LETTER: Guest speaker policy needs to be visited

We’ve all read about the $550,000 being spent on the new Web-design, but what about more relevant information such as policies regarding guest speakers on campus? I’ve discovered a 20-year veteran employee within Central Michigan University who says there is “no formal written policy” and the whole process is “very informal.”

According to www.mlive.com, Terry Jones was invited by Associate Professor of Journalism Tim Boudreau to speak about his First Amendment right to ridicule Muslims. For those of you who don’t know, Jones is the Florida pastor that’s gained world recognition for burning the Quran, the Muslim bible. According to the Washington Post, this burning “incited a riot in Afghanistan resulting in a raid on a United Nations compound that left seven employees dead and protests in Kandahar that left nine dead and 90 more wounded.” Jones admits that he had considered the possibility that burning the text might elicit a violent response and that innocent people might be killed, but he still renounces any responsibility for the deaths.

The Washington Post and the Daily Caller both cite that, “Terry Jones was informed, by the FBI, that the terrorist group 'Hezbollah' has placed a $2.4 million bounty on his head.” In effect, we have welcomed a terrorist target to our campus for the purpose of slandering an entire religion and spreading intolerance in a higher education establishment that publicly claims to encourage tolerance and diversity.

My assignment was to write about a social policy, but perhaps we should establish a policy before we try to analyze it. Perhaps the administration here at CMU will consider the safety of its students and faculty when doing so and encourage people who preach intolerance to practice their First Amendment rights somewhere else.

Christopher J. Hubbell Midland junior