Critics Interrupt Speaker's Talk on Islam

January 21, 2007

Author: Jeff Hood

Source: The Record

STOCKTON - A talk on the basic tenets of Islam was repeatedly interrupted Saturday by a few anti-Muslim members of a crowd at the Cesar Chavez Central Library.

One woman was forced to leave early in the two-hour program after she accused guest speaker Tarek Mourad of lying, yelling that Islam's holy book teaches Muslims to kill Jews and Christians and that Muslims are trying to take over the Western world.

Another was nearly arrested by Stockton Police Chief Wayne Hose, who said he came to the talk on his day off to learn more about Islam. The woman, who would only give her name as Barbara, handed out photocopied pages from a book critical of Islam and on numerous occasions interrupted Mourad's talk to read passages about Islam that conflicted with her Christian views.

Hose finally called a police officer to the library in case the interruptions continued and after "Barbara" asked if he was Christian.

"Don't talk to me," Hose told her, rejecting her offer of anti-Muslim reading material. "I can't hear what he (Mourad) has to say."