New York University President John Sexton has written FIRE to defend NYU’s decision to force its Objectivist Club not to show the controversial Danish Mohammed Cartoons at a discussion about those very cartoons. In response to FIRE’s letter to NYU’s Board of Trustees, Sexton claimed that the student organizers decided on their own not to show the cartoons. Sexton glosses over the fact that it was NYU’s administration that told the students that they could not show the cartoons if they opened the discussion to New Yorkers unaffiliated with NYU, dozens of whom had already registered to attend.
FIRE is saddened that NYU’s president has seen fit to stand behind a decision that abandoned open and honest discussion of a controversial topic for fear of mob reaction. As a result, NYU has the dubious distinction of being the only major college or university in America to officially censor an event discussing the controversial cartoons. You can find FIRE’s full coverage of NYU’s shameful act of censorship, as well as its poor, “red” light speech code rating, at thefire.org/nyu, and its full response to President Sexton on The Torch.