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Berkeley Students Want Bill Maher Barred From Speaking

Image: Berkeley Students Want Bill Maher Barred From Speaking
Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher. (Maxa/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 27 Oct 2014 10:54 PM

Students at the University of California, Berkeley – where students 50 years began an historic Free Speech Movement – are demanding talk show host Bill Maher get bounced as a commencement speaker because of his views on radical Islam.

"Bill Maher is a blatant bigot and racist who has no respect for the values UC Berkeley students and administration stand for," wrote petitioner Khwaja Ahmed on Change.org.

"In a time where climate is a priority for all on campus, we cannot invite an individual who himself perpetuates a dangerous learning environment."

Mediaite reports the petition had a little over 1800 signatures by Monday evening.

The petition was sparked by a segment of Maher's HBO show, "Real Time With Bill Maher," in which he argued with actor Ben Affleck over radical Islam, contending fundamentalist views are commonly held in Muslim communities, while Affleck insisted such views were the exception.

The segment got more than 1.3 million views on YouTube.

Story continues below video.



A spokeswoman for UC Berkeley told the International Business Times the school’s student organization, the Californians, selects the December commencement speakers, adding the decision to have Maher as speaker was made in August. "The group is aware of the concerns raised," she said.

"As a Berkeley graduate and a former leader of the Muslim community on the
campus, I cannot imagine anything more offensive to my own community than to
have someone who has made statements that are as offensive as his to be on
the stage at a commencement ceremony," said one petition signer, Sarah
Mohamed.

"While freedom of speech is a cornerstone of Cal values, bigotry and racism are
not, and have never been."

The campus is the site of the Free Speech Movement, which began in 1964 by students protesting a ban on campus-based political activities.

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Students at the University of California, Berkeley – where students 50 years began an historic Free Speech Movement – are demanding talk show host Bill Maher get bounced as a commencement speaker because of his views on radical Islam.
university, california, berkeley, bill maher, commencement, speech, students
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2014-54-27
Monday, 27 Oct 2014 10:54 PM
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