April 08, 2015

Freedom wins: University shoots down decision to not show 'American Sniper' despite complaints from Muslim students

Rebel Staff

Editor's note: See the update at the bottom of the page.

The University of Michigan has canceled a screening of the best-picture nominated 'American Sniper' after demands by Muslim students that the film not be shown.

According to the Daily Caller, a group called Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) and Muslim Students  took issue with the film. According to them, Chris Kyle was a racist and watching the movie is 'unsafe' to Muslim students.

“Anti-Muslim and anti-MENA hate crimes are growing increasingly common. These incidents create an unsafe space that does not allow for positive dialogue and triggers U of M students. Examples like the recent Chapel Hill shooting, which took the lives of three Arab American Muslim students, Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, contribute to this lack of safety and space for Muslim and/or MENA students. Deah’s sister, Dr. Suzanne Barakat, has publicly stated how American Sniper has contributed to a culture of Islamophobia in America. Although we respect the right to freedom of speech, we believe that with this right comes responsibility: responsibility of action, intention, and outcome.

The movie American Sniper not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim and anti-MENA rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer. Chris Kyle was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians. Middle Eastern characters in the film are not lent an ounce of humanity and watching this movie is provocative and unsafe to MENA and Muslim students who are too often reminded of how little the media and world values their lives. What we instead should offer is compassion and respect towards others.”

The Facebook page 'Center for Campus Involvement - University of Michigan' explained why the movie was canceled in a post.

When being called out over the decision, they replied, “Many students expressed concern over the content of the film and not feeling safe or welcome at UMix if we were to show this film there. We heard these concerns and in keeping with our program's mission to provide fun and engaging programming on Friday nights, we decided UMix is not the best venue for this film, nor is this the best time.”

This post has resulted in many negative comments criticizing the decision.

In place of American Sniper, Campus Involvement decided to show Paddington instead. It's a movie about a cute animated bear.

Earlier this year, Muslim students at the University of Missouri tried to get American Sniper banned for similar reasons. They, however, were unsuccessful.

UPDATE: The university has reversed its decision to not show American Sniper.

The change came shortly after the coach of the Michigan Football team tweeted, "Michigan Football will watch "American Sniper"! Proud of Chris Kyle & Proud to be an American & if that offends anybody then so be it!"

The school's Vice President for student life issued a statement saying the decision to cancel the film was a mistake.

"It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie “American Sniper” on campus as part of a social event for students.

The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters.

The movie will be shown at the originally scheduled time and location.

We recognize, however, that some students are uncomfortable with the content of the movie, and appreciate that concern.

Therefore, the university also will show an alternative movie, “Paddington,” in another location on campus at that same time and date to provide our students with additional options that evening."

Freedom wins.

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commented 2015-04-12 12:50:10 -0400
We need more Jim Harbaughs.
commented 2015-04-11 02:11:36 -0400
“we just don’t want Iran not to use theirs to harm us,” scratch not, in that sentence.
commented 2015-04-11 02:08:56 -0400
@bert C. “There are two sides of the coin and depend on where you are looking at…”
Nope. From our western perspective Bert, there is only one way of looking at it. Only one.

Stu, we all know that you can’t separate energy/banking systems as well as ideologies when talking of war, so whats new. War is fought on all levels. You think we are unethical to fight as dirty as everyone else? We don’t want Iran’s resources, we just don’t want Iran not to use theirs to harm us, politically in a global sense which will of course encompass economic considerations. What is wrong with that?
commented 2015-04-09 17:50:44 -0400
Hey, you have at ’er. bud. Read what you want, believe what you want.
commented 2015-04-09 17:10:39 -0400
Holy Mackerel. It’s pretty hard to figure out the good vs. evil sides of sensational drivel. This almost makes the National Enquirer look serious. I’d suggest that you stop getting your news from stupid sites like that.
commented 2015-04-09 16:14:50 -0400
The argument about ideology (religion vs. Resources) is nothing but another red herring designed to distract. The fight against ISIS – and all other tyrannies – always boils down to good vs. evil / civilization vs. barbarism. From the perspective of victims, it matters not a whit whether they are executed under the banner of racial purity, political ideology, or religion.
commented 2015-04-09 15:26:57 -0400
It is so pitiful to read the venom that the hate for Islam produces. Islam is not my cup of tea. For over 1 billion people it is and I respect their decision. But this war is about resources and money and not religion. Religion is the distraction and it’s working – unfortunately.
commented 2015-04-09 13:41:54 -0400
If these people are so uptight about a Hollywood Movie why don’t they go back home. Yes go home and find a nice Goat to have sex with. Your Quran states that this is OK, if you cut the beasts throat right away,so the meat will not become poisoned. It also states that you may take it to the next Village and sell it. The Quran also states that you may have sex with a Camel. This boggles the mind.
commented 2015-04-09 13:31:00 -0400
Obviously these protesters never watched American Sniper(only read the reviews from left leaning web sites). Chris Kyle went out of his way not to harm civilians and only targeted known terrorists. If their view that these barbarians should be considered civilians, their indignation may be more of an insidious problem. Sorry, just thinking out loud.
commented 2015-04-09 11:57:23 -0400
Let me start by stating I am not a Muslim. I do however admire them for their push back – which the Christian west does not do and only complains about. This goes beyond a movie. It all started when we let our governments start using them as the scapegoat while we were being conditioned not to push back using the false narrative of bullying.
They are pushing back in the Middle East and taking back their countries while we gaze at our naval and call them rebels and terrorists. If you believe a politician I have of Saddam Husein’s weapons of mass destruction. We set up phoney bogeymen (think CIA trained, funded and supplied al Quaida and ISIS) and use them as our excuse to fight against the push back – think Libya. Iraq, Syria, Yemen.
As Christians think Ukraine were the citizens wanted to keep the foreign imposed government out and have a right to do so under the UN Human Rights treaty that says people have a right to self determination.
We should be growing a spine and start pushing back against the chipping away at our freedoms, pushing back against the pending financial calamity (which is off the radar in this country) when the American dollar collapses and we’re not part of the AIIB, pushing back at the erasure of our borders, language and culture by our politicians on behalf of foreign entities.
We should be thanking our Muslim friends for showing us the kinks in our armor and not vilifying them for being what we used to be when we stood up against the tyranny of the Church and state.
commented 2015-04-09 11:46:45 -0400
“According to them, Chris Kyle was a racist and watching the movie is ‘unsafe’ to Muslim students. " ?

These fools, attending a University, think izzzzlam is a “Race” . . . that is patently insane ! ! !
Issssslam is a cult, a political fascist cult . . . . and has nothing to do with race.
commented 2015-04-09 10:17:14 -0400
Good on the coach to stand up to the university and call it like it is! Good on the university for backtracking (though they shouldn’t have been asinine to pander to minorities in the first place…). But I find it uproariously laughable that the alternative to “American Sniper” would be the fluff “Paddington”…
commented 2015-04-09 10:10:55 -0400
i guess i am just naive when it came to this movie or any other war movie, as I just never made any connection to people in another world and culture with those of the same background living in north america. Though I probably would if they decided to act the same way here as they would there…and that would never happen..
commented 2015-04-09 10:05:54 -0400
If you don’t like the move, DON’T WATCH IT.
Finally, some sanity on a North American campus.
commented 2015-04-09 09:32:45 -0400
One key aspect of this university scandal (the scandal of anti-intellectualism on a university campus) is that important people spoke out bravely against the censorship. In particular, the Michigan U. football coach spoke out strongly. It is by key leaders taking a stand against oppressive political correctness does the right side win out. There has to be an ongoing battle, against extremist political correctness, to embarrass the anti-intellectuals in charge. — David Murrell, Economics, UNB at Fredericton dmurrell@unb.ca
commented 2015-04-09 09:19:54 -0400
It should be noted that recently hired football coach Jim Harbaugh stood up to this anti free speech decision and stated categorically that his football players “would” watch the movie. I you lived near Detroit, you would know that the football coach at Michigan sits at the right hand of God himself, no blasphemy intended.We need a lot more people to stand up to these minority groups that seek to silence any and all that disagree with their viewpoints.
commented 2015-04-09 08:56:33 -0400
Stop pandering to minorities – it’s gone way overboard!
commented 2015-04-09 08:46:56 -0400
American Sniper was NOT fiction…it was a true story (as much as film can make it, I guess) done by people with a particular point of view. If Universities are supposed to be teaching anything, such movie nights should stretch people and leave time for discussion afterward and some supervision to see that things don’t get out of control. This TEACHING MOMENT is essential to help newer Americans understand the culture they have CHOSEN as their home. It sounds as though these students identify MORE with the enemy of America than with the Americans. That night could have been a time of explanation and healthy discourse…learning how to deal with conflict and bring empathy to both sides…but that is only if the environment is a TEACHING environment…so was it?
commented 2015-04-09 05:33:44 -0400
Stu Gatzo – so glad you enjoyed watching Paddington. I enjoyed watching American Sniper as it was based on an actual character and glorified the killing of a certain group – namely terrorists and their supporters. Glad we both had the freedom of choice in a democracy to choose what we want to watch.

Good for UMich & Mizzou for standing up to Islamofacism.
commented 2015-04-09 00:18:41 -0400
From the Orwelian speak on offer, sounds more like the usual lefty crowd using surrogates to front their anti military axe grinding.
commented 2015-04-09 00:16:41 -0400
So glad to read the update. Good news that the movie the Sniper was shown after all!
As of 2005, Michigan held the largest and still growing Muslim population in the United States and the second largest Arab population outside of the Middle East.
Although hundreds of long-time residents of Hamtramck, MI protested the city allowing the five-times-per-day Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast over Hamtramck’s loudspeakers, the city council voted unanimously in April 2004 to allow it. I can hardly believe this.
commented 2015-04-09 00:04:39 -0400
@ Peter Letourneux… Good one Peter and as we know, Muslims endlessly chip-away, one concession at a time as they work-away toward the Islamization of every country that they are in. The question is; are they coming here to enjoy freedom or are they coming here to end freedom? What we do know is that in any country where Muslims have succeeded, there is no freedom or democracy and we also know that the process is well underway in all of North America and beyond. Our veterans fought for our freedom with their lives and now it was all for nothing as our blind multicultural idealism simply cannot separate totalitarian ideology from normal religious practice. Our present policy of endless concessions to someone else’s backward ideology is going to become a fatal error that will, end our way of life.
commented 2015-04-08 23:43:52 -0400
Gotta love Americans! They usually do what’s right in the end.
commented 2015-04-08 23:12:41 -0400
it’s not surprising. Good to see Missouri is made of stronger stuff though.
commented 2015-04-08 22:55:37 -0400
At least the students got their point across: The movie is not as good as the cartoon (I unfortunately watched Sniper), Both are based on fiction; both have lots of colour; both have characters in uniforms; but the cartoon does not glorify killing – especially a certain group..
commented 2015-04-08 22:19:47 -0400
I can understand since the Muslim students were being forced to watch it….They were forced, right?
commented 2015-04-08 22:00:34 -0400
It really shows the ages of these “kids” obvious choice…………….a cartoon bear maybe the Muslim kids should be made to watch old reruns of lassie you know how much they love dogs
commented 2015-04-08 21:57:57 -0400
When we cave into these Muslims it playing into the hatred of the west being promoted by Imams terrorists.