Saying that he has expressed views that are anti-Muslim, students at UC Berkeley are asking their school to stop a planned Dec. 20 speech by Bill Maher at the mid-year commencement.
The students started a petition on Change.org, and it has more than 1,400 signatures, The Daily Californian reports. The protest is supported by the Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian coalition on campus.
Student Sadia Saifuddin told the Los Angeles Times that the students were dismayed by comments made on the Oct. 6 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher that they say made Islam seem violent. "I can't condone the university inviting a speaker that threatens the campus climate of our university," she said. "I believe there is a fundamental difference between free speech and hate speech, as well as a difference between Maher being allowed to express his views, and being given the honor of giving the keynote address sponsored by the university."
Maher's publicist did not respond to a request for comments from the Times.