ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Students at the University of Texas at Arlington will have a chance to see the movie “American Sniper” on Friday as part of a Friday Film Series. Jenny Nguyen, says she will not be buying a ticket. “This is about students being be able to feel comfortable on their campus. This is about being able to be sensitive to a group of people,” says the student.
“American sniper made me appreciate soldiers one hundred times more and hate Muslims 1 million times more,” reads Kiago Da Silva. He is quoting examples of tweets he says are part of a climate of hate surrounding the blockbuster film.
Nguyen organized a group to boycott the screening. She says the academy award nominated film encourages anti-muslin propaganda. “When all you see are images of people blowing themselves up, or attacking other people, that’s what they’re going to think when they think of Muslims. That is not the reality,” Nguyen says.
On the Facebook page for the upcoming screening, the debate is heated; opinions are mixed. “UTA better show it…don’t back down,” one comment reads. “It’s just a movie,” another comment says. One comment suggests showing the movie Selma instead.
“It’s a great film it shows why people are overseas fighting for our freedom,” says Trey Levesque, a student who supports the screening. “I think I’m fine with it. I think people can see the movie and make their own opinions,” says student Abeir Moussa.
The University of Michigan cancelled a screening of “American Sniper” following large protests. The school later reversed its decision, citing freedom of expression.
“It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie “American Sniper” on campus as part of a social event for students. The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters.” Said E. Royster Harper, University of Michigan vice president for student life.
At UTA, the movie was selected by the student program council, EXCEL Campus Activities. Student members coordinate these activities on campus. In an email, EXCEL Campus Activities’ President told CBS 11 that it is working with faculty at UTA to provide an introduction to the film that will “foster thoughtful conversation about wartime issues.”
“Please know that we sincerely appreciate our fellow students who have raised concerns about the film scheduled for this week’s screening,” Erika Long said.
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