Sunday, March 04, 2007

San Luis Obispo Activists Seek Peaceful, Educational Response to Daniel Pipes' Offensive Presence at Cal Poly


San Luis Obispo Activists Seek Peaceful, Educational Response to Daniel Pipes' Offensive Presence at Cal Poly

(San Luis Obispo, 3/4/2007) – Cal Poly Student Peace Activists Organize a Silent Candle Light Vigil, in response to Daniel Pipes' presence at Cal Poly, to commemorate the lost lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

Cal Poly student organizations, including the Muslim Student Association (MSA), Students for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (SJPME), and the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) are planning a silent candle light vigil in front of the Cal Poly Spanos Theatre (on the corner of Grand Avenue and South Perimeter) on Monday, March 5th at 6:30pm. This vigil is intended to raise awareness about the humanitarian toll the Middle East wars have taken on the lives of innocent civilians. Daniel Pipes, one of the radical and extreme supporters of the Iraq war -- and war on other Middle Eastern nations -- is scheduled to speak in the Spanos Theatre on the same night.

As students striving to increase awareness and tolerance of different faiths and cultures, we find it disturbing and offensive to have a hatemonger and racist such as Daniel Pipes speaking at our campus. Pipes has made some appalling comments and sweeping generalizations about Muslims, African Americans, Arabs and Palestinians; "The Palestinians are a miserable people...and they deserve to be." (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2001), " converts tend to hold vehemently anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic attitudes." (Commentary, 6/1/2000), "Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene...All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most." (National Review, 11/19/90)

While we stand for freedom of speech and patriotism, we reject and condemn in the strongest terms, hate speech, bigotry and racism, which all undermine and destroy efforts towards attaining mutual understanding and peace amongst our different communities. We also condemn the oppression, subjugation and torture of innocent civilians and citizens of the United States and other nations.

We call upon all people of conscience to join us for a silent candle light vigil this Monday to commemorate the loss of life in the Middle East. Bring your candles and wear white to stand up for peace, justice and tolerance towards all nations of the world.


For further information about the Candle Light Vigil, contact:
Naiyerah Kolkailah: (805) 550-5917,
Stella Atiya:

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