Don't blast us about this weekend's controversial speaker this weekend, EMU administrators say in advance of a campus appearance by anti-Islam blogger and author Robert Spencer.
“The event is not sponsored, financially supported, or being promoted by” the university, says a statement quoted by the Free Press. "
Spencer's participation in a Saturday symposium "is controversial," reporter Patricia Montemurri writes. His 12 books include one questioning the existence of Muhammad, founder of the Islamic religion.
Spencer . . . is scheduled to speak at “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” sponsored by Ave Maria Radio. . . .
“I think it’s sad to see that this group would try to stage this kind of confrontational encounter, when Catholic and Muslim leaders are engaged in an ongoing, cordial dialogue,” said Dawood Zwink, executive director of the Michigan Muslim Community Council. “I don’t know why these organizers would choose as a headliner someone who just this summer was barred (from the United Kingdom) because his presentations are so incendiary. It’s not in keeping with American values of civil dialogue.”
Montemurri notes that a Catholic diocese in Massachusetts this year withdrew an invitation to Spencer to speak at a conference after local Muslims objected. "Last month the Diocese of Sacramento canceled an appearance by Spencer in a Catholic church," she adds.
Shadid Lewis, a Muslim from Virginia who is scheduled to debate Spencer at EMU in Ypsilanti, is quoted by the Free Press:
"He represents true bigotry. It’s a pretty big thing to be banned from a country.”
Spencer, a Catholic church deacon in New Hampshire, is the author of books that include "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)," "Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins" and "Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam."