After days of controversy, a location change and a counter-protest event, Zuhdi Jasser visited Duke to give a talk about Islam. And despite fears of protest that necessitated five security guards at the event, the talk proceeded smoothly.
Jasser, a medical doctor and the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, is a Muslim American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Syria. The speech, originally entitled, "The American Muslim Identity: Patriot or Insurgent," emphasized the need to reform Islam, curb Islamism and promote liberty and Americanism.
"Ideas don't have rights, human beings do," Jasser said. "They call it Islamophobia because they don't want you to criticize Islam."
He discussed how Islam is over 1,400 years old, but that there have been over 500 years of stagnation of Islamic thought.