Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The University of South Dakota shut down the showing of a film titled “Honor Diaries" which documented the honor killing of women in Islamic culture. Critics called the film anti-Muslim bigotry and pressured the university to cancel the event out of concern for students’ emotional safety. The Univ. of South Dakota provost said that the “format and setting did not allow for appropriate discussion following the screening.” The goal of sharing the film was to educate—but school administrators shut it down—a clear violation of free speech. South Dakota recently enacted a law to protect the free speech rights on university campuses. Gov. Bevin recently signed a similar law. And President Trump signed an executive order that threatens to take away federal funding of universities that trample on student free speech rights.