[Editor's note: The following report was received via e-mail. It refers to the January 28, 2009 conference at Barnard College, "Islam & America: The Future of Change." Click here for photos, here for a short audio clip, and here to download audio of the entire event.]
The first speaker (Professor Amir Al-Islam), there was a problem with the mics. I think you can still hear enough of what he says, that you shouldn't need to skip him. The recording will go through the Q/A and when you think it's finished, they intro the woman from IMPACT. She makes a push for them to sign up to be activists and talks about her trip to DC to meet with legislators (who were thrilled to meet with them) .
Professor Amir Al-Islam is a soft-spoken NICE man of faith (who wept for BHO [Barack Hussein Obama]).
Professor Gil Anidjar is a French clown (likes to keep 'em laughing). Mocked fear. How easy he said it is to make us 'fearful' Like...how silly...to even be afraid of SHOES (so that we have to take our shoes off to fly...because of 'fear'). This got a good laugh from everyone. He seemed to be the court jester.
Professor Peter Awn is so smart! Logical. Intelligent ( a peacock). How could you not believe his every word? (I'm sure he thinks he's Ben Kingsley)
Hina Shamsi is British, pretty and CARES about her clients (which is more than she can say about the US military) and really REALLy cares about all those muslim charities that were wrongly shut down as unindicted victims. You can almost think muslim reparations are right around the corner because we were so mean to the poor muslims who needed the $$ from those nice charities. She spent a long time talking about Afghanistan...weird...not bho...
Professor Richard Bulliet (the white guy) a smarmy smarmy LEFTIST (he brought Ahjad to Columbia). Everybody is too far right for this guy. He loved talking about treating Iran fairly.
As a HRC man, he's glad BHO is in, but he's the one person on the panel who doesn't think he can make a difference in the Middle East until his Second Term (he wept for bho TOO)
Bulliet and Awn like to use 'air' quotes a lot...like when you say "war" and "terror."
The only person in the room who was accused of "making a speech" was the guy who asked the question about Israel's right to defend herself.
Bulliet says we need to accept the right of religious governments to exist.
There seemed to be a critical arttitude towards Saudi Arabia and Egypt
The focus for the students was claiming their 'constitutional right' to be a Muslim-American.
Heard a lot of posturing about "as an American, we..." statements from the speakers. Change, hope, the future.
Bulliet talked about our failed foreign policies. That for 8 years we were a fist that is now and open hand.
Bulliet or Awn said BHO is as President so eloquent that he will be the Great Commuicator of OUR LIFETIME!! (and of course...transparent).
One person (an older audience member) asked about how to help the Christians in the Muslim countries. Either Awn or Al-Islam said if mosques can be in this country, then why can't a church be in a muslim country? But...that was a bare-boned "answer."
ONE SIDE. Of course. Does Columbia/Barnard EVER allow a forum where an opposing point-of-view re the Middle East is permitted? NO, of course not. So how do we counter this? It's so wrong to be so LOPSIDED!