Tags: american sniper | university of michigan | cancellation | muslims

UMichigan Reverses 'Mistake,' Will Screen 'American Sniper'

By    |   Thursday, 09 April 2015 01:54 PM

A showing of the film "American Sniper" is back on at the University of Michigan, where leaders said they would not cave in to a protest by a small group of students who said the film promoted unfair stereotypes of people from the Middle East, WXYZ reported.

On Twitter, the Ann Arbor-based university declared that:

E. Royster Harper, who serves as UM's vice president for student life, added in a statement that the cancellation was "a mistake."

"The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters," Harper wrote, noting that the film would continue at its original time and location.

"We recognize, however, that some students are uncomfortable with the content of the movie, and appreciate that concern," the statement added, noting it would offer another alternative film, "Paddington," that would be shown Friday at a different campus location.

A petition initiated by a sophomore student who identifies as Arab and Middle Eastern was circulated to a group of students who claimed the film "condones a lot of anti-Middle Eastern and North African propaganda."

The petition noted: “The movie American Sniper not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim … rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer."

The school's new head football coach, Jim Harbaugh, was more blunt in speaking out against the students' claims of exclusion. He took to Twitter, saying he would show the film, which chronicles the life of the late U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, to his players.

Harbaugh tweeted:

A conservative student group at UM, Young Americans for Freedom, had issued a statement Wednesday urging the university to reconsider and show the film.

"The only place the MSA (Muslim Students Association) is getting their presuppositions from is propaganda, rather than the content of this film. This film is about the grim face of war that has sent so many veterans home with mental damage that their families must deal with," Derek Draplin, editor in chief of the Michigan Review, said. "It is about an American hero who gave everything to serve his country and protect our freedoms. The MSA is subverting reality by claiming otherwise."

Added UM's YAF chairman Grant Strobl: "It is deplorable that the University of Michigan would even consider the complaint submitted to them by the MSA let alone cave to their demands, due to its abhorrently offensive attitude towards a war hero who they label as a 'murderer.'

"I speak for many students when I say that having an organization that would say such things on our campus is what fosters a hostile campus environment, not a film featuring the story of a decorated war hero."

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A showing of "American Sniper" is back on at the University of Michigan, whose leaders said the decision to cancel that film after a protest by Muslim students group was a "mistake," WXYZ reported.
american sniper, university of michigan, cancellation, muslims
Thursday, 09 April 2015 01:54 PM
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