Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Censorship State: Columbus State administrators censor anti-terror student group

(Image courtesy of DarthDilbert)

This is just a quick note to refer you to my FrontPage Magazine article today, “Censorship State”, concerning a developing scandal at Columbus State Community College concerning the administration’s ongoing censorship of the Terrorism Awareness Project (TAP) student group on campus. Earlier this week, a CSCC official, Timeka Rashid, prohibited TAP from posting fliers to promote their upcoming events based solely on her personal objections to the content of the fliers.

This is not the first time that Columbus State’s administration has gone out of their way to obstruct the free speech rights of anti-terror student leaders, as was reported by Jacob Laskin last April, “Celebrating Islamo-Fascism Awareness Day”, when Rashid cancelled the group’s screening of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War against the West.

Here’s the intro to today’s piece:

Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University in what university administrators there described as an event in the best American traditions of free speech. Earlier this week, however, a Columbus (Ohio) State Community College administrator expressly denied a request from student leaders to post a flier promoting Islamofascism Awareness Week amid what student leaders of the school’s chapter of the Terrorism Awareness Project say is a growing atmosphere of censorship and intimidation by college officials. The contrast between an Iranian dictator given an open forum at one of our country’s premiere academic institutions and students at a public college denied access to their own campus couldn’t be more stark.

The Columbus State administrator in question, Timeka Rashid, Director of Student Activities and Athletics, emailed Josiah Lanning, president of the Columbus State Terrorism Awareness Project chapter, on Tuesday informing him that she was not allowing the student group to post a promotional flier because of her supposed concerns with their topic:

Josiah, given this picture and our previous conversations I hope you can understand my concern, thus I am not approving this flier to be hung…Again based on your topic, our campus climate and culture and recent concerns brought to the President, I feel this event and it’s promotion needs careful consideration.

At issue is a promotional flier for campus events related to Islamofascism Awareness Week to be held at Columbus State and nearby Ohio State University later this month.

Rashid also strictly warned Lanning in another email last Friday not to discuss their interactions with anyone without prior approval from college officials.
We at Central Ohioans Against Terrorism stand with the students of the Terrorism Awareness Project and protest this gross injustice. Hopefully some much needed public exposure of this scandal and brazen infringement of student’s free speech rights at Columbus State will immediately rectify the situation.