The Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to call off an event featuring UCF Professor Jonathan Matusitz that is scheduled for next week.
The group sent a letter today to Embry-Riddle’s president urging him to withdraw the invitation to have Matusitz speak about a book he wrote on terrorism. Matusitz, an associate professor at University of Central Florida, has been accused of promoting anti-Muslim bigotry.
“We were shocked to learn that Dr. Matusitz would be a part of Embry-Riddle’s 2014 President’s Speaker Series …,” wrote Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of the council’s Florida chapter. “Dr. Matusitz has an extensive history of vilifying Islam and Muslims.”
A spokesman for Embry-Riddle said the university has invited Shibly and other members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to participate in the event as audience members.
On March 6 at 7 p.m., Matusitz will be interviewed about his book by Special Assistant to the President Marc Bernier, said spokesman James Roddey. The C-SPAN cable television network will be covering the event. Matusitz, who could not be immediately reached for comment, will be signing copies of his book afterward.
The talk will be held in the Gale Lemerand Auditorium on the Daytona Beach campus. Roddey said the public can participate in the discussion. “Mr. Shibly has also been invited to campus to be interviewed by Mr. Bernier at a later date,” Roddey told the Orlando Sentinel.
See also “CAIR calls on Fla. university to drop anti-Muslim prof as speaker”, CAIR press release, 27 February 2014