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Thursday, February 29, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Students voice concerns over promotion of movie

About 30 students met with officials from UF's Division of Student Affairs on Monday to voice concern about the controversial promotion of a movie about "Radical Islam."

During the meeting with Gene Zdziarski, dean of students, and Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs, members of Islam On Campus complained that accusations made in an e-mail that promoted the movie damaged their organization's reputation.

The e-mail accused another student organization's leaders and supporters of identifying with "Radical Islam."

Although the e-mail's sender has apologized to the group, members of Islam On Campus say they are still concerned about the e-mail's message.

Telles-Irvin told the students at the meeting that she was drafting an official response to the situation that will be sent out Nov. 26.

Zdziarski said he would also preside over a meeting with Islam On Campus, the sponsors of the movie and the person who sent the e-mail today.

In an e-mail promoting the movie shown Nov. 13, Matt Klein, a member of one of the five student organizations sponsoring the film and a Student Government Supreme Court justice, accused students of tearing down advertisements posted on campus.

On the flier, the words "Radical Islam Wants You Dead! " are printed above the movie title, which is "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West."

The Nov. 7 e-mail was sent out to organizations that sponsored the movie and several members of SG.

"THIS IS A DOCUMENTARY THE RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISTS DO NOT WANT YOU TO SEE," Klein wrote in his e-mail. "THEIR LEADERSHIP ON CAMPUS HAS ADMITTED TEARING DOWN POSTERS ADVERTISING THIS EVENT!!!"

As the only Muslim cultural organization registered with SG, Islam On Campus took offense to the accusation.

Yaser Ali, president of Islam on Campus, sent an e-mail complaining to UF President Bernie Machen on Nov. 9.

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In an interview Nov. 12, Klein said the student organization mentioned in the e-mail was Nakba '48, a Palestinian rights organization, and not Islam On Campus.

Klein said a member of Gators for Israel told him that a student saying he was part of Nakba '48 said he took down the posters.

In an e-mail, Kristen Walberg, Nakba president, said she had no knowledge of Nakba members removing posters. She said the group does not support such behavior.

Klein e-mailed an apology to Ali and people who received his original e-mail.

But several members told Zdziarski and Telles-Irvin that the original e-mail, which was forwarded to several organizations, still tarnished Islam on Campus' reputation.

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