Campus newspaper accused of promoting religious hatred

An editorial headlined “Islam Sucks” that ran in a student newspaper has drawn fire from an Arab-American group.

The piece, published Tuesday in the daily campus newspaper of Wayne State University in Detroit and written by a student, says Islam “presents a danger to the welfare of many due to its influence.”

Written by Joe Fisher, who was not available for comment Wednesday, the editorial also says, “Islam subjugates hundreds of millions of women, sexual minorities and other religions where it’s the law of the land.”

After reading the editorial, Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said, “It is absolutely appalling that such ignorance, accompanied by numerous inaccuracies, would find its place in a newspaper distributed by a highly respected academic institution.”

Hamad said he was concerned that such an editorial might lead to hate crimes against Muslim students, or those who appear to be. “If we allow such messages of hatred to be published and spread, you truly wonder what’s next,” he said.

The editor of the South End, Jason Clancy, said he’s had a few complaints, but doesn’t regret running the editorial.

“As a student newspaper, we welcome anything from students, faculty or staff,” he said. “We welcome their ideas, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they represent the newspaper.”

The university’s vice president for student development and campus life, Charles Brown, said Wednesday that “we’re very saddened that this article was written by one of our students.’

“We don’t condone this.”

But, Brown added, students have the right to free speech.

Brown said he has spoken to Clancy about the editorial and plans to speak with the staff of the student-run newspaper, along with Muslim students.

“This is a teachable moment for us,” Brown said.