Apparently, simply having a fair debate regarding the obvious extremism of Islamic radicals is a punishable act at Liberty High near Kansas City, Missouri, even if both of the members are part of a nationally ranked debate club.
According to College Fix, senior Alex Lonsdale joined an impromptu debate in October with sophmore Muslim student Faraz Pervaiz about ongoing Islamic extremism. Both students are part of Liberty High’s debate club, which currently ranks second in the nation by the National Debate & Speech Association.
According to College Fix, Pervaiz challenged Lonsdale on the pro-terrorism leanings of Muslims, to which Lonsdale responded by quoting a now famous study.
He told The College Fix in a phone call Monday that he pointed to pro-terrorist sentiment among British Muslims, as indicated in polls by ICM Research for the 2016 Channel 4 documentary “What British Muslims Really Think.” The program was presented by the former chair of Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips.
Pervaiz apparently took this as a personal attack on his religion.
“Why are you making my religion out to be like that?” Lonsdale said Pervaiz asked him. The Muslim student became reticent, apparently no longer wanting to continue debating, before he ended the conversation by leaving, according to Lonsdale.
“I wasn’t saying that ‘you’re a bad kid because you’re Islamic,’” he told The Fix. “I wasn’t being rude. I didn’t personally attack him at all.”
A few days passed when Lonsdale was called to the school administration’s office where he was told he had been “harassing” and “dogging” Pervaiz, and handed him the punishment of in school suspension.
Three days after the short-lived debate, Alex Lonsdale was called into a meeting with the principal, vice principal and Pervaiz, where he said he was asked to explain the statements that Pervaiz alleged he made.
Pervaiz “claimed that I said all Muslims are terrorists; all kill…” he told The Fix, trailing off. “I don’t know how you could even get any of that from this.”
School officials told him his behavior could be considered “harassing” or “hounding” and that Lonsdale should be conscious of “social cues,” according to Lonsdale.
He said they accused him of “‘creating an emotionally unsafe zone.’”
After school officials interviewed three other student witnesses, Lonsdale was assigned to serve an in-school suspension the rest of the day and the following day.
Lonsdale was also told he would not be able to make an appeal for his actions, but promised to give him the “necessary information about the suspension,” according to emails provided to the College Fix.
The College Fix reported that even though Pervaiz insulted Lonsdale by calling him “retarded” — a word insulting to people with special needs is apparently okay if said by a protected group — the sophomore would suffer no punishments. This sits perfectly okay with Lonsdale, who says he doesn’t want Pevaiz punished for his speech.
The entire situation caused Lonsdale to be ostracized by some students, including one who demanded Lonsdale apologize to Pervaiz for “trying to prove that Faraz’s entire religion was about terrorism,” and “for what you did and how you made Faraz feel.”
I have to wonder how this would have turned out if someone was trying to debate the violent past of Christians. Regardless, had this have been my school’s administration, I would have tasked both students with a monitored formal debate on the subject. Should Pervaiz have not been good enough to debate Lonsdale fairly, as seems to be the case here, then there would have been no reason to continue to have Pervaiz on the team.
But apparently at Liberty High, feelings rule the day, not facts, which awfully weird seeing as how this school has such a great debate team.