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Former Terrorist Addresses Community

STORRS, CT

A decade ago, Mr. Walid Shoebat would have considered those listening to him “the devil.” After all, he was educated to hate “even harm” those who did not agree with one specific form of Muslim fundamentalism.

On Thursday, November 4th, Mr. Shoebat spoke to a diverse group of students, faculty and community members. That night, however, Walid was at UConn to speak of love and acceptance.

Upward of two hundred turned out to hear the talk, which was sponsored by Chabad at UConn. “With terrorism on everyone’s mind, and Israel the target of such hate, we thought this might be the perfect way to educate as many people as possible,” said Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky, Executive Director of Chabad at UConn.

The event, held at the Alumni Association Building, was “truly amazing and eye-opening, said sophomore Julia Katz of Orange. Many in attendance echoed her reaction.
“We were so pleased to host a dynamic personality such as Mr. Shoebat,” said Rabbi Wolvovsky, who presented Walid with a documentary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s view on the Israeli-Arab conflict. “His presentation was fascinating; he presented a refreshing first hand experience. I don’t think many students would hear that perspective elsewhere.”

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