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Who's Behind the Censorship of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week? By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, October 10, 2007


CALL IT THE LEFT’S VERSION OF PREEMPTIVE WAR. The three co-equal branches of the Unholy Alliance – Islamic radicals, far-Left activists, and academics – have returned to their usual level of discourse – intimidation, slander, ad hominem attacks – in an attempt to ban Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week from college campuses before it ever occurs. National “Muslim and Arab rights” organizations are pressuring college administrators to prevent students from holding the peaceful, educational seminars. Conservative students have been accused of “hate speech” actually manufactured in their name by radical campus leftists, and at least one conservative is being harassed although she is not in any way associated with Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.

THE NATIONAL “MUSLIM RIGHTS” HATE CAMPAIGN

Two prominent Arab/Muslim groups – the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) – have taken their efforts to censor IFAW or malign its founders nationwide. Notably absent from its literature is any attempt to disprove the conclusions of Robert Spencer, to refute the stories of Iranian women persecuted by extremist Islam, or demonstrate any factual error on the part of any IFAW speaker. Instead, they simply try to shut it down and paint its organizers as knuckle-dragging hatemongers.

Patrick S. Poole notes in today’s issue that ADC President and former (disgraced) U.S. Representative Mary Rose Oakar has sent a poison pen letter to every campus scheduled to host Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week later this month. Writes Oakar:

"[T]hese planned activities seek not to increase awareness, tolerance, and understanding, but instead promote intolerance, fear, and bigotry…ADC is deeply troubled by the possibility that a tiny handful of student with a narrow political agenda, backed by a well-funded special interest group, would organize this type of hateful and bigoted event on your campus. I urge you to ensure that hate speech and demonstrations of bigotry and racial and religious profiling not be tolerated on your campus. (Emphasis added.)"

To underscore the legal threat, the letter is co-signed by ADC Director of Legal Policy Kareem Shora, who recently opposed two measures banning illegal aliens from getting drivers licenses and allowing the government to track visa-holders from terror-friendly nations.

The ADC may oppose such educational measures as Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, because newly informed students may turn an eye in its direction. Founded by far-Left, one-term U.S. Senator James Abourezk and once headed by James Zogby, the ADC has long acted as an apologist for terrorist organizations. In 1994, then-ADC President Hamzi Moghrabi said, “I will not call [Hamas] a terrorist organization. I mean, I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable…I don’t believe Hamas, as an organization, is a violent organization.” Two years later, his successor, Hala Maksoud, defended Hamas’ partner in Mideastern terrorism, Hezbollah. “I find it shocking,” Maksoud said, “that [one] would include Hezbollah in…[an] inventory of Middle East ‘terrorist’ groups.”

In 2000, new ADC President Hussein Ibish added, “Everywhere Hezbollah fighters, derided by the Israeli and U.S. governments as ‘terrorists,’ conducted themselves in an exemplary manner,” describing the group as “a disciplined and responsible liberation force.” Abourezk himself recently told Al-Manar TV – a Hezbollah propaganda station banned in the United States – “the Arabs who were involved in 9/11 cooperated with the Zionists.” (See the video here.) Abourezk, too, has called Hamas and Hezbollah “resistance fighters.” He added, “Similarly, the insurgents in Iraq are driven by the presence of the American occupation there…To put an end to terrorism, one must put an end to illegal occupations.” In other words, American soldiers brought their deaths on themselves, and terrorists are freedom fighters.

MPAC has also demeaned the David Horowitz Freedom Center, for the same reason. MPAC National Director Ahmed Younis has stated “if Thomas Jefferson or Madison or the like were alive today, they would go to John Ashcroft's house and just shoot him” On 9/11, MPAC Co-Founder Salam Al-Marayati told a Los Angeles talk radio station:

"If we're going to look at suspects, we should look at the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies."

MPAC recently released the five-page “What You Need To Know About Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” (PDF), which describes David Horowitz as an extremist “best known for his racist and xenophobic campaigns targeting African Americans and other minority groups” – an odd way to describe a man who participated in his first Civil Rights march during the Truman administration and has underwritten educational opportunities for Muslim students. With the well sufficiently poisoned, MPAC suggests its members “contact campus administrators” and report “hate incidents.”

And such “hate incidents” suddenly appeared. Unfortunately for MPAC, they were carried out by leftists and Muslims.

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: BLAMING THE VICTIM

On Monday morning, the students of George Washington University awoke to find flyers advertising Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week plastered all over campus. The announcements were headlined: “HATE MUSLIMS? SO DO WE!!!” The ads went on to stereotype Muslims as subhuman monsters and implored, “TO LEARN MORE, COME TO ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK!!! OCT. 16-22.” All flyers prominently displayed the university’s logo, the name of the IFAW’s student sponsor (the GWU chapter of Young America's Foundation), and a link to the IFAW parent website.


There was one problem: YAF had nothing to do with them; they were an apparent failed parody produced by student radicals. Below the phony attributions, in much smaller type, the flyers read: “Brought to you by Students for Conservativo-Fascism Awareness.”

No one got the joke, and GWU students assumed YAF was bringing a weeklong hatefest to school. “All I can say at the moment though is that we are dismayed by this widespread hate incident,” said Muslim Student Association treasurer Deena Elmaghrabi. By Monday night, more than 100 outraged students and at least a dozen student organizations gathered to denounce the flyers – and their putative authors, YAF. YAF President Sergio Gor also showed up to deny any involvement. “This was not us,” said YAF President Sergio Gor. “I want to find out who it is. These people ought to be brought to (Student Judicial Services) or something.” He added, “We are being targeted because we are conservative.” (At the website, there is a video demonstrating how these posters were falsely ascribed to YAF by the media, and showing the catcalls of leftist students Gor had to endure.)

University administration also got involved. Monday night, GWU president Steven Knapp sent an e-mail telling all GWU students: “There is no place for expressions of hatred on our campus. We do not condone, and we will not tolerate, the dissemination of fliers or other documents that vilify any religious, ethnic, or racial group.” Other administrators drove the point home: if this is what IFAW is about, we will ban it. Bridgette Behling, GWU’s assistant director of the Student Activities Center, blamed YAF for the campus environment, demanding:

"[D]ue to the inflammatory nature of today’s events, as a good faith effort on behalf of YAF, it is important that YAF drafts a statement which states that you will not allow hate speech to be a part of any of YAF’s events, literature, written or verbal communication planned for Islamofacism Week [sic.] This statement should also include your plan for preventing these things from happening as well as the consequences for these things happening. It is important that we have this document should any further incidents occur as we move forward."

Gor responded Monday night, saying, “No way, in shape or in form, do we support hate speech.”

Then late Tueaday evening, seven left-wing or Muslim students admitted to hanging the flyers in YAF’s name: Adam Kokesh, Amal Rammah, Lara Masri, Yong Kwon, Brian Tierny, Ned Goodwin, and Maxine Nwigwe. Adam Kokesh became something of a left-wing celebrity as a member of Iraq Veterans Against War who protested against the war wearing his uniform; in a glowing story, CBS “News” once asked, “Is Adam Kokesh the New Cindy Sheehan?”

In their letter owning up to producing the posters, the seven intellectual dwarves call IAFW “a celebration of racism” – though it’s not clear how Muslims are a race. The septet claimed, while they had certainly offended many students, conservatives made them do it. “[T]he absurdity of the [flyers’] message was clearly a horrific exaggeration of the racism that is behind this event…We wanted to counter the true hate-speech that is embodied in the upcoming Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” Although they claimed it was mere satire, they confessed to being thrilled that YAF and IAWF were blamed for their screed. “It was inspiring to see that students directed their attention to the real threat.” They added their true motivation, exhorting the GWU administration that it “should not allow Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week to take place.”

GWU spokesperson Tracy Schario quickly made a statement saying a campus investigation was underway that would punish the wrongdoers for grossly misrepresenting…GWU. “At a minimum, these flyers violated the posting policy and did not properly use the University logo and they posted flyers without permission,” Schario said. “That’s, at a minimum, the offense.”

At a minimum, indeed. Schario somehow missed the fact that these flyers falsely gave the impression that Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was a hate event, wrongly ascribed vile words to all the student-members of Young America’s Foundation, and forced YAF’s president and members – all students and customers of George Washington University – to endure public berating and humiliation at the hands of their peers and unnecessary pressure from the GWU administration. From the tone of Schario’s remarks, they will receive no redress of grievances.

These posters and ADC/MPAC statements perfectly demonstrate the Left’s modus operandi when dealing with opponents: do not engage them factually. (The MPAC guide explicitly encourages its members not to get “drawn into hate speech” by discussing the merits of IFAW’s proposals. Wonder why?) Instead, ignore the facts and call the opponents (whom you viscerally hate) racists, bigots, backward moralists, religious chauvinists, well-financed outside agitators, or seething cretins teeming with hatred, in a textbook case of left-wing psychological projection increasingly common.

“THE TRIAL” AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

As reprehensible as the incidents at George Washington University were, at least some outrageous action had taken place – although it was caused by the leftist-Islamist alliance. A young woman at Texas State University has been forced to live out Franz Kafka’s The Trial.

TSU administrators became interested in Jessica Irwin, a conservative student, when they heard she was to host Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. They called her before a hearing on the matter. However, Irwin had no such plans, and neither she nor her student organization was involved in any way. Nonetheless, the administration’s browbeating continued. Texas conservative activist Brendan Steinhauser, who corresponded with Irwin, recorded: “Jessica told me that the tone and nature of the administration’s questions were accusatory and clearly intended to make sure she didn’t even think about holding such an event.” Additionally, they: "asked her to submit a written statement and to contact the David Horowitz Freedom Center to have her group’s name removed from the [mistaken] list of participants. When Jessica agreed to submit such a statement to the university newspaper, the editors failed to print it. The result? Continuous calls and emails from anonymous persons asking her why she was hosting such an 'offensive' event and demands not to continue the planning."

Continual attempts to get the facts out, through the administration and the campus newspaper, have not stopped the calls. Irwin is not involved nor a participant, yet she has had to prove herself “innocent” of thought-crime before a high tribunal of academia that fairly barks, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a conservative?”

The TSU incident is a natural extension of Media Matters’ scurrilous charges that Bill O’Reilly is racist or that Rush Limbaugh hates American soldiers. Radical leftists, emboldened by the friendly media’s coverage of their deliberate misquotations, are now persecuting conservative students either for things they have not done at all or misdeeds the leftists themselves have committed.

However, these cases prove who the real hatemongers are.

Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).


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