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Bisexual student criticized radical Islam. Guess what happened next …

Can you be called into a campus administrator’s office and chastised for telling peers that in some countries, gay people are executed in the name of Islam? Apparently, yes, yes you can.

At least, that’s what happen to grad student Alfred MacDonald within the philosophy department at University of Texas at San Antonio. MacDonald, who is bisexual, is telling his story now after transcribing an audio recording of a lengthy conversation he had with his superior last fall.

MacDonald told The College Fix in an interview this month that the incident occurred after he told peers during a campus conversation that as a bisexual he was bothered he could be killed in 10 Muslim countries.

After that, he was called into the philosophy department chair’s office and told making that statement was “derogatory” and won’t “be tolerated” and essentially threatened him with administrative discipline, according to a recording of the conversation.

MacDonald, who has since transferred out of UT San Antonio to study at another college, said the affair is indicative of a larger problem.

“In the philosophy department, there was an overwhelming sense that everyone wasn’t saying everything they were thinking. Very few people — students or faculty — were direct with their complaints about virtually anything,” he told The Fix. “… The graduate students were reserved to an unusual degree. … It felt like I was in high school again; people should be direct, straightforward, and transparent with each other to the extent that this is socially possible, and this was the opposite of what I experienced.”

At the end of the day, this harms academic inquiry and intellectual freedom, he added.

“A disregard for truthseeking principles from a philosopher is something that should not be tolerated by people who care about the truth,” MacDonald said in an email. “Truthseeking disciplines like philosophy and science establish the infrastructure of truth for everyone else to use. Logic itself came from philosophy. … A disregard of this kind creates long-lasting implications that negatively affect the future of human knowledge.”

Professor Eve Browning, chair of the philosophy department who had the conversation with MacDonald, declined to comment to The College Fix on the issue, citing a federal privacy law that protects information about a student’s interactions with their schools.

Caught on tape

According to Gay Star News, which first reported on this incident, MacDonald made the comments as he spoke to a peer who mentioned she was a Christian engaged to a Muslim.

“MacDonald responded by explaining he didn’t have a ‘high opinion of Islam’ because ‘there are Muslim countries where I could get executed. I mentioned that I didn’t have anything against her fiance personally and that I was strictly talking about the religious beliefs themselves,’” the publication reported.

Soon after, MacDonald found himself summoned into Browning’s office. The transcription indicates that the overall meeting was very lengthy and also delved into concerns about MacDonald’s performance as a grad student, including attendance issues and classroom decorum. MacDonald explained his side of the story as they went through the list of concerns.

MacDonald, who was secretly recording, later released an audio recording and a transcription of the conversation.

“Well, let me just say that kind of thing is not going to be tolerated in our department,” Browning said. “We’re not going to tolerate graduate students trying to make other graduate students feel terrible for [their] emotional attachments…. And, if you don’t understand why that is, I can explain fully, or I can refer you to the Behavior Intervention Team on our campus which consists of a counselor, faculty member, and person from student affairs who are trained on talking to people about what’s appropriate or what isn’t.”

MacDonald asked what action would be taken if he did bring up something they deem inappropriate again, to which she responded, the Behavior Intervention Team may “refer you for counseling, whether they would recommend that you be academically dismissed, they would assess the damage. They would probably try to speak to the students who are complaining and the faculty that are complaining and make a recommendation.”

“I thought that UTSA was a public university with, like, First Amendment protections? So like I can’t, I could be dismissed for stuff like that,” MacDonald replied.

“Making derogatory comments? Yes,” Browning responded.

The topic of Islam came up again later as well under the context of “professional courtesy.”

“Those are things that would get you fired if you were working in my office. The Islam comment would get you fired,” Browning said.

“Would it really get me fired to say that I could be killed somewhere,” MacDonald asked.

“In that situation as you’ve described it, absolutely yes,” Browning said.

“How,” he asked.

“Don’t even ask,” she responded. “It’s clear you’re not taking my word for it. I don’t care to convince you. If I can’t persuade you that it’s in your interest to behave in ways that other people don’t find offensive and objectionable, then at least I’ve done my job.”

“Well I know that it’s in my interest. I’m just trying to understand the reasoning,” he replied.

“You don’t have to,” she said back.

“Well, this is a truthseeking discipline,” he retorted.

Spokesman walks back discipline claim

According to their website, the function of the university’s behavior response team is to address concerns about students stemming from “written materials that contain wording that seems alarming or out of context” or behavior that seems “significantly different then [sic] their typical behaviors.”

While Browning declined to comment, university spokesperson Joe Izbrand said her words mischaracterized the function of the behavior intervention team.

“It’s not about taking punitive action or determining penalties,” Izbrand told The College Fix via email. “The behavioral intervention team is comprised of a broad array of professionals whose job is to review concerns that come to them and to appropriately determine if any kind of follow up is necessary—concerns about the wellbeing of a student, if the student has expressed a threat to another student or themselves.”

“We do not and will not take disciplinary action for students exercising their freedom of speech rights,” Izbrand said, “and we expect faculty to help guide students in how to appropriately express those views when interacting with each other.”

UCLA law Professor Eugene Volokh, who teaches on free speech law, weighed in on the controversy in a recent post in the Washington Post.

“There is other material in the audio that suggests that MacDonald had had other friction with other faculty members in the past, so he might have been a difficult student in other ways — I can’t speak to whether or not that’s so,” Volokh wrote. “I should also acknowledge that even implicitly faulting someone’s loved ones for their ideology will often lead to tension and is generally not the most effective way of dealing with such things. If someone told you that she’s marrying someone who was involved in the local Trump campaign, that’s probably not the best time to bring up how bad President Trump’s ideology is; you’re just not going to win converts that way.”

“Nonetheless,” he continued, “it seems to me that college and graduate school students have to be free to discuss such matters, including in ways that bear on the ideas believed by the other person’s friends and family (and even when prompted by mention of the friends and family), without the fear of administrative discipline for ‘making derogatory comments’ or ‘mak[ing] other graduate students feel terrible for [their] emotional attachments.’”

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About the Author
Will Nardi is the founder of Rouser News, and formerly hosted "The Thinker," on Right Side Broadcasting Network. He's been published by the Daily Caller, Intercollegiate Review, HYPELINE, FrontPageMag, College Conservative, Odyssey, Red Alert, Lone Conservative, The College Fix and others. His articles have been featured on Drudge Report, Fox News, Washington Times, The Blaze, Rebel Media, Reason.com, Tru News, National Review, The Rush Limbaugh Show, the O’Reilly Factor, Daily Mail, and Gun Owners of America.

Add to the Discussion

  • Unmutual One

    I guess we’re finding out who has the right of way at all of these new intersections the left has been building.

    • https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e9b_1421092375 I suspect the offended student’s fiance and the entire faculty must have been practicing the Liberal Norwegian version of “Moderate Islam”

      • gmartinz

        He was being to kind to the woman in his comments. When she told him that she was a Christian married to a Muslim, he should have shouted at her, RUN, RUN AWAY FROM HIM AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

        • the key to Islam is that their teachings are arranged in Sutras with the shortest passages first and the longest last.
          When Mohammed was trying to get followers at the beginning of his life, he said all the nice things that all religions say, be nice to your brother, don’t steal, love peace etc etc.
          Then once he got enough followers…
          He turned into a warlord, just like any other warlord. Believe my religion, give me all your empire’s money, multiple wives, rape, slavery of all “non-believers” and it’s ok to lie and deceive etc.
          But Mohammed’s violent warlord passages are all mixed in with his early peaceful teachings.
          Far into the Koran there’s one passage that says the prophet’s passages later in his life over-rule the passages earlier in his life.
          That’s why the more devout the Muslim, the more violent and militant they are.
          They are following the teachings of a warlord.

          • wilbur

            Praise Allah !! convert or die !!

          • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

            Mohammed was also a pedophile who raped made love to his 9 yr old wife Aisha, per the Koran. Mohammed was the perfect man, Muslims believe.

    • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Holy cow that was actually deep!

  • CylonesRUS

    This is proff that the Left is tyrannical. If in power you would be like a Russian who lived in the time of Stalin. Killed or sent to a Gulag for life, which is about 5 years.

  • John

    This is child abuse theses so called schools are not schools and MUST BE SHUT DOWN

  • Gerry Burnie

    It is one thing for an administrator to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but it is even worse when she is inventing the rules as she goes along. MacDonald was very wise to record the interrogation. Nothing destroys a bully like the truth.

  • DixieRocker94

    Disciplining a student for stating a fact.
    1984, here we come.

  • Stanton Carlilse

    its not what you say but who you say it about.He was rightfully so offended by ISLAM,is this ever going to end?

  • RAHRAHRAH

    Hypocrisy is on steroids! If the school found out this man had been sent to ‘conversion therapy’ because he is bisexual, they would have parades for him and pay for his legal team.

    But he states a fact about crimes committed in other countries against bisexuals and they send him to their version of ‘Conversion Therapy’.

    This is insane!

  • gmartinz

    What is this pecking order for most protected status from criticism?

    • Michael Lorton

      Well, Muslims are certainly going to be ahead of bisexuals until bisexuals start blowing things up. C’mon, show some commitment.

      • jumpstart

        Can’t wait for the day that all the deviants try to reach across the table and shake hands with the muslims. “Can’t we be friends?”

    • sardiverdave

      Black trumps (pardon me) all.
      Then Muslims.

      Then LGBTQLMNOP.
      Then Hispanics.
      Then Women.

    • Anonis Ymuso

      Muslim, then either Black people or LGTB depending on the issue, then women, then Hispanics, then Disabled people, then Fat people, then Asians, then Jewish, then down at the very bottom Straight White Cis Men.

    • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Handicapped Deaf Dumb Blind Maori Fagri-Pansexual Unicornkins have the top spot.

  • Jim Johnson

    I like to think more and more people are seeing through the hypocrisy. Nobody can be that blind…..right?

  • p’tet ben qu’oui

    ” he spoke to a peer who mentioned she was a Christian engaged INTO a Muslim.”

  • RevDrEBuzz

    Um, Professor Eve Browning, can I have a thought?
    No, you will only think what I tell you to think.
    Um, ok?

  • Robert Swan

    Here is the key. The white Christian woman is gleefully going to reject her upbringing to grab the same forbidden fruit as Eve and marry a Muslim. Right now there are tens of thousands of white girls spreading their legs for Mohammed, Abdul, Kareem, and Tyron . Women via femenism and Marxism are happy to betray their religion, race, family, and country because they are told to. Break up the western family and encourage woman to give in to their idiotic logic and screw any non white….aka stanly Dunham (Obama,s whore mother). Look at the idiot women running Sweden and the EU. Why do you think satanic Islam controls their women. Because women free to be themselves will degenerate into SJW happy whores dizzy about world reality. Oh look at me I am white and I screw blacks…(aka Kardashians). I blame white women for the decline in Europe and the west. They will gladly destroy their own people just because most are weak, emotional, immoral slaves to social trends. History, race, and heritage be damned. How many white men are dating blacks and Muslims? Very few. But white women have no class…PERIOD! Truth hurts.

    • Observer_wi

      Evolution in action, man (if you’re correct).

      The mistake you’re making is fixating on race. Lots of nice, non-white women out there.

      • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        There is no non-white group that is literally going extinct due to not having babies, so kindly remove yourself.

    • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Amen brother.

  • Robert Swan

    White women have betrayed their country race and morality. See https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/magazine-39927255

    White English husband’s fighting a water and their women screw ugly black girl,s. Also see
    article-476097/Sleeping-enemy-The-British-women-fell-German-PoWs.html
    Have more
    http://articles.latimes.com/1996-11-29/news/mn-4074_1_channel-island

    This is why the satanic one world order wants women in control. They have no loyalties except to sin and depravity.

    • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Your batsh*t crazy comment actually hurts our cause and makes all of us look bad, you turd.

  • Liberty5

    This shows how Marxist-Fascist the United States has become. I use the term “Marxist-Fascist” because Mussolini, starting in 1914 was both advocating his Italian Fascism and heretic Marxism, calling himself the “Lenin of Italy” in 1919 as a candidate for his party — the Fascist Revolutionary Party. The one thing Fascist-Marxists were skillful at was intimidating people via violence and threats, along with Georges Sorel’s myth-making tactics.

    • jumpstart

      Kinda ended a little rough for Mussolini and his wife.

  • Anonis Ymuso

    What a shock. Regressives care about the alphabet soup community so much that stating facts about a group that openly kills them is wrong.

  • Robin

    This sounds more like a college in North Korea than Texas!

    • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Actually it sounds exactly like Harvard or Berkeley. You don’t have to go as far as NorKo.

  • Robert Jones

    Behavior Intervention Team? Just go with Gestapo and call it a day

  • laughing tyger

    It’s official: Under the bus LGBTQs!

  • ramrodd

    Pamela Geller: There are No Lone Wolves in Jihad.. Millions of Muslims all
    around the world are following the same playbook — the Quran — and the same ideology — Islam….but the Media wont ever tell you that, it wouldnt fit in with their pro-jihad propaganda offensive..

  • ramrodd

    Ten Arabic Words: Bracken’s Challenge to National Security Professionals |
    Gates of Vienna

    If you are a politically-correct bliss-ninny with a coexist bumper sticker slapped on the back of your Subaru, and you don’t have the slightest clue what the following ten words mean, then this essay is not meant for you.
    You are excused.

    dawah, dhimmi, hijra, jizya, kafir, shaheed, shariah, takfir,
    taqiyya, ummah

    But if you are a national security professional, senior military officer or political leader involved in any aspect of the “Global War On Terror,” AKA “Countering Violent Extremism,” these are ten words that should already be a part of your working vocabulary. If you can’t readily discuss their meaning, significance, and relationships, then you are worse than a fool, you are disgrace to your office and a danger to your country.

    http://gatesofvienna.net/2016/05/ten-arabic-words-brackens-challenge-to-national-security-professionals/

  • ramrodd

    “There is no such thing as “radical Islam.” I have refused to accept several
    organizations that seek to combat or expose the antics of “radical” or “extreme” Islam, because I know that it is not extremism that is causing the violence…it’s mainstream, typical, normal, traditional, specified, canonical [based on religious law] Islam.” —Amil Imani (See more below.) [emphasis added]

    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

  • ramrodd

    Media and Politicians refuse to call islam out for what it is: “Moderate” Islamic Cleric on Live TV: “Muslims have the Right to Kill anyone who does Not Respect Islam”

    Host: For someone who burns the Koran, the punishment, according to Islam,
    is death, is that correct?

    Mullah Krekar: If you burn the Koran, which is an insult, then the answer is clearly yes.

    Host: But the man who has burned the Koran, would it be right that he loses his life even though he lives in Norway?

    Mullah Krekar: I know absolutely that he has committed a criminal offense where the punishment is death. The responsibility for carrying out the punishment is on the Ummah, our Muslim brotherhood.

    Regardless if he lives in Norway, or if he is Barack Obama, I am not myself threatening the person.

    I am telling you what is stated in the law.

    I have told you what is in the Koran and in the Hadith.

    • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Islam is a savage death cult, more at 11.

  • Ben Russell-Gough

    It doesn’t matter if it is a fact or if everyone knows and believes it to be true if it is a politically unacceptable statement. Such things are to be denied, ignored and remain unspoken at all times in order to foster change in society in the direction the Elite wish it to go; it’s as simple as that.

  • Donald Holland

    So when a member of one protected class criticizes a member of another, we play the political rock-paper-scissors game?

  • Halsey Taylor

    The various comments that wish to brand this as a politically left issue are completely off target. Left vs. Right in this situation is meaningless. This is one person (Browning) appointing herself as the speech cop for a university. It’s about arrogance, hubris, and misplaced authority. Could MacDonald be more diplomatic? Probably, but he doesn’t have to be. Is this an issue into which an administrator should intervene in an official capacity? Absolutely not. It’s an excellent example of why Philosophy departments are fading away. The purpose of Philosophy as a discipline is to teach people how better to reason and to think, not what to think.

  • felixinmontana

    “If I can’t persuade you that it’s in your interest to behave in ways that other people don’t find offensive and objectionable”

    Wow you mean like when people thought homosexuality was offensive and objectionable? It should be in your best interest to behave differently? This is where were headed again?

  • Truthteller

    Behavioral response team…..outrageous and so KGB like!

    • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Had same thought. These ppl are unbelievable.

  • wilbur

    It is interesting though the LGBT community leaders love the Gay killing Muslims.

  • Anton Chigurh✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    “or I can refer you to the Behavior Intervention Team”
    These Stalinist–yes, Stalinist–scum just LOVE their mechanism whereby someone expressing a Bad Opinion must be sick in the head.
    These campus progressives really are sick in the head. We need to use another Stalinist tactic on these mini-Maos–it’s called a PURGE. Tick tock, Professor Eve Browning, you twisted sack of sh*t.