I am still excited about attending "The Threat of Totalitarian Islam: A panel discussion at Harvard University" with Yaron Brook and others tonight at Harvard. I'm looking forward to seeing Dr. Brook speak in person, and I'm very interested in the topic.
I'm also dreading it a bit. The potential for it to turn into another "John Lewis at GMU" is high. It didn't occur to me how likely this was until I got an email update from ARI stating that non-students are now being required to RSVP. I hope it's just that Harvard needs to be able to plan for how many people will attend, but I'm afraid it's also out of concern about the controversial nature of the talk and the student reaction to it.
I want to see Dr. Brook, Daniel Pipes, and Robert Spenser speak. I don't, however, want to have to strain to hear the speakers over the attempts of audience members to drown them out with shouting. I don't want to sit through ranting questions from enraged and irrational students and protesters.
Hopefully the students at Harvard will surprise me, and I'll be posting tomorrow about how civil and respectful they were, even if they disagreed with the ideas presented. We'll see...
4/6/08 - I just learned that ARI has not gotten reports of any disruptions at these events, and that asking for an RSVP from non-students is a standard practice at many universities to ensure the greatest amount of access for their students. Good news! Let's hope tonight goes smoothly, and that I and others can concentrate on ideas, not troublemakers.