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Indybay Feature

Walib Shoebat vs. Humboldt State University

by Joshua Banta
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.



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by c


http://www.shoebat.com/bio.php

yeah - in his biography here, the same elements come up. Do you see how he is interchangeably comparing political philosophies and religion? He says that by reading the old testament, he realized islam is false and judaism is legitimate, hence he changes his political positions to fight islam? That really contrasts with notions of individualism that most people in western nations have.
It sounds like one of these people with a psychology where they swing between extremes, and can only think in black and white. How else could someone fail to separate people's individual religious faith from their national and political perspectives. With people like this who I've encountered, one year they will be running around accusing everyone of not being active or passionate on some issue (saying they're all talk and no action), then next year, you run across them and they've found religion or are using a completely different philosophy due to their instability.
by Kate Higgins
Sir, I too support the Palestinians, but I also have respect for my country (the U.S)

If your report is indeed honest, why not get statements from the two police officers on what really and truly happened and post their findings? I can assure you that you never got their statements since they will testify to how the anti-USA crowd were disrespectful to everyone in the audience. The police had to call for backup to control a bunch of America-hating hecklers who were told the rules -- no heckling, no banners, no hijacking of a legal event.

What did the thuggs do? They smuggled their banners and began a protest screaming and shouting throughout the whole event which began right at the beginning of Shoebat's speech as he began to introduce his family herritage in Eureka how his great grand father was mayor in this town, whom later the crowds screamed and showted that he must have been a white man and an evacuator of Indians...totally baseless and fabricated nonsense. When Shoebat asked one of the accusers to name his great grand father, she didn't even know his name. How can somoeone accuse an individual without knowing his name? How can someone claim to be Muslim(your indonesian example), then not know the Muslim creed? Walid was simply asking them questions which many failed to answer.

You intentionally forgot the countless of screams by the "civilized" anti-America crowd who attempted to stop free speech?

Nowhere did Mr. Shoebat call the Indonesian Muslim a fraud, he simply asked him "how does one convert to Islam" in which the Indonesian did not know his own Muslim creed and Walid explained it to him to point out that Allah is a name of an Arabic deity and doesn't always mean God as the Indonesian claimed that Allah simply means God. That's all. And now you are attempting to stretch everything beyound limit.

Produce the video and you will never find Walid calling anyone a fraud. Fact is, it was the otherway around, one student during the question and answer began to accuse Shoebat of being a fraud and read arguments about Shoebat's credebility and Shoebat listened to all hehad to say then responded respectfully and gave detailed evidence on who he was. Even that student seemed convinced after Walid layed carefully and in detail his terrorist connection. I was also convinced.

Go ahead, produce the video, from beginning to end and show how the anti-USA crowd were screaming and acting like a mob, providing that you do not sensor the tape from beginning to end or pick and choose what you want displayed. From your poor article and any honest witness to the event, you practiced sensorship already. If you want to write a story, please write it in full without sensorship.

Your heading is ridiculous "Walib Shoebat vs. Humboldt.." this is not a cage fight between Walid (get your spelling corrected) and Humboldt.

In fact many were appauled at your anti-USA display and your mob-like crowd for screaming throughout the whole speech and displayed hatred for the U.S.

Sir, I love Palestinians, but I also love my country.

We continually begged you to stop and to no avail. In my view, you lost the call of this great cause to help Palestinians and you conveyed a message of barbarism over sensible dialogue and debate.

You didn't have to like what Walid said, but you could wait till the end then challenge him. Freedom for Palestine begings at freedom of speech. Shame on you.
by someone
If you love Palestinians as you say, you too would be outraged by the speaker. By allowing the speaker on campus, the university gives credence to his rantings. Let him rant on a street corner.
Civil disobedience, such as described at the event is appropriate reaction in this case. Shame on Humboldt U for letting someone so obviously misinformed on a campus stage. The university is supposed to be a place for genuine academic discourse.
by Yaman Salahi
The crime of Walid Shoebat is that he doesn't tow the Official Palestinian politically correct line and thus speaks the truth to power. Speaking truth to power ALWAYS causes controversy.
by Jesse
Clearly we got the attention of the University. I doubt they will be inviting someone like Walid back. And yes Kate, a lot of the protesters may have been anti-American-- I am (a white, American born male no less). America is currently one of the greatest perpetrators of violence and imperialism in our world, and as such, any peace loving individual should upon reflection, be opposed to this nation. Also, yes, we may have been less than polite, but would you be polite if you were listening to someone like Tom Metzger speak? Walid was spreading a hateful message towards an oppressed group of people, so of course some of us got pissed and tried to disrupt his event. And Walid is a fraud, as evidenced by his claim during Q & A that "Walid Shoebat" is not an assumed name, despite the lady from the Conservative club saying it was an assumed name during the introduction. Walid swore he had never claimed it was an assumed name, yet had no idea why people thought it was. Yet his own website says "Walid is an American citizen and lives in the USA with his wife and children, under this assumed name." http://www.shoebat.com/bio.php

That is only one of many lies this man has been entangled in: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1206632362598

Lastly, I would like to share the University's response to this event. The following is an email sent to faculty and staff regarding Walid's appearance:

Dear Faculty and Staff:

This is to inform you about an event last night where a speaker on campus sponsored by a student organization spoke about his personal experience with terrorism, the Middle East and Islam. His presentation, demeanor and response to student comments and questions left some of the students in attendance feeling angry, hurt, and unsafe. Other students, upon hearing of this presentation, have also expressed a sense of fear and anger.

We are sending you this information as students may come forward in your offices or classrooms expressing feelings of discomfort or fear. This is an opportunity for you to support our students while creating learning opportunities for discussing these emotionally and politically charged topics. We are currently contacting various faculty and staff who may be able to serve as resources for students, staff and faculty in addressing concerns and facilitating dialogue. Once we have identified these campus community resources, we will notify you of their contact information so that you may contact them directly or refer students to them.


Steven V. Butler
Vice President for Student Affairs
Humboldt State University
707/826-3361
by Peter
Wow, I was not there, but I don't even understand why you seem hate this man so much. Is it because he doesn't agree with your opinion? If his q&a responses were so terrible and unconvincing - why are you so afraid of him returning to speak? Sounds to me like you are afraid he makes a point and you are afraid others might come to agree with him.
by .
We woud have to see a tape or have been there, however, the original poster said that Shoebat was loudly criticizing people based on their appearance, before they even had a chance to get through their question. That makes it sound like he has a chip on his shoulder.

Okay - so that raises my curiosity. Here is a video that comes up under his name plus 'question'.
Here is a 45 minute Q&A that I haven't had time to see all of.
In the first few minutes, he clearly has a somewhat unusual speaking style. He is referring to the questioners as 'challengers' who he must defeat in debate.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2745576421258463420&ei=hRygSa1qi6T7AdXJhdIJ&q=walid+shoebat+
by Fake Name
This Shoebat character has about as much inside terrorist knowledge as Bernie Madoff has legitimate securities investments. The Jerusalem Post outed Shoebat's shenanigans months ago. Perhaps Robert Hendy-Freegard should be invited to talk about the IRA next time. Hopefully this college club's email address doesn't get out to any Nigerian barristers requesting a wire transfer to release a ten million dollar lottery prize.
by Billy Goat
Respect for the United States is respect for colonialism, genocide, rape, theft murder. It still continues to this day. Natives are relocated for coal projects.(See Peabody coal mining project, Hopi, Navajo tribes in Arizona)

Respect for the United States is a respect for fascism and complete state control.
by Matt Steider
The palestinians cry about not having a free state, but that land was offered to them before Israel became a nation. They didn't want it until Israel became a nation and took what land was promised to them. They took more land only when they were attacked by three other countries and kicked their butts. Then Israel gave away land to try to appease the palestinians. That didn't work because they are still attacked every day. Most of the people who say they are for a free palestinian state probabley don't even know what is going on over there. They just repeat the rhetoric they here from their ultra-liberal professors who don't know anything either. Higher education institutions are a joke in this country. It seems the only thing they are good for is to promote the ultra-liberal, far left, elitist agenda. Some day the savior will come and you people who are agains Israel will realize how wrong you are. I feel sorry for all of you, but I will pray for you.
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