TU Purpose speaker ignites discussion, arguments

Tonight, Temple University Purpose, an organization often recognized for bringing controversial speakers to Main Campus, hosted a lecture by Nonie Darwish.

Darwish, who was raised a Muslim in Egypt, is the director of Former Muslims United, the founder of Arabs for Israel and a human rights activist.

The event, which was open to the public, drew in approximately 40 attendees – few of whom were students – to listen to Darwish’s lecture in Gladfelter hall.

Darwish’s lecture focused on Sharia law, her views on its oppression of certain groups, such as women and homosexuals, and the “hate” perpetrated by the law.

“I love Muslim people,” Dawish said. “What I object to is the law.”

While many audience members seemed to agree with Darwish’s outlook, others challenged her – which led to heated audience arguments on more than one occasion.

In his opening remarks, TU Purpose President Alvaro Watson, a first-year graduate sociology major, addressed past claims that his organization is bigoted.

“Why is Temple University Purpose Islamaphobic? Why am I a rascist? Why am I a bigot? I’m not – and we’re not,” Watson said.

Watson added that bringing “taboo” and “politically incorrect” topics to discussion makes his organization a target for “character assassination.”