Rutgers University has apologized to a foreign policy expert and alum of the school after they scrapped her university-sponsored speech initially scheduled for Tuesday following left-wing protests.
Lisa Daftari was invited to speak on “Radicalism on College Campuses," but her talk was “postponed” by Rutgers officials with no explanation following a Change.org petition that slammed her as a “hate-mongering” “Islamophobe” and “bigot” before a dueling petition urged the school to let Daftari speak.
“A small handful of campus bullies decided that they can throw around the word ‘Islamophobia’ in an unethical and irresponsible way, because it is one of the social justice buzzwords, and get their way,” Daftari told Shannon Bream Friday on “Fox News @ Night.”
The petition calling on the school to block Daftari misquoted the 2015 speech she gave at the Heritage Foundation when she said “Islamic terror claims to take its teaching from the Quran.” The petition left out the word “claims,” changing the meaning of her words and claiming she was "hate-mongering" by "equating Muslims everywhere with ISIS."
Following a media firestorm, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui sent a letter Monday afternoon apologizing to Daftari and offering four new dates in November to reschedule her talk.
“I want to write to clear up any confusion regarding your invitation to speak at the University. To the degree that I may have contributed to the confusion, I hope you will accept my apology,” Sifuentes-Jáuregui wrote. “Such free and respectful discussion is fundamental to Rutgers’ core values and is practiced every day at Rutgers.”
But Daftari told Fox News she was unsatisfied.
“The university unilaterally canceled the event without looking into baseless allegations and falsified quotes,” Daftari said. “After the cancellation received considerable media and campus attention, Rutgers only proposed to reschedule the talk in an insincere, last-minute PR attempt to mitigate the appearance of bias.”
Daftari shared her response to Rutgers after the university publicized its email to her.
“With all due respect, in all of our previous correspondence and communication, it was clear that the university unilaterally decided to cancel the event,” she wrote. “To come back after the damage has been done to my reputation and suggest that this was some misunderstanding and to continue with the premise that the event was merely postponed, lacks the integrity and respect that I would have hoped for from my alma mater.”
She added: “Just as the university was sensitive to the concerns of a group of students who slandered my good name based on falsified quotes, I would hope that the university would now demonstrate the same level of consideration as we move on.”