Muslim group: Community college speaker spreads hate

Muslim group: Community college speaker spreads hate
EVERETT, Wash. - A controversial speaker at Everett Community College has sparked outrage among a Muslim civil rights organization who says the speaker spreads hate.

The Council on American Islamic Relations asked the college not to allow Raymond Ibrahim to speak. But the college didn't budge.

Everett Community College invited Ibrahim, an author and blogger, to share his viewpoint on Islam even though some local Muslim leaders say he's filled with hate.

Ibrahim denies it.

"I'm just a messenger, and I'm bringing it," he says.

Ibrahim won't say if he's Muslim or not - only that he's spreading the truth about Islam. The published author, born to Egyptian parents, says he wants Americans to understand the religion.

Quoting a verse he claims is from the Quran, Ibrahim says, "This verse is 3:28 and it says let believers - Muslims - not take infidels - non-Muslims - for friends and allies."

Ibrahim says Muslims like Osama bin Laden and others believe they are carrying out Sharia law - the Islamic code of law - which says Muslims are obligated to convert non-Muslims by persuasion or violence.

"Because it's divine. It cannot be changed if you're a true believer. If God is telling you to live this way," he says.

"Well, it's the 21st century, and we have to make things a little more lax. If you're a Muslim, you're free to do that. But I find it not logically consistent."

Not so, says the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The civil rights group and dozens of local religious leaders asked the college to close the door on Ibrahim. They say he incites fear, hatred and violence against Muslims.

"Just as they would not bring a known anti-Semite to campus to speak about Judaism or Jews in America, they should not bring a known Islamaphobe to talk about Islam in America," says Arsalan Bukhar of CAIR.

But Everett Community College officials told KOMO News they won't silence free speech, even if some feel that speech is filled with hate.

"We believe that when we have open dialogue, and students can hear different views on things, it can lead to the development of critical thinking," says Craig lewis of Everett Community College.

The college allowed local Muslims to speak to students around three months ago. They shared their viewpoint, and on Thursday, Ibrahim shared his.