Brazilian university calls off speech on the Middle East due to Muslim threats

“The Pro-Palestine Muslim Association of Recife called me and threatened me,” said the planned moderator of the event.

By World Israel News Staff 

A public university in Brazil says that it was forced to cancel an event on Thursday that was to have dealt with the Middle East peace process after the organizers, speaker, and the institution were all threatened by a Muslim group, reports Noticias de Israel, citing the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper as its source.

The University of Pernambuco in Recife says that “unforeseen circumstances” arose to prevent it from holding the event on the campus there.

“I had to cancel the event for security reasons,” said Karl Schurster, who was scheduled to be the moderator of the conference, in a statement to university staff, the reports said.

He added that “the Pro-Palestine Muslim Association of Recife called me and threatened me, the speaker, and the university in a tough and harsh way.”

The speech reportedly was to have been entitled: “Dilemmas in the Peace Process Between Israelis and Palestinians.” The speaker was to have been Andre Lajst, “a renowned Jewish political scientist” who also heads the Brazilian branch of StandWithUs, which fights the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement, said Noticias de Israel.

The Muslim group reportedly issued a statement calling for boycotting the event, saying that it was necessary to have a Palestinian speaker.

“While they preach boycott and academic censorship, we accommodate them and invite them to appoint a representative to speak with me in a peaceful, democratic, and respectful dialogue,” said Lajst in a public video message on social media, according to Noticias de Israel.