they don't see. Just turn that around, imagine if every ticket for Paddington at the theater included a 10 cent surcharge to pay for someone else to go see American Sniper. Do you think that would fly?

            I'd say it has something to do with how the university hadn't made watching either film a mandatory event

            Watching it isn't mandatory but paying for it is.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              And the students being the people who hired the administration get a say in how the administration makes its decisions.

              How do you know the administration didn't ask students what film they might want the university to show?

              That analogy misses the mark because theaters don't require anybody to pay for films that they don't see.

              I'd bet a fair number of college students don't take advantage of all kinds of different groups and classes and such, but their tuition still pays for those. How much of a say in the content of those groups/classes/etc. should students get in exchange for a fraction of their tuition going towards those things?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                How do you know the administration didn't ask students what film they might want the university to show?

                Majority rule is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.

                How much of a say in the content of those groups/classes/etc. should students get in exchange for a fraction of their tuition going towards those things?

                As a minimum they get to say that none of those things promote hate against themselves.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:46pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                  As a minimum they get to say that none of those things promote hate against themselves.

                  And whose standards would you use to judge content for "hate"? A neo-feminist might have a different idea of what constitutes "hatred" of women than, say, a conservative farmgirl - so which one would you choose as the "standard bearer" for censorship?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:01pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                    The logical conclusion from your question is that there should be no standards at all. Which would be an absurdly unrealistic position to take.

                    The issue here is an unequal baseline. A film that uncritically presented Germany invasion of Poland would never even be considered as an entertainment option. That American Sniper does the same for Iraq means running it is a using different standards for different people.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:10pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                      A film that uncritically presented Germany invasion of Poland would never even be considered as an entertainment option.

                      By whose standards - yours? Hey, some people might actually enjoy such a film. (I wouldn't want to know them or anything, but stick with me, I have a point.) Everyone has different standards of what they would or wouldn't consider a "viable entertainment option", and to use one person's standards as the baseline for such a consideration would lead to madness. (Sorry, Sparta. Better luck next discussion thread.)

                      Of course people have standards as to what they would consider "entertainment". But how heavily do you want to enforce one specific set of standards upon a group of people who might disagree with them? You made that comment earlier about majority rule as a potshot at me, but you seem ready to make yourself the wolf of the equation when it comes to the idea of what constitutes "entertainment".

                      What would make you think your personal opinion of what consitutes "entertainment" - or what makes an entertainment choice "offensive" - deserved to become the one baseline standard by which everyone must abide?

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                      • identicon
                        Rikuo, 11 Apr 2015 @ 1:37am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                        When I was in school, my history teacher, while we were studying World War II, asked for my assistance in getting him a copy of Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda movie, "Triumph of the Will". I and a few others thoroughly enjoyed watching it in class, as it's a fascinating look into the mindset of the Nazi regime.
                        According to a certain AC, my teacher must now be considered an apologist for Nazism. Right, I'll go get my pitchfork and torch. We can't ever show anything controversial, am I right?

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                        • icon
                          azuravian (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 6:25am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                          Are you implying that the University was showing American Sniper in the same way (i.e. as an example of the mentality/mindset of "the enemy"). I doubt it. Unless this is what you are implying, this is a straw man.

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                          • identicon
                            Rikuo, 11 Apr 2015 @ 8:49am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                            Do all movies shown by a university have to be presented as an example of showing other people's or other regime's mentality?
                            No. There are many different ways a movie can be viewed. Some people might want to see it for it's technical achievements (if it has any, I haven't seen it) or lack thereof. Some people might want to see what can arguably be called US propaganda.
                            In short, just because a few people are butthurt about a potential movie, is no reason to send strongly worded letters complaining about being butthurt.

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        • identicon
          Agonistes, 11 Apr 2015 @ 4:05am

          Exhibit: AC

          I present to the board an example of the vapid political correctness conformity zeitgeist sweeping the land.

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          • identicon
            Pragmatic, 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:20am

            Re: Exhibit: AC

            Yep. People ought to be ALLOWED to think for themselves. I really hate authoritarianism, I won't take it from either side of the aisle, particularly when they're invoking protecting the weak as a reason for it.

            That people are offended means little, we all get offended sooner or later. Learning to be tolerant of others' points of view is the most important lesson here, and I fear it's being missed to jingoism on one side and political correctness on the other.

            Why are people so THREATENED by others disagreeing with them?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 5:45pm

        Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

        I don't see the issue here. These students weren't trying to censor the movie across the country, they just didn't approve of the institution they pay their tuition to supporting this film. So what? They're welcome to vocalize their displeasure about the film choice. This really seems like a non-story to me.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 6:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

          Yea, 'cause the students who wanted to see it, they don't pay tuition and shouldn't be allowed to see it because one group claims offense.

          A non-story repeated at college campuses nationwide.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 6:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

            I like how you trivialize it as "claims offense" as if the movie isn't actually disparagingly racist.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              Plenty of films, both old and new, have racist bullshit in them. The university showing any such film doesn't necessarily mean the university's administration approves of/endorses said bullshit or the messages it sends.

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            • identicon
              Rikuo, 11 Apr 2015 @ 1:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              Time to Godwin. Should a history teacher be allowed to show Nazi propaganda movies in class? They are thoroughly racist after all...

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 10:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                1. In class is an entirely different situation.
                2. If presented in the right context yrs it would be, and in fact often is allowed.
                3. Most U's actually pay for these films with Student Association funds which aren't coming out of general tuition but are raised independently by the various Student Clubs.
                4. This group is not opposed because it's a biased viewpoint but because it's not their viewpoint. A similar film biased against the US military, in favor of Islam, and against the war would be promoted by the same group and they'd scream racism & bogotry if it wasn't shown.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 9:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              Islam isn't a race.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 7:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

            It's has been playing in plenty of theatres. You can scream censorship all you want but University students have a right to make their voices heard when they feel their tuition money is being used to pay for an event they disagree with. If this was some controversial public speaker that the University of Michigan were paying to bring in, like say Ann Coulter, would you still feel the same way?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 8:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              There is a difference between making a point and trying to force your opinions on other people; it is the difference between I find that film objectionable and you cannot watch it.

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            • identicon
              Rikuo, 11 Apr 2015 @ 8:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              " but University students have a right to make their voices heard when they feel their tuition money is being used to pay for an event they disagree with."

              What about the other students who are just fine with this? They pay tuition too, last I checked. If I was a student there, I wouldn't have a problem with the university showing this movie.

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              • icon
                saulgoode (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 10:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                "What about the other students who are just fine with this? They pay tuition too, last I checked. If I was a student there, I wouldn't have a problem with the university showing this movie."
                And your freedom to voice your opinion about showing the movie should be recognized.

                My opinion is that those who made the choice to show this movie showed very poor judgment. The movie was not being presented as a study in filmmaking or to prompt discussion of historical events -- it was chosen as entertainment for a social event "catering to the interests of a diverse student population". As such, it was an extremely poor choice for the program (especially when the university's campus is situated in a region that has the largest Moslem population in America).

                Those who made the decision to show this movie have done a disservice to the university, to its "diverse student population", and to its host community. Hopefully in the future their decisions will be less inconsistent with the traditions of the university and the purported ambitions of the Umix program.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 1:29pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                  it was chosen as entertainment for a social event "catering to the interests of a diverse student population"

                  And part of that diverse student population expressed its disgust with the film. Had things ended there - or ended with a protest of the screening or whatever - we wouldn't even be talking about this situation.

                  That group within the entire student population nearly got the film pulled from its scheduled showing (one that the university did not compel students to attend, mind you) because said group tried to enforce its standards for offensiveness on the entire student population. A student may have wanted to see the film so they could see what makes it so offensive and start a better dialogue about it, but the "offended" group could have denied that student such an opportunity.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 1:49pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                    I really don't see the issue here. A group within the student population found the choice offensive and chose to make their voice heard. If you want to criticize the University for caving in and cancelling, initially, fine but those students did nothing more than make their voices and opinions heard. Something which should be encouraged within higher education. You can clutch your pearls and scream censorship all you want but that isn't what's going on, at all.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 2:53pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                      I really don't see the issue here. A group within the student population found the choice offensive and chose to make their voice heard.

                      The group went beyond making there voice heard, and refusing to attend the showing, and tried to get the showing stopped, and prevent others from seeing the film. That is they stepped over the boundary that separates free speech censorship. If you truly support free speech, you can say that you find something to be abhorrent, but you cannot use that opinion to shut down the speech that you object to.

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                      • icon
                        tqk (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 7:49pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                        While I agree with your sentiments, the greater evil was the University acquiescing to their demands. They (protesters) had every right to express their opinion, and they were right to do so. However, I'm glad the initial decision has since been reversed. Good on 'em.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 7:27am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                          I am not sure which is worse:
                          demanding that someone in power impose your views on everybody else;
                          or,
                          those in power caving in to the loudest voices.

                          The combination is significant in politics at all levels, and usually to the detriment of the majority.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • icon
                            Richard (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 10:37am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                            The combination is significant in politics at all levels, and usually to the detriment of the majority.

                            and the rest of the time it perpetuates injustice against minorities.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        saulgoode (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 11:20am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                        The group went beyond making there voice heard, and refusing to attend the showing, and tried to get the showing stopped, and prevent others from seeing the film.
                        So signing a petition asking that those who decided to show the film not do so is going too far? What would that make writing a blog article asking that those who sign such petitions not do so? Why should one be considered censorship and the other freedom of speech?

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 12:14pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                          So signing a petition asking that those who decided to show the film not do so is going too far?

                          The petition calling for the cancellation of that American Sniper showing represents a form of "soft censorship". A group of people, however large, tried persuading the university into cancelling a film screening open to all students based only on that group's feelings about the film. They didn't want to start a dialogue about the film in any way; they wanted the university to not show the film at all.

                          Had they asked for a chance to air grievances in a similarly public forum, I don't think anyone would have taken issue with the group's dislike of the film. But they used their beliefs/opinions to (try to) get a voluntary film screening shut down. They attempted to tell the university what films it could or could not show.

                          How comfortable would you feel if a group of people tried telling your local movie theater what it could or couldn't show based only on that group's beliefs/opinions?

                          Don't get me wrong: I take heavy issue with the politics of American Sniper and the beliefs of Chris Kyle. I believe the university made a poorly-timed decision with its choice of film, all things considered. But unless I expected the film screening to result in harm to another student/group, I would either protest the screening, ask for a similarly free (and voluntary) forum to discuss the film's politics, or simply deny the film my attention.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 1:10pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                          So signing a petition asking that those who decided to show the film not do so is going too far?

                          Yes it is, and it is not far away from the attitude of religious extremists, you must agree with my brand of the faith because it is the one true faith.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 1:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                If I was a student there I would have a problem with it. So in this hypothetical I should just shut up and keep my opinion to myself? Let's try another hypothetical.

                If The University of Michigan were paying Dick Cheney to speak at an event would it be acceptable to petition against it? What about those poor students who wanted to hear Dick Cheney? Would Tim still be writing an article about it?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 5:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                  Assuming the university doesn't require attendance for your theoretical event, you would have a difference between protesting Cheney's speech at that hypothetical event and trying to get the event shut down over Cheney's speech.

                  In the former situation, Cheney's speech would theoretically still happen, but students who disagree with Cheney (for whatever reason) would provide countering speech to his speech.

                  In the latter situation, Cheney's speech may or may not happen if the offended students successfully force the university into denying Cheney a platform for his speech. Students who may have wanted to hear Cheney speak in person (for whatever reason) would lose that opportunity.

                  You may dislike Dick Cheney, and you may disagree with his politics, but how does your dislike of him give you or anyone else the right to deny those who may agree (or disagree!) with his politics a chance to see him speak?

                  And how would you feel if you found out that a politician with whom you agree had a speech shut down because a small group of students complained about it?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 7:02pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                    Well using the Condelezza precedent it isn't because of a dislike of his politics but from being an outright war criminal. No torturers or murderers allowed is a good rule.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 8:44pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                      And if he had a conviction for "war crimes" on his record, that rule might mean something.

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                    • identicon
                      Pragmatic, 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:24am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

                      Why not? I'd go to it so I could call him to account, asking awkward questions, etc.

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    • icon
      AH2014 (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 5:33pm

      Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

      It's odd to ask a question and then without an answer declare a double-standard. If you're familiar with this blog, you can be sure that TechDirt WOULD in fact be just as supportive of any film, whether it was anti-jewish, anti-christian, anti-atheist or anti-TechDirt.

      And those that like to compare the Bush administration to Facists would do well to read up on history so they can have a more informed discussion.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:19pm

        Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

        It's odd to ask a question and then without an answer declare a double-standard.
        Oh, bullshit. It's not “odd” at all. It's Trolling 101.

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 6:51pm

      Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

      if you pick and choose what speech is allowed then no speech is allowed

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    • identicon
      JAM, 11 Apr 2015 @ 9:03am

      Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

      And how do you know, they were Muslims?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 9:41am

      Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

      I'm having trouble recalling a recent war where the enemy was primarily Jewish.

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    • icon
      Richard (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 11:04am

      Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

      Yes, what events are depicted DO matter. For University or Techdirt: would you be so supportive of a similarly anti-Jewish film?

      The Jews are a race. Many Jews do not believe the associated religion. Not believing would not have saved you from the Nazis.

      Islam is a religion/ideology. As such it is a choice.

      The comparison does not work.

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

        The Jews are a race.

        No, they're not. Perhaps you mean Semites?

        If I convert to Judaism, my race won't change. I'll still be a red haired, freckled Caucasian. There are black (Nubian/Ethiopian) Jews, European (Ashkenazi) Jews, Slavic Jews, ...

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

          No, they're not. Perhaps you mean Semites?

          If I convert to Judaism, my race won't change. I'll still be a red haired, freckled Caucasian. There are black (Nubian/Ethiopian) Jews, European (Ashkenazi) Jews, Slavic Jews, ...


          In the broadest sense you are right - however Jewish identity is not generally regarded as being affected by the current status of someone's religious beliefs.

          For example (from Wikipedia)
          "In general, Orthodox Judaism considers individuals born of Jewish mothers to be Jewish, even if they convert to or are raised in another religion"

          I realise that that does not make them a race in the biological sense but it does mean that they have an identity that cannot be discarded as easily as that of other religious groups.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 1:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

            I realise that that does not make them a race in the biological sense

            The word you want is tribe, where membership is conveyed by parentage. In the case of Jews, where membership is passed via the mother, the tribe can be(come) very racially diverse.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 1:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm. Maybe Techdirt likes films in which Muslims are murdered.

              The word you want is tribe

              Yes that would do. The point is that it is different from a religious faith or ideology where individual choice is the determining factor.

              Hence there are Jewish Christians, Jewish Muslims, Jewish Atheists etc but no Christian Muslims, Muslim Atheists etc.

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  • icon
    tracyanne (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:13pm

    would you be so supportive of a similarly anti-Jewish film? Of course not.

    You know this because...?

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  • identicon
    JustShutUpAndObey, 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:15pm

    Paddington Bear is offensive

    This movie is extremely offensive. It not only anthropomorphizes a wild animal, thereby demeaning both the animal and humanity, but it encourages the adoption of wild animals by people. When will people learn that taking animals from their natural habitat can only end in disaster. The movie does further harm by discounting the danger of having a live bear in the home. Bears are carnivores, people, yet you expect to sleep under the same roof and wake up in one piece?
    Bad biology, bad policy, bad movie.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:07pm

      Re: Paddington Bear is offensive

      Yeah, and what the heck is that crack about vanilla ice cream? I'm offended! I like vanilla, and you chocolate and berry flavoured types are oppressing me! Don't get me started on Neapolitan either, or you'll regret it. That should be illegal, akin to racial crimes! Have you ever seen the goo at the bottom of the bowl when that stuff melts together? Mud! The Klan will rise again!

      Grumble, mumble, rasafrackin' jiggafrigga, ... kroshnit!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:44am

      Re: Paddington Bear is offensive

      If Colbert told me anything, it's that bears are godless killing machines, and i know/believe it to be true.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:17pm

    "[or] Note that they disapprove"

    Since I can't find the petition itself I'm not sure, but I don't read it as requesting or demanding that the showing be cancelled. As far as I see, it's just expressing extreme disapproval of the movie.

    Then again, I'm the kind of person whose response to "I'm thirsty." is "Okay, so what?".

    If someone could link me to the petition itself (or even just quote the relevant portion), I'd appreciate it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:17pm

    “Although we respect the right to freedom of speech, we believe that with this right comes responsibility: responsibility of action, intention, and outcome,” the letter read. “The movie ‘American Sniper’ not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim and anti-MENA rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer.”

    There is only one qualification that can follow a declaration of support for free speech, and that is I will fight to support your right to free speech, even when I loathe your speech. Any other qualification is denying someone else's tights to free speech, with the speaker being the judge of what speech should be allowed.

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  • icon
    DB (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:19pm

    I hope you mean a movie about Madagascar vanilla, and not Tahitian vanilla ice cream. And certainly the movie will avoid mentioning the villainy that is synthetic vanillin.

    And is it gluten free? Vegan?

    I know people that can be offended by *anything*.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:26pm

    Next time give the ingrate college kids "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" instead.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 5:13pm

    Was any money obtained from student tuition used to pay for the screening of this film?

    If not then I do not think the students have much to complain about, the tax payers might but since government is not funding education a whole lot these days - not so much huh.

    Complaining about a jingoistic snuff piece will not get one very far these days, unless one wants a lot of tea bag bullshit thrown in their face.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 5:16pm

    btw ... the screening will go ahead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eye sea ewe, 10 Apr 2015 @ 6:10pm

    I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

    showing Muslims and Islam in a bad light are also the same ones who under Sharia Law would be the first to face the choice of Convert or the Sword.

    There are many muslims who are peaceful and many of those have no more understanding of the Koran than many of those who call themselves christians.

    A true muslim is called to go out and conquer and convert/destroy the infidels by whatever means are necessary for Allah. True christians are called to be holy and pure, to defend the fatherless and the widows, to love the unlovable, to preach the gospel of the good news of the Kingdom of God, to poor blessing on their enemies, to declare and live the difference between sin and holiness.

    So many muslims are bad muslims because they want to live in peace with their neighbours who are not muslim. So many christians are bad christians because they don't want to be holy and pure or to love but would rather hate and tolerate the destruction of those around them.

    So where does this leave us in regards to this story, you have a nation that has a provision wherein you have a spectacular freedom to say most anything. Those of us who live in nations that do not have this freedom understand that this freedom is extremely valuable and worth fighting for. But for us, it quite often means prison or exorbitant fines to say something that offends or hurts the feelings of others.

    Fight for what you've got, protect it otherwise you will lose it and once it is gone, you'll be worse off that those of us who did not have it in the first place.

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 6:59pm

      Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

      Bad Christians would be people that think no other religion deserves to exist and all people that will not convert should be put to death. if you want a historical example I am sure the crusades would suffice.

      Defending Muslims is no different than defending any other faith. People that are biased don't see that though. From what I understand of American history is that America was created as a place where people of all faiths could go without being harassed. Where they could live their lives free from fear from being different.

      Muslims are being treated as the worlds scapegoat in my opinion these last few decades. Some are evil people but that doesn't mean all are evil and should be condemned just because those that twist their faith into an excuse for killing others represent their entire faith.

      Maybe if we stopped making war on that area of the world they would stop hating us and attacking us..

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      • identicon
        eye sea ewe, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:44pm

        Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

        Ah, the crusades - one of those famous political/economic wars masquerading as a religious war.

        I don't have a problem defending moslems. I don't defend the basic tenets of Islam however. Neither do I defend the basic tenets of Nazism, Communism, Pure Capitalism, Narcissism or Nihilism.

        But you do misunderstand the difference between a good moslem and a bad moslem. A bad moslem is one who actions are peaceful, kindly to non-moslems, beneficial to non-Islamic culture and society. What anyone (not a moslem) would call a good, upright person. A good moslem is someone who fights to destroy non-Islamic culture and society. One who will forcefully convert non-moslems to Islam using any and every means to do this - lies, cheating, violence, etc.

        Too many people do not understand that people like Osama bin Laden are good moslems. That groups like ISIS and Boko Haram are good islamic groups. They follow the tenets set down by Mohammed. They follow the actions he proscribed as being in accordance with the Koran.

        Islam is not just a religion, it covers everything in society, politics, financial, societal, education, diplomacy and foreign policy, etc.

        From your limited perspective, moslems may seem to be treated as the worlds scapegoat. Yet in a much broader sense, depending on where you are, various groups will be the scapegoats, chriatians are considered thus in many parts of the world, in other parts this role is given to moslems, in other parts it is given to hindus. Sometimes, it is shared by various groups.

        The thing is that Islam is not twisted into an excuse for convert or die. This is a fundamental tenet of the Koran and Islam. I would suggest that you seriously do your own study and see what the Koran actually says. There are many reputable english translations available (written by Islamic scholars). Just as it is acceptable for a moslem to lie and cheat a non-moslem to gain the advantage of Islam over everything else.

        If you stopped making war on them, you would simply encourage them to expand. The hatred and the attacks won't stop until all is Islam. You would still then have the struggles between the various sects of Islam (Sunni, Shi'ite, etc).

        What many people forget about christianity is that it is about the individual and their personal relationship with the Creator God. When it get polluted by politics and power, it is now longer effective. Don't make the mistake that many do, that the so-called christian attrocities of the past or the present have anything or are anything more than a facade. Many of the so-called christian political parties are no more christian than they are buddhist or hindu.

        Can a christian be involved in politics or business? Certainly they can. However, they should be demonstrating by both actions and words their beliefs and faith and their relationship with the Creator God. The one amazing thing about being a full-hearted follower of Jesus Christ is that no-one can do this in and of themselves. It takes the full intervention of Jesus Christ himself to bring about this change within the inner man and bring it forth to the outer man.

        Over many years, I have had many interactions with those who call themselves christian but by their actions are demonstrating that they aren't. I have also had many interactions with other who call themselves christian and by their actions and words they demonstrate that they are indeed followers of Jesus Christ.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

           
          tl;dr

          Pro-tip: Try like hell to get your comment in at under half-a-screenful. Consider breaking it up into multiple comments.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 10:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

          Islam, Judaism, Christianity, they all stem from the same source:

          Paganism.

          The only difference they have between one another is the wording. Meaning, before the written word was invented we all passed on knowledge through song and dance. Take the Navajoes for instance, before they were invaded their entire history was literally written into the land since they had no written language. Thus, after they were invaded and displaced...it was lost forever.That's the way it used to be with all of us!

          The point I'm trying to make is history has a tendency to displace the truth and neither Moses, Mohammand, nor Jesus will ever, if they even existed, have their TRUE stories told since the 'written' word has turned into a form of manipulation.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 12:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

            Islam, Judaism, Christianity, they all stem from the same source:

            Paganism.

            Hmm - I either you are defining Paganism (in a somewhat unusual way) or you don't have much information about any of them.
            I'd like to know of a belief system that isn't based on Paganism by your definition.


            The only difference they have between one another is the wording.


            That is also the only difference between 2+2=4 and 2+2=5.

            So what is your point.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 2:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

              My point is that religion is a perversion of human spirituality. The reason why we have spiritual beliefs is for the sake of survival. And from what I know, our spirituality didn't become corrupted until religion was born which was right around the same time that that the written word was invented.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Richard (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 1:24am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                And from what I know, our spirituality didn't become corrupted until religion was born which was right around the same time that that the written word was invented.

                Which means that your supposed "golden age" occurred in a time frame where - by your definition we can have no knowledge at all. Hence your argument cannot be disproved!

                How convenient!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 2:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

              Not to mention, civilization and religion has only been around for 0.02% of our 200 thousand year existence. So why do we need it? For centuries we've been killing each other over religious beliefs and to what gain?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Richard (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 1:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                Not to mention, civilization and religion has only been around for 0.02% of our 200 thousand year existence.

                0.02%of 200,000 years is 40 years - but don't let facts get in the way of your argument....

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 3:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

              Well, by all the usual definitions of "pagan", he is correct.

              Originally, "pagan" referred specifically to polytheistic religions, particularly the Greek ones. Then for a while it meant "not Christian". Nowadays, it means "a religion that is not one of the main world religions". (It's also sometimes been used to refer to people we would call "hedonists" these days, but that's more of a slang use.)

              In any case, all religions that were the precursors to the main ones these days were indeed "pagan" by definition. It's a bit of a self-evident point, but I think it has philosophical importance.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Richard (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 1:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                Well, by all the usual definitions of "pagan", he is correct....In any case, all religions that were the precursors to the main ones these days were indeed "pagan" by definition.

                But that does not imply, as he does, that this means that all these religions developed from paganism.

                On that basis one would have to say that modern humanistic atheist/agnostic thought developed from Christianity and hence from paganism. In that case the charge applies to everyone's beliefs - and hence it is meaningless.

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                • icon
                  John Fenderson (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 7:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                  "On that basis one would have to say that modern humanistic atheist/agnostic thought developed from Christianity"

                  No, because "modern" atheistic/agnostic thought predates Christianity.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Richard (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 4:19pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                    No, because "modern" atheistic/agnostic thought predates Christianity.

                    No it doesn't. There was atheistic/agnostic thought before Christianity - but themodern version developed in a Christian context.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      tqk (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:53pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                      What modern version? Somebody telling a priest ten thousand years ago that he was spouting a crock of shit is the same thing I tell 'em today. Don't just make shit up.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        Richard (profile), 14 Apr 2015 @ 6:24am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                        Somebody telling a priest ten thousand years ago that he was spouting a crock of shit

                        Where is your documentary evidence for this concversation?

                        And you accuse ME of making things up!

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        Richard (profile), 14 Apr 2015 @ 6:33am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                        Unlike your, my statements are based on evidence

                        For example in the wikipedia entry on Atheism in the middle ages we find the following:

                        In the European Middle Ages, no clear expression of atheism is known

                        hence modern European Atheism developed afterwards - inevitably in a Christian context.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          John Fenderson (profile), 14 Apr 2015 @ 8:41am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                          The middle ages is not pre-Christian. Also, are you only talking about Western history? Also also, what do you mean by "modern" atheism?

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • identicon
                            eye sea ewe, 15 Apr 2015 @ 8:45am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                            Atheism has been around for millennia. References are Ps 14:1, Ps 53:1 which date back what 3000 years or so. However, the version of atheism preached by the likes of Richard Dawkins and company is a modern rendition (a couple of hundred years or so), which has been classed as basically infantile by the leading atheist philosophers (not the vocal proponent but the philosophers) of the 20th century. The leading feature of such proponents as Richard Dawkins and Stephen Fry is their personal deeply held antagonism to God - it's like they believe God exists but they have a personal hatred of Him and would never acknowledge Him in any way other than to accuse Him of all the ills they have suffered and by extension all the ills the world has suffered.

                            Another way to put this is people like them would rather blame God for all the problems of world rather than accept responsibility for their own part. This comes out when they are interviewed about the matter.

                            If they actually believed that God didn't exist, I would expect them to demonstrate this with far less emotion than they actually express. It is like they are emotionally tortured and torn internally over the matter. They want to be right no matter what and they will destroy you if you get in their way.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              tqk (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 12:09pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

                              I don't blame god, since it's a mythical non-existent entity. I do blame organized religion, which has always, from the dawn of time, been a business preying on credulous, spiritually inclined folk.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 12:03pm

        Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

        if you want a historical example I am sure the crusades would suffice.

        The crusades bear a similar relationship to the preceding Islamic Jihad as D-day does to the occupation of France.

        I'm sure that the allies did some bad things on D-day - but few would say that they should apologise for D-day itself.

        Muslims are being treated as the worlds scapegoat in my opinion these last few decades. Some are evil people but that doesn't mean all are evil and should be condemned just because those that twist their faith into an excuse for killing others represent their entire faith.

        As eye sea ewe said, if you read the actual Islamic sources you will find that it is the moderates who have twisted the faith. The radicals are following Mohammed to the letter.

        Personally I don't understand why the moderates don't just leave the faith altogether*. There is absolutely no reason to believe in it when you have rejected most of what Mohammed said and did.

        * Actually I do- it is just that the reason is not rational.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 7:16am

      Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

      "showing Muslims and Islam in a bad light are also the same ones who" ...
      claim religious freedom to do so whilst proclaiming US AP history teaches too much bad stuff that the US has done.


      "A true muslim is ..."

      Hahahaha - No True Muslim, No True Christian

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 10:49am

        Re: Re: I find it fascinating that those who protest against...

        " No True Muslim, No True Christian"

        Actually he is NOT falling into the "no true Scotsman" fallacy here. He is simply quoting the accepted religious texts.

        Consider the classic example of the "No true Scotsman" fallacy"


        Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
        Person B: "But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge."
        Person A: "Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

        Of course this assumes that no "manual of Scottish behaviour" exists containing a prohibition on putting sugar on porridge.

        eg if I were to say "No true Jew would eat pork" then I would not fall into the fallacy simply because I used the phrase.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kb, 10 Apr 2015 @ 6:44pm

    At least try to do some research before you write an article. The university announced two days ago that they had made a mistake and that American Sniper will be shown as planned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:19pm

      Re:

      Something that the author points out in the latter half of the article, providing quotes from the school about how they made a mistake, and will be showing the movie after all.

      Before claiming someone failed to do their research before writing, might help to actually read what they wrote first.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 7:28pm

      Re:

      Very funny decrying TD's lack of research, when you couldn't even be bothered to read the article. That link is in there. Try harder next time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 9:57pm

    I'm an orthodox Jew that grew up in Brookline MA (we're about as orthodox as they come) does and mean I'm racist?

    I'm against Israel committing genocide since initially after WW2 all of the local palestinane tribes and the influx of European Jews were suppose to form a nation/alliance...but then the US stepped in with their agenda to destabilize the entire region over the course of several decades.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 10 Apr 2015 @ 11:31pm

    A university is a place of education

    If the university is not able to establish a proper critical and historically informed setting around the showing of movies like "American Sniper" or "Jud Süß" and uncritically invites fans of fascism to bask in their ideology, they are not promoting the unalienable rights of all men to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness that they are tasked, as a U.S. educational institution, to show to people.

    It would also be inappropriate and a disservice to both the Founders of the Republic as well as the soldiers serving in WW2 to show major speeches of Joseph Goebbels or Michael Hayden on campus without establishing a setting making the dangers of fascism readily accessible.

    When there is no time for proper preparation, cancelling a broadcast that will run counter to the ultimate educational goals of the university without an adequately prepared context sounds reasonable to me.

    It is not like one can expect Americans to properly recognize fascism and murder worship on their own even when it hits them in the face left and right and left and right and left and right and left and right and shoots them in the back and takes their belongings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Deathtostudents, 11 Apr 2015 @ 12:12am

    Bloody lazy students, spongers off the state, they should all be made to do milatary service and go to foreign countries and kill, especially students,not going to watch Amerikan Sniper (unless it's used as a training film)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    B. Free, 11 Apr 2015 @ 6:42am

    Live and let live

    If something offends you then don't look at it or listen to it. Meanwhile, leave everyone alone who thinks differently than you. Mind your own business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 8:24am

    Honestly, this was probably the best thing that could've happened. "American Sniper" wasn't a good movie and in all honesty was complete propaganda.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 10:10am

    They also forgot to show people what non-americans think about his awesome movie.
    Also failed to draw the parallel between this movie and any other which shows an imaginary occupation of the US where the people do way worse things in the name of Freedom.

    Oh that kid was a little pussy for standing up against the occupying army!
    meanwhile in another movie:
    Damn commies deserve the worst death, who cares that its just a kid who has no idea whats happening around her, she is right next to a commie who invaded the Glorious State of Freedom! Kill everyone!

    Seriously, this movie should be shown in every university along with one of these ones where the roles are reversed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 10:56am

    THE HERO OF THIS FILM CLAIMS HE SHOT "LOOTERS" FROM THE ROOF OF THE SUPERDOME

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 11 Apr 2015 @ 3:16pm

    On a side note: I made it through the first half an hour of this piece of drivel before giving up. A waste of money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matthew A. Sawtell, 11 Apr 2015 @ 5:14pm

    So... this topic covered, and not the cop shooting?

    Wow... thought Mike and company would have had wall to wall coverage on that video. What gives?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 1:09am

      Re: So... this topic covered, and not the cop shooting?

      Eh, maybe for once they decided not to humor the jackass who insists that Tim Cushing has a hard-on for cops.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 10:19am

    A movie about an American coward sucks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 12 Apr 2015 @ 5:19pm

    They wanted censorship -- here's my vote.

    Since they like censorship so much, I vote that the replacement film be their choice be an episode of Barney & Friends or Spongebob Squarepants.

    Because either one is the right age range.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 6:08am

    No. They chose to... [circulate] a petition that described how hurt their feelings were


    I fail to see how this differs from the "more speech" solution that we're supposedly so fond of here.

    I should hope that any advocate of free speech would see the value in letting students write petitions, of all things. Even those petitions with which they disagree.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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