- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2007

Opposition to screening of a documentary film about Islamic extremism prompted security concerns yesterday on several college and university campuses.

Turnout last night for the movie “Obsession” was low at George Mason University in Fairfax, where the screening — part of “Islamofascism Awareness Day” events on more than 70 campuses nationwide — was overshadowed by a vigil in memory of those killed Monday in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage.

College Republicans at Georgia Tech required extra security for yesterday’s screening, which was held despite opposition from some students at the Atlanta campus.

“Georgia Tech is aware of the sensitive nature of the movie being shown and some added measures have been made to ensure the success of the event,” said university spokesman Matt Nagel.

Ruth Malhotra, a Tech graduate student and College Republicans activist, reported “heated” discussions at last night’s screening which drew protesters from the Muslim Student Association, Students for Justice in Palestine and Amnesty International.

The Islamofascism Awareness Day project was planned by conservative writer and activist David Horowitz. Buzz Patterson, a spokesman for Mr. Horowitz’s Los Angeles-based Freedom Center, said there were also security concerns and complaints at other campuses.

At Ohio’s Columbus State Community College, event organizer Josiah Lanning said a planned morning screening of “Obsession” was canceled because of difficulties getting facilities, but that “everything went fine” at an afternoon screening.

“After the film was shown, we had an open discussion and the president of College Democrats, who is a Muslim, made some comments on the movie,” Mr. Lanning said. “He agreed overall with the film that there was a radical version of Islam that has perverted the true meaning and religion of Islam.”

At George Mason, where hundreds attended the Virginia Tech vigil, only seven students showed up for the “Obsession” screening.

A Muslim student who did not wish to be named said: “Why do they need to show a film like this on campus when there are so many Muslims at George Mason? It makes it very unsafe to be a Muslim on campus.”

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