Opinions, Letters To The Editor

Letter to the Editor: In Response to “Boston College Republicans to Host Speaker With History of Islamophobic Comments”

On Nov. 5, Boston College Republicans brought Andrew Klavan, a prominent journalist, to our campus as a speaker on the topic “The Art of Being Free.” 

The AHANA+ Leadership Council believes many clubs and organizations bring speakers to our campus on a regular basis to express different points of view that enrich our community. We welcome speakers who discuss different aspects of America’s religious diversity. Klavan, however, has expressed deeply troubling views regarding Islam and Muslims in previous remarks. We, the AHANA+ Leadership Council, believe that it is possible to affirm one’s political or religious beliefs without denigrating or distorting those of others. We condemn such comments, and stand firmly alongside our Muslim students and reject hateful and Islamophobic remarks.

As mentioned in the Heights article: In May, Stanford administrators openly criticized a Klavan speaking event at the University for his views on Islam, particularly citing a Daily Wire video in which he attacks Muslims:

“Jihad is a spiritual struggle during which a Muslim attempts to rise to a higher plane of consciousness by slaughtering non-believers, raping their women, taking over their civilizations, and persecuting and oppressing them until they’re all dead,” says Klavan.

In his book The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ, Klavan sees European culture as superior to all other cultures:

“It sometimes seems to me the entire postmodern assault on the concept of truth has been staged to avoid just this conclusion: some cultures are simply more productive than others and the high culture of Europe has been the most productive so far,” Klavan wrote. “It’s as if, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, Western thinkers have become so skittish around the idea of racism they will do anything to avoid naming their culture as superior to others, even if it means avoiding the evidence of their own eyes.”

The AHANA+ Leadership Council stands in solidarity with Muslims, on this campus and around the country, against all forms of racism, sexism, anti-Muslim sentiment, and other forms of bigotry that have no place on our campus. 

The AHANA+ Leadership Council urges members of the BC community to consider the impact that speakers like Klavan who misrepresent and distort ideologies of marginalized groups have on our campus.

The AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC) functions as the Undergraduate Government of Boston College’s (UGBC) advocacy board for underrepresented and marginalized communities of color on Boston College’s campus. The purpose of this council is to facilitate collective action, work toward the elimination of structural inequity, and ensure that our campus is a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment that fosters holistic development; cura personalis. In an attempt to create a more inclusive environment for those who feel excluded from the acronym and community, the council is taking steps to normalize AHANA+ which helps bridge the gap between these marginalized groups. We actively uplift the voices of communities looking to champion the aforementioned and we look to have diversity celebrated, appreciated, and desired rather than just tolerated. 

Victoria Ang, MCAS ’20

Aneeb Sheikh, MCAS ’20

Sasha Severino, MCAS ’21

Ivana Wijedasa, MCAS ’22

Maleena Guandique, MCAS ’21

Kalkidan Tadesse, MCAS ’21

Mohammed Sirage, MCAS ’22

Arjun Abraham, CSOM ’21

Antonio Mata, MCAS ’23

Gabriella Ssewankambo, MCAS ’21

November 8, 2019

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