Constructive Discussion of Differences

From Freeman Hrabowski, President, and Elliot Hirshman, Provost

A number of students have contacted us to express their concerns about an online discussion on myUMBC that includes negative comments about the Muslim community. myUMBC is an important forum for information sharing and dialogue. The discussions that appear on the site are almost always well-reasoned and respectful and make us very proud of our community. The current comments on myUMBC remind us of the tension that can exist between two values of great importance to our campus and our society—freedom of speech and civility. As a campus, we encourage discussion of difficult issues and wish to protect the rights of individuals to express their views. At the same time, we place great value on, and strongly encourage, respect and civility as we communicate with each other.

The fact that students took time during final exams to express their concerns about the current discussion tells us these values remain strong on our campus. We want to commend them for making an important statement about who we are as a community.

4 responses to “Constructive Discussion of Differences

  1. Ismail Nooraddini

    Whats funny is, if comments such as the ones displayed by a certain Erick Walker were discussed about Jews or African Americans, I do not think accolades would be as high. Its rather obvious there is current turmoil over Islam, as a religion and culture. Its times like these i question the personal bias and agenda of those in ‘diplomatic’ positions hold.

  2. Ismail Nooraddini

    We, as a UMBC community, did expect a response to the situation, but this response not only shocked us, but sent shivers down our spines. Many muslims, and non-muslims, took great offense to many things said, as they were ignorant, inconsiderate, and only acted to spread neo-conservative hatred and bias. Back in 2008… was it 2008? There was a campaign on speaking up for the LGBT community. Celebrities, youtubers, and the common community all spoke up against the recent hatred against ‘coming out.’ Which was great, im not bashing raising awareness… but when it comes to religion, and its time to ‘speak up’ for Muslims all around the world, what do you do? You post in headlines “Muslim kills x amount of people,” but when there is a school shooting, or when Timothy McVay commited his Heinous, do you post “Catholic shoots up school,” or “Christian blows up building?” No. UMBC, thanks for addressing the issue, but there is a difference between mitigating tension and acting to further perpetuat it, and you ‘institute of higher of education’ are acting to perpetuate it.

  3. Freedom of speech is still allowed in country.

  4. Sorry for the typo. Freedom of speech is still allowed in America.

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