By Josh Feldman at Mediaite
UC Berkeley students have been protesting Bill Maher‘s invitation to speak on campus over his supposedly bigoted views on Islam, and a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations agreed on MSNBC today. To make his point, Ibrahim Hooper asked if Berkeley would ever consider inviting the “grand dragon of the KKK” too.
Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, argued that campus censorship of opposing views has gotten more intense recently, with recent disinvitations to Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali as examples. Hooper argued that in the case of both Hirsi Ali and Maher, he has no problem with them being invited by campus groups to speak, but it’s when universities decides to honor them with commencement addresses or awards that they have a problem.
Because, he argued, by giving Maher that kind of platform, Berkeley is basically giving a “tacit endorsement of his hate-filled views.” Lukianoff said, “My concern is we’re teaching a generation to think like censors.” Hooper shot back that it’s “a form of censorship” to say no one should be allowed to criticize such choices.
And Hooper even went so far as to liken Berkeley inviting Maher to a university inviting “the grand dragon of the KKK or a rabid anti-Semite.”