UCF prof accused of anti-Muslim teachings blasted again by America-Islamic advocacy group
UCF's Jonathan Matusitz to speak at ACT! For Space Coast Florida meeting Tuesday in Brevard
by Martin E. Comas
August 10, 2013
An American-Islamic advocacy group is asking Brevard County not to allow "an anti-Muslim hate group" to use a commission meeting room in Viera on Tuesday for a speech by a controversial University of Central Florida professor.
"It creates the perception of endorsement and approval by the Brevard County government of this group's hateful views," said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR].
Jonathan Matusitz, an associate professor at UCF, is set to speak at an ACT! For Space Coast Florida meeting in a county room during a session titled "The Islamic Threat to America."
ACT! Space Coast Florida is a chapter of a national organization that warns the public of what it describes as "radical Islam."
In June, Matusitz came under fire by the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for teaching anti-Muslim bigotry. The group cited a YouTube video showing the professor sharing his "Islamaphobic" views with students. The group filed a complaint asking the university to review the content of Matusitz's courses.
Neither Matusitz nor representatives of ACT! could be reached for comment.
Brevard commission Chairman Andy Anderson said the meeting room is in a public building funded by taxpayers and open to all groups.
"It would be like a group renting out a room at the library to hold a meeting," Anderson said. "The room is owned by the people and is open to anyone who wants to use it. Unless there was a reason for us to stop a group from using it because of some kind of issue that would be outside the protection of the First Amendment."
Anderson said he doesn't "endorse or condone" ACT! And he is not involved with the group.
But Hassan Shibly, an attorney and executive director of CAIR of Tampa, said he supports freedom of speech.
"But this individual makes statements to incite violence against the Muslim community, so I think that the line has been crossed," Shibly said. "ACT! is an extremist group no different than the KKK. And if the KKK wanted to use that room, there would be a protest."
UCF officials in June said that the university had no plans to conduct a review of Matusitz's courses.
"Dr. Matusitz is expressing his opinion, which is his right," Grant Heston, a UCF spokesman, told the Sentinel on Saturday. "He is not speaking on behalf of the university, and we do not endorse his views."
Matusitz has taught several communication classes at UCF, including one called Terrorism and Communication and another on intercultural communication.
He wrote a book titled "Terrorism & Communication: A Critical Introduction" that was published last year.
UCF says that the YouTube video, which appears to have been taped in a classroom, actually features an "outside-of-the-classroom presentation" that took place in January.
In the video, Matusitz stresses the link between terrorism and Islamic culture. He also suggests countries should resist the global spread of Islam.
"Why do so many Muslims, relative to other religions, want to kill us?" he asks in the video. "The answer is easy, very easy. It is seven letters: culture."
The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calls Matusitz as an "Anti-Islam Prof" and blasts what it calls his "bizarre claims" that "Germany will 'become an Islamic republic by 2050.'"
The advocacy group describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding."
Related Topics: Free Speech Legal Case, Lawfare in the West, Pressure Tactics Against Free Speech, Sharia in the West, Willful Blindness & PC Problems
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