Legal Group Demands Community College Reinstate Canceled Islam Class [Excerpts]
The American Center for Law and Justice has sent a letter to Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., demanding that it rehire Barry Sommer and reinstate his course "What is Islam?" or face legal action.
The noncredit course was cleared by LCC officials and had been posted for registration on Dec. 1. Using the Quran as one of its textbooks, the course was designed to help students better understand the Islamic doctrine so they could be better informed to grasp the issues in news on Islam, Muslims and the Middle East.
But shortly after Sommer appeared on a local news broadcast promoting the course, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) e-mailed LCC and asked for the course to be cut. The group questioned Sommer's qualifications to teach the course, saying he is president of the local chapter of Act! for America, which it has accused of being anti-Islamic.
ACLJ argues that CAIR is free to express its views but that the college should not bow down to the group's "bullying tactics."
"LCC is not free to breach a contract and censor viewpoints in the name of 'sensitivity' or political correctness," the demand letter contends.
The Washington, D.C.-based group also pointed out that CAIR has been described by the FBI as a "front group" for terrorists linked to Hamas.