[The following is a speech given by David Horowitz at the University of Wisconsin last Monday as part of the university’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week program]
I understand that the cold weather set in just to day so I planned this event to warm things up. Actually, it wasn’t my plan to warm things up. The heat has been provided by a national hate campaign organized by the political left to intimidate and discredit the student organizers of the event and prevent the discussion they hoped to stimulate from taking place. Some of this hate crowd is present tonight. Yes, I can hear you. You attack this event by alleging that it is put on by racists and bigots and Islamo-phobes. I’m going to disappoint you, if you listen. This evening is not about prejudice against Muslims. On the contrary, this evening is on behalf of all those Muslims who are oppressed by Islamo-Fascism, which you would know if you read what we have said.
If you want to understand what this week is about, here is the poster we designed to announce our events. What it shows is a soccer field in Afghanistan. The figure with the AK-47 is a Taliban soldier. And this poor woman, who is about to have her head blown off at point blank range by an AK-47 has been accused of sexual improprieties, which violate Islamic law. As you may or may not know, in countries where Sharia, which is Islamic law, is imposed by the state, women cannot be witnesses. So this poor woman had no defense. Nor could other women testify in her behalf. Islamic law forbids it. The person who shot the video from which this still is taken asked the Taliban why they were doing this on this soccer field. It happens the United States, in its never-ending generosity, gave Afghanistan that soccer field. The Taliban soldier replied, “Well, if the United States will give us a place for executions, we will play soccer on the soccer field.” These are the religious barbarians we face.
Every person in this photo is a Muslim. The victim is a Muslim. There are 130 million girls in Islamic countries who have had their genitals sliced off at puberty, without anesthetic, because sexual pleasure in a woman is held to be evil by some perverted interpretation of Islamic law. The clitorectomies are to save these girls from evil. This evening and this week is to protest that barbaric treatment of young Muslim women. There are 4,000 homosexuals who have been executed in Iran. This evening is to protest that as well. There are 52 countries in the world where there have been honor killings of Muslim women. If a Muslim woman is raped, her family is shamed. Remove the stain of that shame, one of her relatives, a brother, a cousin, parent, murders her. This is a week to bring awareness about that barbaric practice by Islamo-fascists and to try to stop it.
One of our concerns in this regard is the failure of the Women’s Studies Movement to educate students about these atrocities. There are probably 600 Women’s Studies programs on American campuses, which focus on the unequal treatment of women in society. We have had a very hard time locating a single class which focuses on the oppression of women under Islamic law.
As you probably know, women under Islamic law get half the inheritance a man does. In some countries where Sharia is enforced, women can’t even get an education. In Saudi Arabia, there is currently a campaign for women’s liberatiion which is attempting to get women the right to drive an automobile. To drive an automobile! Why aren’t Women’s Studies Departments up in arms about this? You can probably go to a Women’s Studies class at this university and learn about the oppression of women in the faculty lounge, but you can’t learn about the oppression of women in Tehran or Riyadh or Kuala Lumpur.
For the information of our opponents here tonight, this week is already a tremendous success, because no matter how hostile you are to what you imagine to be our views, which have been unbelievably distorted in the attacks this week, you yourselves are already now discussing the issues we set out to raise: “Why is it that American feminists are not up in arms about the savage abuses of women by Islamo-fascists, about those 130 million young girls who have their genitals sliced off?”
So we have already done a service to Muslim women all over the world just by raising this. I know that there are the people who feel that the Muslim community is under threat here. But think of the Muslim community in Algeria where between 150,000 and 200,000 moderate Muslims were slaughtered in the 1990s, by an organization calling itself Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb. Think about the Muslims in the Sudan who are being slaughtered by a Taliban-like regime, simply because they don't subscribe to the regime's version of Islam. This is a serious problem in the Islamic world where (except for the nation of Turkey, which seems to be going in the other direction) there is a lack of separation of church and state. What that means is if radical clerics get in control of the state, they will use the state law to enforce their version of the Qur'an.
In Iran, just last week, the modesty police issued a new edict that couples can't hold hands in public. If you want the definition of a totalitarian state, it's a state that controls every aspect of a person's life. Religions, and particularly Islam, are concerned with many aspects of a person’s life. Religion is about morality, about the family, and about social relations. So when interpretations of religious law are enforce by the political state that’s the end of all freedom. It means one set of priests is going to have the power state behind their interpretation of what you can and cannot do. The end result of that process is this poor woman in the photo who is about to have her head blown off by an AK-47 for violating a government edict about her sex life. I don’t think there is anybody in this room who would support that. I hope there isn’t.
That’s really what we intended to do with this week, to make people aware of this problem. I have called it “Islamo-Fascism.” That is not a term designed to say that all Muslims or a majority of Muslims are fascists. In fact a majority of Muslims are either victims of Islamo-Fascists or threatened by them. The FoxNews channel anchor and other misguided individuals think that the term “Islamo-Fascism” is hate speech. That’s the same thing as saying the term should be banned. In a democracy, at least in our democracy as it has been degraded by so-called liberals today, the way you ban ideas is by calling them “hate speech.” But saying that Islamo-Fascism implicates all Muslims make no logical sense.
We use the term “Italian Fascism” without assuming that all Italians are fascists. Hitler did not even win a majority of the vote in Germany, yet we use the phrase “German Fascism” without implying that all people of German descent are fascists. People will throw around the term “white racism” pretty casually. Everyone in this room has either used the phrase “white racism” or read it without objection. Do you mean to call every white person a racist when you use that term? That would make all white liberals racists. Yet that’s precisely what the opponents of Islamo-Fascism week seem to be claiming.
The hateful attacks on this week are, in fact quite stupid, when you think about what they are claiming. If I intended to come on a college platform and say hateful things about all Muslims, I would be hooted off the stage. No campus organization would invite me to say such things and if I did say them I would never be invited by any campus organization again. Since no one on a college campus is prepared to hear hate speech, why bother to protest it in advance. It’s self-discrediting. Yet we live in such Orwellian times that no one laughs when the left makes these preposterous claims.
So, on the one hand, the hate campaign against us is a very stupid campaign, although it is also malicious. On the other, it is quite sinister. When you are called a racist from one end of the country to another, when you are identified as somebody who is preaching hate against a religious or ethnic or racial group, someone is going to believe those charges. The effect, in other words, is to put a target on your back. Which is why there is so much security present tonight.
America was attacked on 9/11. It was attacked by religious fanatics carrying the Qur'an and screaming “Allahu Ahkbar” as they flew planes....[At this point, 9/11 conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett, previously an adjunct lecturer at Wisconsin, seized a floor Mike intended for the question period and began a rant calling for an investigation of 9/11. The audience, half of whom were leftists, was not amused. Collectively, it began a Wisconsin football chant “Asshole, asshole,” the sheer volume of which blew Kevin Barrett out of the room.]
I want to thank everyone here, including my detractors for restoring order. This just shows how easy it is to destroy -- even if it was only momentarily -- the fabric of a conversation. I will open these mikes for questions afterwards, hopefully not rants, but actual questions. I find when I am in a conversation with somebody I strongly disagree with and I have plenty of friends who are on the other side, for example, of the Iraq War issue, I always learn, even -- even if I'm not persuaded by their arguments -- that there are people on the other side of these debates who are very passionate and very emotional, who are sincere in their beliefs and who are committed to their country and its democracy. I hope that some of my opponents here, if we can manage to keep this at a civilized level, who will also come away with that kind of impression and who will think about these issues in a new way. That's the whole idea of having a this conversation.
The term Islamo-Fascism is, in my view, a useful and justifiable term because of the merger of religion and state in the totalitarian ideology we're facing. It is also historically based. What we are facing is a global religious movement that is a movement within Islam. It is not to be confused with Islam itself. The Islamo-Fascists want you to confuse them with the Muslim community as a whole. They want to hide behind the Muslim community. And they are inflicting great damage on the Muslim community by doing so. When Ahmadinejad speaks or when Zawahiri speaks, they speak in the name of the Muslim ummah, but they do not actually speak for the Muslim ummah. And that distinction has to be made.
What we are facing is a radical force within Islam that originated in Egypt in the 1920s, with the Muslim Brotherhood. Hassan al-Banna was the founder of this movement, which is a movement of political Islam to seize control of states and impose Sharia, Islamic law, on their populations. The Muslim Brotherhood attempted to assassinate Nasser. It assassinated Anwar Sadat, and it would probably like to assassinate the present ruler of Egypt, Mubarak – all of them Muslims.
Hassan al-Banna was an admirer of Alolf Hitler. The key terrorist organizations, Al Qaeda and Hamas, were created out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Osama bin Laden learned his version of this ideology from teachers who were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas was created by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was also an admirer of Hitler. He was the godfather of Palestinian Nationalism. He went to Berlin during the Second World War to meet with Hitler and to recruit Arabs to the Nazi cause, and he had his own plans for a death camp in the Middle East to get rid of the Jews in Palestine.
The Baathist parties in Syria and Iraq were modeled on the European fascist parties. I could go on and on with this. But the reality is that there is a historical relation between the Islamic radicals and the European fascists, and one of the links in this chain is Jew hatred. Historically, within the Islamic Empire, Christians and Jews were second-class citizens. That is they had to pay an extra tax. They had to identify themselves. They were called dhimmis. But Jews settled in the Islamic world, because there was more not less tolerance for them there. They fled the Christian world, because during the Middle Ages, as you also know, they were burned at the stake by the Catholic Church if they didn't convert to Christianity. So Islam historically was a more hospitable place for Jews to live.
The Jew hatred which is now endemic in the Arab Muslim world stems directly from the Arabs’ association with the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s when Germany attempted to bring the whole Arab world into its orbit. By Jew hatred, I mean the publication of forgeries like the protocols of the Elders of Zion. I mean teaching little children to kill Jews from an early age.
People have a misunderstanding about this. Let me just say one more thing about this radical Islamic Crusade, which I am calling Islamo-Fascism. Its goal is the restoration of the caliphate, which it wants to establish in Baghdad. I'm merely following here the plan that was laid out by Zawahiri, Bin Laden's number two in one of his fatwas. The idea is to establish a caliphate -- a global totalitarian Islamic empire. These Islamic radicals despise nation states. They want an Islamic ummah under their ruthless thumb.
It is claimed by many that the only reason for the attacks on the United States are its policies towards Israel or because of the war in Iraq, or because of George Bush. Bush created the war on terror has become a mantra in some powerful circles of the Democratic Party around George Soros. But there is no basis in fact for these claims. The first leader of the modern Islamo-Fascist movement and the leader of the first Islamo-Fascist state was the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was Khomeni who declared America the Great Satan, and who led crowds a million strong in chants of, "Death to America," in 1979. And it was Jimmy Carter – not George Bush -- who was president when he did that. But Jimmy Carter was a supporter of the Ayatollah and an enemy of the Shah whom he overthrew. Carter accused the Shah of human rights violations and undermined his rule. Carter persuaded the Shah to release Khomeini's cohorts from prison, and allow Khomeni to return to Iran. Jimmy Carter made possible the Islamic Revolution.
When people say that the United States and its policies are responsible for 9/11, they're forgetting this history, Jimmy Carter’s support for the very Islamo-fascists who are now attacking us. In the past twenty-five years far from being an imperialist oppressor of Muslims, as the Islamo-fascists and the American left would have you believe, the United States saved the lives of millions of Muslims. When Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, its armies conducted a scorched-earth policy, which means they killed everything in their way. They killed a million Muslims in Afghanistan, until the United States, by providing them with stinger missiles, by providing them with weapons, helped the Mujaheddin to defeat the Soviet Empire.
The United States went to war in Kosovo for Albanian Muslims, and saved them from extermination. The United States sent the Army Rangers into Somalia to feed starving Muslims in Somalia, and was attacked there by an Al Qaeda warlord. Al Qaeda and the Islamo-fascist movement have killed more Muslims than all the members of Bush's “coalition of the willing” and all of Israel’s soldiers put together.
So it is completely absurd to hold Americans responsible for the hatred that is directed against us. It's completely ridiculous. It is the opposite of the truth. The hatred against America is hatred of the fact that America is free and supports Muslims who don’t want to submit to the Islamo-fascists’ will.
The Middle East conflict is also misunderstood. The idea is floated about by Jimmy Carter and the Arab haters of Israel that Palestinian Arabs were deprived of their lands, that their lands were stolen, and Palestine is occupied by Israel. The historical fact is that not only was the land on which Israel was created not part of any Palestinian entity, it wasn't even controlled by the Arabs themselves.
The Middle East adjacent to the Jordan River and extending past the Euphrates was for 400 years controlled by the Ottoman Turks. The Turks, not the Arabs. The Ottoman Empire, which was founded in the 16th Century, came to an end when the Turks picked the wrong side in the First World War -- the German side. When you lose a war, the victor gets the spoils. So the imperial powers of Britain and France got to divide up the Ottoman Empire.
Britain had promised the Jews the “Palestine Mandate” which they controlled. It was named “Palestine” by the Romans who drove the Jews out and gave the region the name of the enemies of the Jews, the Philistines, who were Greek sailors from the Aegean and not Arab at all. The Arab nomads did not settle in the region of Palestine until centuries later. The British promised this region of the Ottoman empire to the Jews for a national homeland. Jews had lived there for 3,000 years. For two thousand years Jews, since the Romans drove them out, Jews had been without a state, and had been continually expelled from the countries they settled in. During the Second World War they slaughtered in the millions with the support of the Palestinian Arabs and their leader Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
So when people say that the Islamo-Fascists or the Palestinian leadership had no involvement in the Holocaust, that is simply false.
The Palestine Mandate was promised to the Jews, but in 1922, Winston Churchill gave 80% of the Mandate to Arabs from the Palestine region. That state is called Jordan. Nearly 70% of the state of Jordan is made up of Palestinians, but they ruled by the Hashemite tribe. You never hear anybody from the Palestinian cause or from the American left, anybody from the ranks of those attacking this event and attacking the state Israel, and attacking the United States calling in the Left – you never hear anyone of them complaining about the oppression of Palestinians in Jordan. Or calling for their liberation. That is because all these attacks on Israel and the United States are motivated by hatred for Israel and the United States, not concern for the Palestinians.
To return to this history, 80% of the Palestine Mandate was given by the Imperial Powers to the Arabs of the Palestine region. The remaining 20% was divided evenly between the Jews living in the Palestine Mandate, and the Arabs living in the Palestine Mandate. The Jewish portion, just 10% of the entire Palestine Mandate and less than 1% of the Arab Midle East, was three little unconnected slivers, the largest of which -- 60% of the total – was an arid desert. That was what the UN by an overwhelming majority vote in 1948.
In addition to Israel’s creation by the UN, the Imperial Powers Jordan Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. All of these states were artificially created by the Imperial Powers out of the Turkish Empire. So the attacks on Israel for stealing Palestinian land are one big lie whose sole purpose is justify the Islamo-fascist campaign to destroy the Jewish nation.
In 1948, instead of accepting the partition of a tiny portion of the land they had been given, the Arab states – Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypty, Iraq, Syria and Jordan attacked Israel in a war which they proclaimed would “push the Jews into the sea.” It was a war of aggression - and they lost. The Arabs have continued that war for the last sixty years.
There were refugees from this war. There were 600,000 Arab refugees. And there were 600,000 Jewish refugees. The Jews fled Iraq, Iran, Morocco and other Arab lands in which they had lived for hundreds of years. In Iraq, the largest ethnic community in Baghdad, for hundreds of years, was the Jews, until the 1930s, when Iraq became a fascist country and massacred the Jews living there and drove the survivors out.
There are over 5 million Palestinian Arabs living in refugee camps today; there no Jews living in refugee camps. Why is that? Because the state of Israel, re-settled the Jewish refugees, gave them homes, gave them citizenship, and gave them jobs. But the Arab states deliberately kept the Palestinians in refugee camps, refused to allow them to become citizens of Jordan or Saudi Arabia or other Arab countries. Billions of dollars have been poured into the Arab refugee problem by the United States and Israel and the UN. But all that money has done has been to maintain the refugee problem. There's a reason for that. It is because the Arab states and the Palestinian leadership want poverty stricken Arabs as cannon fodder for their hateful war against the Jews. That's what the Middle East conflict is about.
There are one million Arabs who live peacefully in Israel. These Arabs have more rights living in Israel than the Arabs in any Arab state. They vote. They are elected to Israel’s parliament. They have the rights of the only democratic state in the entire Arab world.
These facts expose the attacks on Jewish settlements in Gaza and the West Bank for the propaganda they are. If Arabs can live in Israel, why can't Jews live in the West Bank or Gaza? The answer is -- the answer is, the Jew hatred shared by all Arabs, which wants to push the Jews into the sea. This racism whose agendas are genocidal is being inflamed by the Islamo-fascists. This is what the Middle East conflict is about.
There is no reason on earth why there can't be a Palestinian state in the West Bank with Jews living in it or why there couldn't be 7,000 Jews living in Gaza, who have now been removed. The Israeli Army had to evacuate the Jews from Gaza because they would have been killed without military protection. The Jews of Gaza had lived peacefully and had created a horticulture industry that produced 10% of the gross national product of this exceptionally poor area. The Jews were only 7,000 individuals out of a population of more than a million Arabs. But they had to be evacuated or the Arabs would have killed them. And when they left, the first thing the Arabs did was to destroy the greenhouses they had built and along with it 10% of their own income. This is a consequence of the genocidal movement led by Ahmadinejad and Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah. Nasrallah has said, "If the Jews will gather in Israel, we won't have to hunt them down." Hassan Nasrallah is a Nazi and he heads a Nazi organization any definition of that term.
In the face of these enemies, leftists are deluded, and leftist Jews in particular. Who do you think they're going to kill, when they get their states and the power that goes with it?
I recommend to you all a book, which was not written by a conservative. It is called Reading Lolita in Tehran. The author, Azar Nafisi, is a university professor of English literature. Its title comes from the fact that she returned to Iran after the Khomeini Revolution in 1979, and taught The Great Gatsby and other American novels to her Iranian students at the University of Teheran. The story she tells should be a warning to every leftist in this audience. Nafisi had attended school in the United States at the University of Oklahoma, where she belonged to a group of Marxist radicals.When the Khomeini Revolution took place, they all went back to Iran, believing that Khomeini was a progressive didn't really mean it when he said he wanted to create an Islamic state.
The American Left embraced Khomeini and revolution. Richard Falk, who is a spokesman of the present movement against the war in Iraq called Khomeni a liberator. Andrew Young, who was Jimmy Carter's Ambassador to the UN, called him a saint. Encouraged by these endorsements, the Iranian Marxists at the University of Oklahoma, who probably belonged to the anti-war action network of the time, went back to Teheran to join the revolution. And one by one, as Nafisi describes in her book, they were executed by the revolutionary state. Because they were Marxists. Because they were progressives. Because they did not toe the Islamo-fascist line. Khomeni’s goal was to establish an Islamic state under 7th century Islamic law. That is what the “war on terror” is about.
Khomeni killed twenty-five times as many Iranians –Muslims -- in the first three years of his revolutionary rule than the despised Shah had killed in the 34 years of his. The reason Khomeini hated the Shah is because the Shah allowed women to be educated in Iran for the first time in their history, and allowed them, if they so chose, to remove the veil. The Shah was a dictator, but he was a progressive dictator. And that's why Khomeini and Islamic fundamentalists hated him, and overthrew him.
This is a warning to you progressives in the audience. This is my gift to you if you will take it. The Islamo-fascists whom you support will devour you in the end.
When Ahmadinejad says he wants to wipe Israel from the face of the earth, and America too, he means it Ahmadinejad believe that by sowing chaos in the world through nuclear war he can hasten the already imminent second coming of the Tweflth Imam, who died in the 10th century. This war will bring about Armageddon. Ahmadinejad looks forward to the death this will bring because true Muslims like himself will ascend to heaven, and those who are lucky enough to be males will get 72 virgins along the way.
Before I finish, I want to say something about the Iraq War. Watching the left mobilize to oppose the war, I was reminded of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The constant complaint of the left at the time was that the United States supported dictators like the Shah because they were anti-communists. If they followed our foreign policy, we didn't care what they did to people within their borders. That was the Left's complaint and you heard it over and over and over again -- the United States supports dictators.
So it was quite illuminating to me when George Bush set out to overthrow one of those dictators, one of the true monsters of the 20th Century, a man who had murdered 300,000 people. Who do you think he murdered? He murdered Muslims. He murdered mainly Shi'a Muslims. He dropped poison gas on the Kurds. He put Muslims into plastic shredders. His two sons went on a rape rampage, raping and killing Muslim girls.
And then Bush came along and overthrew him. And the left hates Bush for that! I watched all of my former comrades go out in the streets to try to save Saddam Hussein, this fascist dictator and mass murderer, from being overthrown. Now, what is that about? It is about the left’s hatred for America which is greater than its hatred for oppressors like Saddam Hussein. The reason the Left is in a de facto alliance with the Islamo-Fascists is because the believes what the Islamo-fascists believe -- that the United States is the Great Satan; and Israel, of course, is the Little Satan. It is their progressive duty to make the United States lose the War on Terror, so the Khomenis of the Middle East can liberate the Muslim world.
The Left has been on the wrong side of battle for freedom for almost 100 years.
I think the War in Iraq has been mismanaged, and so has the war at home. The President has failed to explain the war to the American people. But these mistakes don’t negate the fact that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a good deed. Moreover, the United States cannot afford to lose this war. If we lose the War in Iraq, if we do what Nancy Pelosi or Cindy Sheehan want us to do, which is just to get out, what will happen in Iraq is exactly what happened in Vietnam when we did the same thing. After we left Vietnam to the mercy of the communists, 2.5 million people slaughtered.
Not only will Moqtadar al-Sadr and the Republican National Guard slaughter every Muslim -- every Muslim in Iraq who wanted their freedom, who went to vote, who supported the coalition led by America -- but Iraq will wind up in the hands of Ahmadinejad and Iran, and they will go after the other Arab regimes in the region whose Islamic ways are not pure enough. The result will be a massive regional war, and because Russia and China will support Iran, possibly a global war as well.
The reason for our intervention in Iraq in the first place was to prevent such a war. Saddam had conducted two wars of aggression; one against Iran and the other against Kuwait. After the Gulf War, we imposed a truce on him. We should have overthrown him. But that Bush regime was conservative and didn't. Instead they imposed arms control agreements on Saddam in the form of UN resolutions 687 and 689, which were followed by 15 other UN resolutions, all about arms control and all equally disregarded and defied.
The same thing happened after the First World War. The Allied Powers had imposed arms control agreements on Hitler, and Hitler had done exactly what Saddam Hussein did. He systematically defied the agreements and rebuilt his war machine. Instead of stopping him when he was weak but defiant, the western powers, particularly France and Britain, appeased him. If these powers had taken on Hitler in 1937, they would easily have crushed him. But by the time Hitler was strong enough militarily to go to war, it war cost 70 million lives to defeat him. The antiwar crowd and appeasers of the Thirties have that on their heads.
George Bush was right to take down Saddam Hussein when he defied international law. Now we need to win the War in Iraq in order to avoid another World War which will be even more costly than the last.