The university has “regret”

Speaking of Asra Nomani – Muhammad Syed of EXMNA shared this post by her on Facebook:

If you are in the Chapel Hill, N.C., area, I would like to invite you to a talk I will give on the campus of Duke University at the Griffith Auditorium, April 7, 2015, at 7 PM.

While Duke won a national championship just now, last week I received less than championship handling of my scheduled talk.

Last Thursday, Duke abruptly cancelled my talk after a stated protest by the Duke Muslim Students Association to my talk, the MSA citing false allegations against me that were first spread two years ago by now Duke professor of Islam, Omid Safi, about my alleged “alliances with the most vicious of Islamophobes.” At the time, I told Religion News Service, where the allegations were first published, and its editor Kevin Eckstrom about the longterm dangers of this smear and personal attack. While RNS deleted the blog, its lack of editorial oversight on its bloggers meant the original attack was published and then reprinted at anonymous sites like

Last week, in its email, Duke MSA alleged: “She has had a straightforward alliance with Islamophobic speakers (Robert Spencer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bill Maher and Sam Harris), and she is not supported by Omid Safi, the Director of Islamic Studies,” at Duke University.

I asked Duke about proof of the allegations and told Duke I considered its decision an example of the kind of bullying I have chronicled with the “honor brigade” hijacking the debate on Islam. I received no proof because there is none. I have asked Duke MSA and Prof. Safi for comment and received none, so far. After examining “variables,” Duke told me late Friday that it was reinstating the invitation.

A Duke spokesman told me that the university has “regret” about withdrawing the invitation. My parents have come from WV to accompany Shibli and me to this talk, and I am sick to my stomach about this entire experience. I didn’t know if I would accept the 2nd invitation, but detractors to honest conversation seek only one thing: for us to shut up.

So I will do the opposite: I will go to Duke and speak my truth.

You all are so smart, please give me your words of wisdom and strength.

How infuriating is that?


  1. Beth says

    Why is it infuriating? Have you posted about this previously – I must have missed it.

  2. johnthedrunkard says

    ‘Islamophobic’ ranting about ‘dhimmitude’ seems more and more justified. What OTHER theocratic tyranny is given a universal free pass in American colleges?

  3. culuriel says

    I couldn’t go to her talk, but I won’t rest until I’ve watched “Mosque at Morgantown”.

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