Prufrock's Page

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Still Provoked by Rushdie

Officials of the Nova Southeastern University thought it would be a good idea to invite Salman Rushdie to speak at this year's graduation ceremony: they praised him as an example of "higher education's central role in the open, uncensored examination of social, cultural and religious issues", and Don Rosenblum, dean of NSU's undergraduate school, said: "Most importantly, he's an outspoken advocate of freedom of expression, which is a critical core value of the university".

Not everyone agreed, however, according to this report. "I was looking forward to my graduation, of course," said Farheen Parvez, a student leader and officer in the International Muslim Association at NSU. "Then when I found out that Salman Rushdie would be the speaker, I was appalled." She and her family plan to boycott the ceremony.

More ominously -- and stupidly -- student Randy Rodriguez-Torres wrote in an editorial published in this week's Nova student newspaper: "Who is to say there is not someone willing to try and kill him while inflicting harm to everyone else at the ceremony?"

A group of students plans to meet officials to make them reconsider, though there are more reasonable voices. While disagreeing with the choice of Rushdie, NSU student Sadia Dandia said she planned to attend the commencement. "I don't think a speaker should prevent anyone from going to their graduation ceremony. It's not something you can get back."


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