Rutgers re-invites conservative Lisa Daftari amid 'confusion'
Rutgers University re-invited conservative speaker Lisa Daftari to campus after uninviting her last week amid student outrage.
Rutgers University spokesman John Cramer told Campus Reform that, as of Monday afternoon, it has re-invited Daftari to campus and given four possible dates from which she can choose in November: Nov. 14, Nov. 19, Nov. 26, or Nov. 28.
"Please know that Rutgers values the free and open exchange of all viewpoints and that you are welcome to speak here."
Cramer quoted a letter sent to Daftari from Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui.
"I want to write to clear up any confusion regarding your invitation to speak at the University," Sifuentes-Jáuregui wrote. "To the degree that I may have contributed to the confusion, I hope you will accept my apology."
"Please know that Rutgers values the free and open exchange of all viewpoints and that you are welcome to speak here. I understand, in fact, that you may have been invited by student groups to speak at the University as well as the event that was scheduled for tomorrow night [Oct. 16]," he added.
It is unclear whether Daftari has responded. The university did not acknowledge why it extended the new offer.
Daftari was originally scheduled to give a speech on Tuesday about “Radicalism on College Campuses," part of a university-sponsored speaker series, until Rutgers administrators caved to student outrage and canceled the event.
A petition aimed at preventing “unapologetic Islamophobe” and “bigot” Daftari from coming to campus obtained more than 1,600 signatures. The petition cites Daftari’s strongly held beliefs against Islamic terror, claiming her stance is “undoubtedly hate-mongering.”
Following the university's decision to dis-invite Daftari, conservative student organizations began their own petition in support of Daftari, calling the Islamophobia allegations against her "intellectually dishonest."
"Rutgers students have shown their own bigotry by calling Daftari, an Iranian-American woman, a 'cockroach' and 'bitch' instead of engaging with her ideas," the petition reads. "It is disgraceful that Rutgers bureaucrats have canceled her event. We believe that Daftari should speak on campus."
The petition, "Let Lisa Daftari Speak," was created by Rutgers student chapters of Young Americans for Liberty, College Republicans, and Young Americans for Freedom. The petition garnered more than 1,400 signatures and also garnered the support of the conservative campus newspaper, The Centurion, which is affiliated with the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program.
Daftari did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.
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