Below is a blog by Daniel Martin Varisco who attacks David Horowitz and his efforts to spread awareness about terrorism. -- The Editors.
Fascism, a thorn rather than a rose by any other name, has a long and sordid history. The modern term was resurrected from the gore-galore glorified history of ancient Rome by Benito Mussolini in the 1920s to signal the power of the state (his state, of course) über alles (as his ersatz Aryan co-fascist to the north put it). As an ideology it dispensed of a need for any other religion than the twisted Durkheimian notion that the dictatorial “state” was really at stake when talking about “God.” As a fashionable pejorative term to heap abuse on one’s enemies, “fascist” readily becomes the modern day equivalent of saying the hated other is a bloodthirsty cannibal.
Now there is the recent moniker “Islamofascism,” which appears to have been coined by the Marxist French scholar Maxime Rodinson to describe the overthrow of the Shah and unexpected rise of an Islamic Republic in Iran. If so, this demonstrate the malleability of a term in which one form of fascism seemingly replaces another. But then the rhetorical door opens at least a crack for renaming the Vatican a “Christofascist” city state — surely a word game that would make both Mussolini and the popes turn over in their graves.
Confused? Not to worry … because David Horowitz, an idiotologue out to save “Western civilization” along with Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer, has embarked on a cybercrusade campaign to make “you” aware of the apocalyptic dangers of Islamofascism. Forget about global warming (a liberal trick to discredit the Bush administration) and look out for bearded jihadis on the march. Mark your calendars for the week of October 22-26 for the coming of “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” Don’t expect any parades down Main Street (we need to keep up the barriers so the terrorists don’t get us at home), but man the campus barricades and stick it to the Women’s Studies Centers.
Horowitz, whose khutzpah appears to have achieved the lethal testosterone levels of the dogged athlete Michael Vick, has issued his manifesto (not that there is any innuendo of communist leanings in my usage of this overloaded term) called “A Student’s Guide to Hosting
Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” Here is the rationale:
During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever – Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses.
The purpose of this protest is as simple as it is crucial: to confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat. Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point this out. But nothing could be more important for American students to hear. In the face of the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted, the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy and to fight anyone who rallies Americans to defend themselves. According to the academic left, anyone who links Islamic radicalism to the war on terror is an “Islamophobe.” According to the academic left, the Islamo-fascists hate us not because we are tolerant and free, but because we are “oppressors.”
Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is a national effort to oppose these lies and to rally American students to defend their country.
Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week will feature
• Memorial services for the victims of Islamic Terror both in America and around the globe.
• A Student petition denouncing Islamo-Fascist violence against women, gays, Christians, Jews and non-religious people.
• A Teach-In on “The Oppression of Women in Islam.”
• Sit-ins in Women’s Studies Departments and campus Women’s Centers to protest their silence about the oppression of women in Islam.
• Prominent speakers against Islamo-Fascism such as Ayan Hirsi Ali, Mark Steyn, David Horowitz, Nonie Darwish, Christina Hoff Sommers, Phyllis Chesler, Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes.
• Documentary films about the Islamo-Fascist crusade against America, Israel and the West.
• Distribution of materials on Islamo-Fascism including the pamphlets The Oppression of Women in Islam, The Islamic Mein Kampf, Why Israel is the Victim, Jimmy Carter’s War Against the Jews, and What Every American Needs to Know About Jihad.
In the present campus climate, this program is bound be controversial. It will test universities’ claims to be politically open and intellectually diverse. Its goal will be to refute the curriculum of the left, which teaches that America is the enemy in the war on terror and the terrorists are “freedom fighters,” whom progressives should support.
We expect that many universities will create impediments to the planned protests and events, refuse necessary permits or room reservations, and otherwise demonstrate their hypocrisy by failing to allow patriotic students a voice on campus. We hope to be proven wrong, but past experience counsels otherwise. The David Horowitz Freedom Center will enlist lawyers and alumni to help student organizers fight these battles.
If you are looking for a challenge this fall, if you want to break through the barrier of politically-correct doublespeak that prevails on American campuses, if you want to help our brave troops who are fighting the Islamo-Fascists abroad — bring Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week to your campus this October.
As of August 29, 2007 his website lists 111 American colleges and universities where the awaremess (spelling intentional) is supposed to take place. A cursory glance indicates that students from my own university have not yet been inducted into the process. My initial reaction to the website was that Mr. Horowitz was rushing in to fill the void left by the end of the Weekly World News in print edition. But then I did not see Ed Anger listed as one of the suggested experts on the subject, although his qualifications are certainly in keeping with those of the experts listed (and available for a fee) from the Horowitz command center. As someone who survived the campus protests of the late 60s and early 70s and has lived to see the formidable depths of apathy of recent generations of students since the Reagan era, I suspect that most students would rather skip class, get laid, get drunk or any of about a hundred other ipod-friendly options rather than gawk at, let alone participate in, an old-fashioned campus sit-in.
Oh yes, the call for a politically correct sit-in. Here are the instructions in the student guide provided by Horowitz:
To protest the silence of Women’s Studies programs and Women’s Centers in our universities while women are suffering brutal and inhumane treatment in the Islamic world, we recommend holding a “sit-in” at the offices of your campus Women’s Studies Department or Women’s Center.
A sit-in may serve as a prelude to a later film screening or panel discussion that same evening, and can be a means of advertising other events during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.
Please note: Sit-ins should not obstruct university operations or violate university rules. We encourage you to station yourselves in a public area (directly outside the office of the Women’s Studies Department or the campus Women’s Center for example) and to set a start and end time for the protest.
This is a sit-in? Be nice and orderly, don’t get in the way, set a time to start and end. He forgot to add to bring cushions in case the floor is too hard on the tushy, water bottles if it will be over a half hour, an ipod in case you get bored, your cell phone, a digital camera for taking pictures of anyone who goes in and out of the Women’s Studies Office and looks confused about gender, and of course lots of pamphlets (which will correct the silly ideas in the textbooks chosen by their professors) from Mr. Horowitz’s “Freedom” center.
On further reflection I think that Mr. Horowitz’s proposed campus blitz is good news. Given what I often hear on the news and gather from talk show schlock, I have assumed that Islamophobia was so rampant that it needed no awareness raising. If one of the architects of the cybercrusade against Islam feels the need to have students sit-in in front of Women’s Studies Centers for the sake of liberating Muslim women (will there be future sit-ins for Orthodox Jewish women, Mormon women, Baptist women or perhaps even women in general?), then he must be worried that college students are not buying his hate rhetoric. And if the way to combat terrorism in the name of Islam is to talk about the way they treat their wives and daughters, then we can finally stop taking off our shoes in the airline security lines.
Terrorism exists. Every day hundreds of people are killed in terrible ways worldwide, far too often in the name of religion. The problem however is not fascism of any particular religious or state flavor, but the state-authorized intolerance and oppression that Mussolini and Hitler exemplified. The fascism they championed was in the name of a powerful, all-controlling state. The makeshift (made all the more popular by attempts to treat it as larger than life) and motley crew of frustrated terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawaheri are nowhere near the threat posed by fascist (and communist) dictators in the last century. Say what you will about Iran, but it is not a fascist state (certainly no more than when the puppet Shah ruled) and Ahmadenijad is no Stalin.
Islam should no more be reduced to a religion of war against the infidel as it can ideally to a message of peace for all men. Like all religions, especially one with over a billion adherents, Islam is as good or bad as the Muslims who follow it. The vast majority of Muslims reject the life-wrenching violence of terrorists, in part because the victims are usually fellow Muslims. It is a nauseating affront to the several million Muslims living in America to assume that their religion is somehow unsuited for Western “civilization” or that they follow a prophet who espoused hatred or that Islamic teaching oppresses women in a cultural vacuum. Fascism is all about politics and the political is never really about religion.
Fortunately I will be out of the country during the proposed Islamofascism by and for Idiots week of Mr. Horowitz and his imagined student hordes. I will be attending a conference in Amsterdam on issues facing contemporary Muslims and giving a paper on why Western concepts like “Islamism” and “Islamofascism” only fuel misunderstanding and promote more violence.
Oh, by the way, all this is good news for the gay community. If Mr. Horowitz has his way, the big conservative “rock the voter” issue in the coming round will not be about Gay Marriage but Muslim bashing of Gays. God (not to be confused with Allah) bless David Horowitz and Larry Craig; where would we be if hypocrisy and self-delusion didn’t transcend political affiliation?