The Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco gave us a heads up about this story, suggesting it would make a good Muzzlewatch entry. According to CAIR’s own press release:
The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today called on campus police at the University of California – Davis (UC Davis) to detain a speaker who openly states that he has committed acts of terror.
The UC Muslim Student Association also joined in the call, right before Shoebat was to appear before a sold-out UC audience.
At first glance, it seemed to make sense for Muzzlewatch. Walid Shoebat, a self-proclaimed former terrorist and Palestinian, who had converted to evangelical Christianity and discovered a new love for Israel, certainly had a right to speak at a public university, even if one disagreed with him.
But there was another question about Walid Shoebat, a longtime favorite on the Israel-right-or-wrong speaking circuit. Why exactly did CAIR and the MSA want him detained?
It was true, in an age of hyper-vigilance about terrorism, when even nuns get stuck on airline watch lists, and Muslim academics have a hard time just getting into (or back into) the country, it does seem odd that a supposed former terrorist who admits killing Israelis is running around the country, popping up on Fox and CNN, with nary a care in the world about getting hauled in by some enforcement agency.
But the real issue, it seemed, which CAIR and the MSA should have kept focused on, was that Shoebat is a religious extremist bigot who doesn’t deserve a platform at a public university. In fact, the question really should be, why are groups giving this guy even a second of airtime?