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“We are meeting today at the National Press Club, which is in a way a living memorial to the freedom of the press that is so important a part of the American tradition. The platform on which we speak is open to all because we believe in the right even of those with whom we disagree to speak their minds. But some reporters have been barred by CAIR from covering this panel because by [reporting criticism of] CAIR or its policies they have been condemned as anti-Muslim when they are, in fact, simply reporters doing their jobs.”

Only a reporter for The Washington Times was asked to leave the room yesterday. After she was escorted out, the doors to the room, which had remained open, were closed.

Mr. Keene said that CAIR has attacked as “anti-Muslim” a number of publications, including The Washington Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Tampa Tribune, the New Republic magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and the Weekly Reader, a popular newspaper for schoolchildren.

“My hope and belief was that this event was going to be an open discussion,” he said in a brief interview after the symposium. “It was what I said in my speech. You don’t restrict access because someone disagrees with you.”