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Walib Shoebat vs. Humboldt State University
by Joshua Banta
Friday Feb 20th, 2009 1:15 AM
This is an article intended to document the unsettling presentation by Walid Shoebat to the students Humboldt Sate University on Feb. 18, 2009..
Joshua Banta
Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA
USA


Feb. 19, 2009, (Arcata, CA)- The large gloss posters spread by the conservative's club read: Inside Terror- Confessions of a PLO Terrorist- The Incredible Journey of Walid Shoebat. A life size color photo of a man's face with his turbin concealing only his eyes stared down everyone at the Humboldt State University campus and in our beloved town of Arcata for weeks. The theater was packed, awaiting the promised "truth behind the propaganda from a man who has lived it."

Protesters were displaying signs outside and some people were passing out short printouts about Shoebat with hopes to present Mr. Shoebat with an informed audience. 'WALID IS A FRAUD' was painted in chalk in front of the theater for all to contemplate upon entering. Under police supervision, we were made to check our bags at the door, which is something altogether new to me. I am not aware of any events that require the student body to actually forfeit our bags, aside from the bag check at the bookstore, which is common.

Within a minute or two of Walib's stage entrance, a fight almost broke out in the center of the front row, followed by a scene that served to unleash everyone's adrelanin. The police were very respectful in their methods of intervention and made it clear by their actions that no one would be getting tazed here at HSU. The tension of the event broke early and continued safely to the very end.

Walib proceeded to recite his prepared notes, not without taking time to share nasty responses with the people in the crowd who were speaking out against him. As time progressed, his fairly romantic presentation about Islamic ideals and terrorism in the Middle East became bitter and hateful as his increasingly grotesque point of view was met by an increasingly disgusted and vocal audience. Some of the things the said, such as "if it weren't for Reagan and Bush, you'd all be under a Nazi flag" really struck a nerve with the crowd. Walid called numerous students 'terrorists' and at one point blamed drugs for the existence of terrorism while pointing at the crowd of college students. The latter was taken by many as a mind boggling attack on State of California and Humboldt County legislature that protects users of medical cannabis.

A convert to Christianity, Walid's presentation expressed to the crowd all of the worst virtues of Islam, swearing by his experience that Islam is the greatest threat in the world, as prescribed by it's own lawful doctrines. With minimal editing, one would never know the difference between a fully Israeli state sponsored speech and the supposed humanitarian speech he believes he presented. As a result, it was difficult even for the most forgiving in the audience to allow him to speak without calling out to check him. He simply lost the audience completely, but did not walk away. His agenda to hype up a love for Israel was too strong.

At the end of his "speech", after countless sidetracks to enter heated and often mutually disrepectful dialogue with outspoken members of the audience, Walid Shoebat did not walk away. He took questions. He actually took questions.

One after another, Walid lashed out on the students who lined the walls to ask questions. Many people had already walked out on him in protest already, but those who stayed to hear the questions saw an unforgettable spectacle. Not one student's question wasn't evaded and twisted into a fallacy or a mundane and unnecessary attack on the character of the questioner. During the questions, Walid showed no sign of logic or critical thinking and was inclined to run every question asked into a brick wall, as one questioner openly declared before an elated wave of applause. I have never seen such a thing. His demeaner was intellectually akin to a cornered stray that's got rabies. His response to many respectfully asked and well thought out questions was a consistently unsuccessful attempt to belittle and discredit the questioners. He called some questioners stupid, some uneducated, some nuts. Some he attacked on a personal level even before they spoke into the microphone, making it obvious that he was already lost to his 'dark side' and unable to regain any meaningful purpose to be on stage aside from maintaining a large scale argument, which he embraced.

One of the most gut wrenching responses he gave was when he personally attacked a questioner from the Philipines who politely greeted him and, in his Walid's defense, asked him to express from his heart what he feels about Islam, virtually begging him to show a softer, rational side and giving him a much needed get out of jail free card. Walid took the breath out of the student and the audience when Walid accused him of not knowing Islam and being a fake.Walib's heartless character really shined through as he let himself exhibit a passive aggressive tantrum on stage.

It was not Walid, but the Conservative's Club members who directed the event that stepped in to call an end to the whole scene, turn off the mics, get Walid off the stage and get people out of their seats.

As the vibe was so vivid, many people stuck around the theater afterwords and were treated to a beautiful gathering of rational people who are awake to what just happened to our campus. Protesters formed a line of signs and lit candles as about a hundred or so people prayed before a courtyard staircase and stepped up, one by one, to voice what they felt in their hearts and to add their voice to our united desire for a free Palestine and an end to such attacks of propaganda on our campus. Watch out, Walid may be coming to your campus to persuade you to jump on the bandwagon against the Palestinian peoples and to embrace the nation of Israel.

This is an article intended to place this story into the press and to outline what happened at the event. There will be an update when the transcript of the event is reviewed. There will hopefully be a video on YouTube soon so that our fellow citizens everywhere can see or hear what happened.



LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Palestine says woe is meMatt SteiderWednesday Mar 4th, 2009 9:47 AM
Respect.Billy GoatSunday Mar 1st, 2009 3:11 PM
Next Guest Speaker: Tom VuFake NameTuesday Feb 24th, 2009 2:53 PM
questions and answers.Saturday Feb 21st, 2009 7:28 AM
This reads like someone has a sinister agenda.PeterSaturday Feb 21st, 2009 1:44 AM
A couple thingsJesse Friday Feb 20th, 2009 6:19 PM
The crime of Walid ShoebatYaman SalahiFriday Feb 20th, 2009 12:07 PM
To writer abovesomeoneFriday Feb 20th, 2009 10:53 AM
Is this an honest observation? Or even balanced?Kate HigginsFriday Feb 20th, 2009 10:23 AM
nutcase gene?cFriday Feb 20th, 2009 7:25 AM

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