A video has surfaced of an ISIS panel that took place on the University of New Mexico Campus. The panel was sponsored by the UNM Muslim Student Association for Islamic Awareness Week . (click here for link to schedule)
There is a video titled “Pro ISIS panel at UNM” was shot by UNM student Michael Noah Guebara. It was uploaded and passed around from Facebook and You Tube to hundreds of accounts including my Face Book page as well as Lady Liberty’s. I deleted that video from both our pages and did further research into the alleged panel. Here is the video I had originally posted this morning:
You can hear on the video at the 20 second mark a question from an attendee regarding ISIS and their desire to become an independent sovereign state, but unfortunately not much was gleaned from the video regarding what else was talked about by the panelists. The opinions on the video are that of Mr. Guebara only.
It was only a matters of hours before it went viral and the backlash began. I have made multiple attempts on social media to reach out to Mr. Guebara for comment regarding this, but have heard nothing back. Hours later New Mexico’s local news station KOB tweeted this:
UNM debunks Facebook video claiming Muslim Awareness Conference panel was ‘pro-ISIS’ http://t.co/7ASciHqDi6
— KOB 4 (@KOB4) April 2, 2015
In the article linked in the tweet was the alleged incident at UNM and a statement from Steve Carr, UNM Communications Specialist:
“UNM Communications Specialist Steve Carr told KOB Thursday that the university is holding a Muslim Awareness Conference this week, and said the student who took the video was not involved in the discussion.”
Though the panel was open to the public, Mr. Guebara states on his Facebook page he was asked to leave. I have screen shots of his FB posting and will provide these if asked, but I will not link it.
According to another attendee’s post on a Facebook status, the panelists were asked repeatedly if they were against ISIS. The questions were basically ignored and were answered with the statement “we are Islamic”.
I have reached out to that attendee as well as the UNM Muslim Student Association for further comment. The other attendee would not speak with me. The UNM Muslim Student Association did release a statement on their Facebook page regarding the video:
The Muslim Student Association would like to clarify the misconceptions regarding the panel about ISIS by uploading raw footage of the event that took place on Wednesday April 1st, 2015 at the University of New Mexico, Student Union Building (SUB) Atrium. The videos are in three parts and they will be uploaded shortly. We are posting these videos to confirm that the panel about ISIS was an ANTI-ISIS panel.
The Association stated that they would release the raw footage of the panel on their YouTube Channel, which they have posted since my request. I received a reply also stating that the panel lasted about two hours.
Side note: The videos are listed on YouTube as, ‘Anti-ISIS PANEL’, however, there is a white poster board that clearly does not state that message in any of the videos. I am not going to give an analysis of what was said in the panel. I am going to mention the questions asked, whether or not there was protesting, yelling, or any one ejected from the room and if it is on the video’s provided by the UNM Muslim Student Association. I will encourage the viewing of all four videos mentioned.
I reviewed the first video which was 29 min 50 seconds. The 29 minute mark is the first question that was asked by an attendee regarding ISIS and their desire to be an independent sovereign state that can be heard in Mr. Guebara’s video. The video then ends after the question is asked.
The second video also 29 minutes, 50 seconds had three questions. The 20 minute mark in regards to the Bible being opposed to what the Quran says. The 24 minute 35 second mark is the third question also relating to the Quran in North Africa and that is where you see Mr. Michael Noah Guebara sitting next to the individual asking the question.
26 min 36 second mark Mr. Michael Noah Guebara asks his question regarding unbelievers in the Quran and what should be done. He asked for the panel to defend honor killings, among other topics. His entire question is below.
The video cuts off after Mr. Guebara asks his question; However, this directly refutes the statement made to KOB that the student who shot the video was NOT involved with the discussion. Asking a question is arguably involvement.
The third and final video is 17 minutes 23 seconds long and the first ten minutes is devoted to answering Mr. Guebara. There was some back and forth between the panelist and himself. Some statements from Mr. Guebara are not quite audible. I encourage everyone to watch the third and final video posted. Make up your own minds regarding the answers given. There were two more questions posed to the panel as follows:
At the 10 minute 20 second mark, a question is asked whether religion should be separated in a government. At the 14 minute 16 second mark a question is asked who the Salafi’s should follow? Scholars and school of thought when it comes to sharia law? The answer was issued, but was cut off by the end of the video.
There are a couple things to discuss. According to the UNM Muslim Student Association the panel was two hours long. This was also confirmed in a tweet by an attendee. However, the three videos total to about 1 1/2 hours.
So, where is the other 43 minutes of the panel?
According to the sponsors of the panel their camera died and that is all the footage they have. If there is more raw footage it should be presented. Having the rest of the footage would either confirm, or as KOB put it, debunk some of Mr. Guebara’s statements he made on Facebook like being asked to leave the room.
There are other unconfirmed reports of students being asked to leave the room as well. The UNM Muslim Student Association did not recall if anyone was asked to leave. All we have is video of his question, the answer given to him, and his original posting that started this mess. So where does this leave the situation?
It leaves it in a very hot mess.
Those who have followed me on Lady Liberty know how I feel about ISIS propaganda after the beheading of James Foley. I personally feel it goes way beyond boundaries of the First Amendment when it is promoting the killing of individuals and terrorism. Let’s not forget this is not the first time alleged pro-ISIS incidents have popped up in our American Universities.
Earlier this week James O’Keefe with Project Veritas released sting videos from both Barry University and Cornell University of individuals agreeing to pro-ISIS clubs. The thought of this brutal terrorist organization infiltrating our higher education systems is terrifying to most Americans, including ME. It brings out our fears, that no matter how safe we may feel, that brutal evil could come to our shores.
That being said, with the videos that were presented by the UNM Muslim Student Association, and no further eyewitness accounts coming forward, I see no ISIS propaganda festering from the University of New Mexico. I did see a video expressing the opinion of one individual and that starting a slight mass hysteria. It was an opinion many as well as myself unfortunately got caught up in. For that I do apologize. However, if new information does present itself, I will report on it. Until then, I will leave you with this.
On social media we share our lives with people who are good and bad. We share our thoughts, opinions, beliefs and we share our fear, our ugliness, and our ignorance. There will be times when mistakes are made, when we jump to conclusions before really seeing something for what it is. It is in admitting the mistakes and learning from them that make us better people. A friend of mine often says:
“There is an unequal amount of good and bad in most things. The trick is to figure out the ratio and act accordingly”
Good Advice, and I shall take it.
4/1 10:30 pm
I received a Facebook message from Rehab Al Qadasi, Treasurer of the UNM Muslim Student Association in response to my blog post:
I read your blog post and the comment that I sent you was in response to it. It was fair. I just really hope we can get more footage. Although the remaining footage doesn’t concern Guebarra as he left right after asking his questions and after getting a response. He left of his own accord though. I was present at the event and I will swear in court that Guebarra was not kicked out of the event and no one was kicked out of the event…..Thanks for you fair account based on the sources you have. Good blog post
4/2 3:30 am
Michael Noah Guebara reached out to me on social media to talk.
4/3 4:15 pm
Michael Guebara left a comment below this article it states:
Thank you to The Jawa Report for linking
Thank you to Doug Ross @ Journal for linking
Thank you to Grumpy Opinions for linking
Thank you to Gulf Dogs for linking
Thank you Beowulf with the Grendel Report for linking