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Muslim Group Calls for Cancellation of Controversial Speaker at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

March 5, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando - Muslim Students and community leaders are protesting a controversial speaker at Embry-Riddle University. Activists organized a news conference Wednesday to highlight their concerns.

Flanked by Muslim students and a member of the public, CAIR Florida Director Hassan Shibly discusses why his organization is against UCF Professor Jonathan Matusitz's speaker series event Thursday at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Photo: Carmel Delshad | WMFE

UCF Professor Jonathan Matusitz has previously controversially said, "coexistence with Islam is not possible." That got the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, involved in an effort to cancel his appearance during a speaker series event this week.

Standing outside The Embry-Riddle Welcome Center, CAIR Florida Director Hassan Shibly says he has no problem with Matusitz, but doesn’t think he should speak at a school where Muslim students may experience backlash.

"He certainly has the freedom to promote fear and hatred, but we must recognize that his promotion against American Muslims is not cost free," Shibly says.

Embry Riddle Student Mohammed Almatrif says he doesn't mind Matusitz's appearance, but is worried about what happens after that.

"I respect the freedom of religion, speech, everything. But I'm looking for the consequences of this speech. Whats the outcome that's going to come after it?" Almatrif says.

Matusitz will be interviewed Thursday about his book on terrorism and communication. A university spokesperson says they have no plans to cancel the event, but have invited CAIR and Hassan Shibly to speak at a later date.


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