College OKs ‘empty holster’ protest

Young Americans for Liberty will hold an “empty holster” protest against gun control at Florida’s Santa Fe College, despite opposition by campus police. President Jackson Sasser acknowledged YAL’s free speech rights, after receiving a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).  The “First Amendment is of paramount importance to our mission to educate students and prepare them to be leaders in our society,” Sasser wrote.

Tarrant County College in Texas refused to allow a similar protest for two years. Students sued and won, costing the college $240,000 in legal fees.

Muslim students force out religion prof

Complaining that Muslim students disrupted his world religions class with impunity, Paul Derengowski resigned as an adjunct instructor at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, reports Inside Higher Ed.

A Baptist, Derengowski attacks Islam on his web site, the Christian Apologetics Project. Islam is a cult, he writes, along with Mormonism, Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses and atheism. The section on Islam includes a photo of the 9/11 attacks.

However, he doesn’t bring his personal dislike for Islam into the classroom, he told Inside Higher Ed.

Derengowski states his case on his blog. On Nov. 8, as he tried to teach about a raid led by the Prophet Muhammad, quoting from a scholarly book and the Koran, two Muslim students interrupted him repeatedly. When other students tried to ask questions, they interrupted.

At about 8:15 p.m. that evening Mohamad lost total control, jumped up, shouted what others thought was a physical threat to my being after one student gave a second statement of what she thought about Islam, explaining the scariness of Muhammad’s behavior.  Mohamad blurted out “you should be scared.”

He walked out, followed by the female student. After class, the professor reported his male student’s threat, as he saw it, to campus police.

But Derengowski is the one who got into trouble with the administration. The disruptive students were not disciplined and their grades were raised, he charges. He resigned in protest.

The class is unbiased, said student Ginger Ruiz to Inside Higher Ed.

Ginger Ruiz said on the night of the disruption, the two students told the professor that he did not have the right to read from the Koran and that he should throw away his books. “The other students were afraid. All this was making them uncomfortable and nervous,” Ruiz said. “I feel that the professor has strong opinions, but he was not teaching from his opinions.”

Ruiz, who has filed a student grievance with the college to complain about how the administrators handled the incident, said the class has been reworked and there is no Islamic component to it.

A class on world religions that omits Islam?

Another student, Pamela Hart, also said she felt threatened during the incident, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She’s filed a complaint with the college.

Derengowski started the semester by proclaiming his Christian world view and telling students to judge for themselves, according to his account. He is critical of many religions, not just Islam, he writes. And he sure is:

Not only had I been critical of Hinduism and Buddhism’s ideas involving circularity in time, reincarnation, and the occult practice of yoga, but we critically analyzed the ideas of sallekhana in Jainism, what I call “free willyism” in Christianity (which included a critical discussion of even my pastor’s practice of the invitation), and the Jews constant rebellion by having the oracles of God, yet failing repeatedly to obey them, resulting in their temporary separation from God as His “chosen people.”

If there were any Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Jews in his class — there probably aren’t many at Tarrant County College — they might well be protesting too. But if they’d disrupted class and told classmates to be “scared,” I suspect the professor would keep his job (till the end of the semester) and the students would be kicked out of class.