This was supposed to be a scholarly interfaith discussion at Hartford Seminary and this is what they got from the scholarly Muslims attending:
Another case in point is Hartford Seminary (HS) in Connecticut (alluded to in Palmer’s letter). HS boasts the oldest Islamic Studies program in America. Several of its faculty members endorse and promote Islamist views, most notably Ingrid Mattson, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
A year ago HS accepted a $1-million gift from the IIIT. The money will be deployed in strengthening an Islamic Studies program that is deeply at odds with classical liberal principles of untrammeled academic inquiry and the free exchange of ideas. The troubling nature of the courses is well fleshed out in the published narrative of Andrew Bieszad, a Catholic HS graduate with a master’s degree in Islamic Studies. Bieszad’s thoughtful chronicle of his 2007-2010 sojourn in HS’ allegedly mainstream program reveals a harrowing portrait of Islamic privilege run amok.
Here, for instance, is Bieszad’s account of what transpired during a class in “interfaith dialogue”:
I had done interfaith dialogue before, so this was not a new experience for me. We were separated into groups for the dialogue, and when I was permitted to speak, I said, ‘I am Catholic, and I do not believe in Islam.’ Following me, one of the Muslim students spoke. She said that she was Muslim, and then she addressed me directly. In a soft, Arabic accented voice, she told me, ‘You are an infidel because you do not accept Islam’ and that ‘according to Islam you do not deserve to live.’ A second Muslim student heartily agreed, and after repeating the first student’s comments, she added that ‘in Islam, the Koran and the tradition of the prophet are very clear about this’ and that ‘you deserve to die.’
This was one of several publicly-made threatening statements and insults that I would receive from Muslim seminary classmates for my open disagreement with Islam.