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Pace University Threatens Hillel for Showing “Obsession”

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At New York’s Pace University, the Jewish student group Hillel says administrators threatened to “sic” the police on them if they showed the critically acclaimed film “Obsession,” after seething and whining by the Muslim Students Association: Pace’s Docudrama. (Hat tip: Mark.)

January 9, 2007 — Pace University administrators threatened to sic the cops on a Jewish-student club if it went ahead with plans to screen a critically acclaimed film about radical Islam, the head of the group charged yesterday.

Michael Abdurakhmanov, president of Pace Hillel, said two deans warned that showing the documentary film would implicate club members as suspects in two hate crimes involving the desecration of the Koran at the university’s lower-Manhattan campus last fall.

In addition, Abdurakhmanov said an assistant dean physically restrained him as he attempted to defend the film and his group in a meeting with administrators.

“The message was pretty clear, if you show this film, you’re going to incriminate yourself,” Abdurakhmanov said.

Pace spokesman Chris Cory acknowledged that officials encouraged Hillel to postpone the screening until tensions over the hate crimes dissipated, but dismissed the accusations of coercion as “far-fetched,” “implausible” and “unprofessional.”

Hillel had planned to screen “Obsession” during Judaism Awareness Week in November. The school stepped in after receiving complaints from Muslim students that the film negatively portrayed Islam.

Notice that doing something to a book—in this case, dropping it in a toilet—is now being routinely labeled a “hate crime,” even before any hateful motivation is proven. It’s just assumed.

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