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'American Sniper' Controversy In College Park

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) -- Controversy on campus. A student organization at the University of Maryland College Park decides not to show the hit movie "American Sniper" after getting negative feedback from some Muslim students.

Amy Yensi has more on the issue.

The movie "American Sniper" sparked criticism when it first hit theaters. Now a college showing of the film has been canceled because of student complaints.

Fearing that some classmates wouldn't be able to tell the difference between art and reality, some University of Maryland students oppose the showing of American Sniper at their school.

"We're a public university and public institution. We should definitely have free speech," said Sam Schweickhardt, student.

The Student Entertainment Events group was set to air the war film starring Bradley Cooper, but backtracked after the Muslim Students Association expressed worry that its portrayal of Muslims could fuel hatred.

The movie showing was planned for May 6 and 7. Now it's postponed, and may not be shown at all.

A campus divided over whether a movie about the harsh realities of war is worth the battle on campus.

"It's great that we live in a country with free speech."

"It shouldn't have been canceled. When you say free speech, it goes both ways. And if people want to express themselves, they can," said Adeel Malik, student.

On Facebook, the Muslim Students Association says it appreciates the cancellation, but some of their classmates say there's no place for censorship at College Park.

"Whoever gains this false image is obviously not that educated. They're not going to have the truth no matter what," said Sameh Boulos, student.

Whether they'll get the chance to form that opinion at Hoff Theater is on indefinite hold.

The university released a statement, saying it was not involved in the decision to postpone or cancel the showing. The organization, compromised of students and advisers, made the call.

WJZ reached out to the Muslim Students Association but did not get a response.

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