The Daily Texan should not be a platform for hate



I am writing to express my extreme disgust with the “Islamic Apartheid Week” ad placed in today’s Daily Texan. Just as cartoons with racist content based on skin color have no place in our student publications, bigotry and discrimination based on religion is grossly unacceptable. I understand that this is a paid ad by an outside organization. However, the editorial board has a responsibility to screen these materials for inappropriate content.

These types of ads create a hostile climate on our campus for Muslims and students of South Asian and Middle Eastern descent. This ad paints all Muslims with the same brush, assuming that the violent actions of individuals or governments can be generalized to other people solely on the basis of their faith. The Daily Texan would not publish an ad for “Christian Apartheid Week” indicating that all Christians are violent on the basis of the crimes of Anders Breivik or Oscar Pistorius, because it would be a gross misstatement of the truth. This ad is inflammatory and perpetrates falsehoods about Muslims on the basis of racist stereotypes. The editorial staff has a responsibility to the entire student community to keep hate speech out of our student publication. By publishing this ad, you have failed in a crucial part of your mission.

The Islamic Apartheid Week ad must be immediately removed from publication. Funds paying for the ad must be returned to the purchaser. The person who permitted this hate speech to be published has demonstrated gross poor judgment, and should be removed from any editorial decision making. This hate, which targets a portion of our own student body, has no place in our campus newspaper.

Jessica Martin



The Daily Texan did a great job this past fall covering and rightfully condemning the offensive themed Greek parties and other racist incidents on campus, yet they take money, and therefore condone, a blatantly offensive advertisement? Pretty sad. Where does The Daily Texan draw the line on how hateful an ad can be? What if it were an anti-Christian ad?

Mac McCann



As a proud Texas alumnus (Graduate School, ‘11), I was shocked to read the latest issue of The Daily Texan and find an outrageous, full-page advertisement bearing reference to a so-called “Islamic Apartheid Week.” The crude bigotry and racism that this advertisement celebrates has no place in The Daily Texan or in our campus community. Shame on The Daily Texan and the editorial staff for running this ad in the first place and for not disavowing this disgusting bigotry in it after the fact. 

James Casey



As a recent graduate of University of Texas at Austin, I was deeply disturbed to find that The Daily Texan published an advert for a so-called “Islamic Apartheid Week.” Considering the position you are in, I do not find it pertinent to insult your intelligence by explaining to you the fundamentally racist and absolutely ridiculous nature of the this advertisement. Indeed, it is no surprise the newspaper made the choice to include the ad, as they published another extremely racist ad by the same organization (the David Horowitz Freedom Center) last year that dehumanized Palestinians by claiming they did not exist. Not to mention the racism and ignorance on display when the paper allowed a racist cartoon to be published this previous spring. In short, the newspaper is garnering a reputation of racist tendencies and negligence.

Although it is an advertisement, the newspaper has a choice as to what is published and would surely not allow advertisements that were blatantly racist towards other minority groups. They also have an ethics code to comply with.

In light of this, I will be emailing the various authoritative bodies of the University to file complaints against the newspaper. I expect UT students, who are of sense and quality, to organize effectively to combat this disgraceful and embarrassing lapse in judgement. I will also contact the national press that has willingly covered incidents of racism at UT, and donors/alumni of Islamic decent and of the Arab countries the advert generalizes and attacks. 

Mohammad Hamze



The “Faces of Islamic Apartheid” advertisement run in today’s Daily Texan is an blatant example of hate speech, and The Daily Texan should never have run it. To draw together a random assortment of crimes committed by Muslims and label it a result of Islam as a religion is bigotry, plain and simple; to label it Islamic apartheid doesn’t even make sense. To be sure, hate speech is legal and part of all our right to free speech, but that doesn’t mean that The Daily Texan is obligated to print whatever anyone with money sends either. They can publish their garbage elsewhere. Our student newspaper shouldn’t be turned into a platform for bigotry. Shame on The Daily Texan.

Kate Goodin, UT-Austin graduate student



I have been a UT employee for more than five years. I am writing to lodge a complaint about the Islamophobic ad in today’s issue. Would you be willing to print an ad on “Faces of Christian Terrorism,” stereotyping Christians as terrorists, murderers and child molesters? Would that be acceptable in The Daily Texan?

The ad you posted promotes hatred and racism. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I hope you print a sincere apology and promote a policy that will stop this from ever happening again.

Patrick Parker



I’m not sure what sort of system you have in place at The Daily Texan to prevent the appearance of hate speech in your publication, but as a concerned student, I sincerely suggest you take a moment to recalibrate it. The advertisement appearing in today’s issue of your newspaper, titled “Faces of Islamic Apartheid,” is as damaging as it is ignorant — and a perfect example of hate speech. I hope you realize that by publishing this trash, you are not exposing any sort of fair and balanced viewpoint; rather, you are legitimizing a violent anti-Islamic culture that is currently thriving in the United States. How on earth could this series of unconnected events, if they are to be believed, indicate anything about the Islamic faith? It is obvious that the pictures are an attempt to manipulate one’s emotional sensibilities. By publishing this ad, you are empowering the hateful, manipulative people who wrote it.

I am not the only student who is upset and frightened by this advertisement. I can only hope that you will take the necessary steps to repair what damage has already been done. Issuing a public apology and granting a voice to the many Muslim students and student groups on campus would be a good start.

Jonathan Hunt, Mechanical engineering junior



I was greatly upset and offended by your inclusion of the deeply racist “Faces of Islamic Apartheid” advertisment. I feel you owe both the many Muslim students on campus an apology, as well as to the larger community. The things you publish and deem appropriate to publish represent us all at UT-Austin. Let’s not let racism be our defining characteristic. As a member of this community, I am ashamed and dissapointed to be associated with this hurtful misinformation. Y’all should know better.

Katy Whiting



I’m disappointed by the choice to run the “Faces of Islamic Apartheid” ad. As you are entrusted with publication powers, you are responsible to not encourage discriminatory and bigoted acts. This ad discriminates against an entire religion and expresses a shocking level of ignorance that I hope is not reflective of our school. I urge you to discontinue any contract with the sponsor, publish a statement to correct the publication and exercise greater discretion in future advertising. Please do not publish hate speech in The Daily Texan.

Anna Robinson