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Horowitz vs. the Muslim Students Association By: Benjamin Gottlieb
Daily Nexus | Tuesday, May 20, 2008


For video coverage of Horowitz’s appearance at UCSB, click here.

With the American flag displayed in the background and two private security personnel by his side, David Horowitz addressed an overflowing and sometimes disruptive crowd last night in Embarcadero Hall.

Horowitz, an occasional FOX News analyst, spoke for nearly an hour on topics ranging from terrorism to allegations that some Muslim Student Associations have ties to religious extremists. During the lecture, “The New Jihad Against America and Israel,” a few students, faculty and community members walked out mid-event, with some shouting angry remarks, and others crying. In addition to privately hired security guards, four University of California Police Dept. and four Community Service Organization officers regulated the crowd, frisking audience members and searching baggage prior to entrance.

At the event, sponsored by the UCSB College Republicans, Horowitz said the U.S. faces an imminent threat from radical Muslims who subscribe to a violent agenda.

“We are dealing with religious fanatics,” Horowitz said. “There is no other religion in the world that calls for the destruction of a group of people, the killing of Jews or infidels. Again, most Muslims don’t think that way - yet - but there is a battle for their souls, and that battle is taking place in Iraq.”

UCSB Muslim Student Association member Aharon Ahmad Morris attempted to address Horowitz, but the orator immediately interrupted him, calling his headdress into question.

“Why are you wearing a terrorist’s headscarf?” Horowitz said. “That scarf is that of a terrorist, created by a monster named Yasser Arafat.”

Morris, a fourth-year biology and black studies major, called Horowitz’s accusations hurtful and inflammatory.

“I remember I told him that he made me cry because it was the same type of rhetoric I grew up listening to,” Morris said. “My little brother was lynched, and when he was talking, all I could see was my brother swinging from a tree. For him to insult my headscarf was childish and xenophobic, but the solidarity and support people showed after the event, coming up and shaking my hand, was incredible.”

During his speech, Horowitz also criticized the UCSB community for protesting ads purchased by the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Terrorism Awareness Project. In regard to a petition signed by UCSB faculty and staff urging the Daily Nexus to refrain from publishing “inflammatory” ads, Horowitz charged the signatories with encouraging censorship.

“Wherever this ad has appeared, there have been attacks on the press,” Horowitz said. “The Daily Nexus was attacked for running the ad. Most appalling is the fact that 80 professors appealed to your editors asking them not to publish inflammatory ads, but this is the situation in our country today, and that attack on free press and free speech is coming from the political left. You don’t find conservatives obstructing speech.”

Communications Professor Walid Afifi invited Horowitz to return to UCSB to participate in a discussion panel with Middle Eastern scholars. However, following Horowitz’s comments condemning Morris’ headscarf, Afifi exited the auditorium.

“That’s bullshit,” Afifi shouted. “That’s not a terrorist headscarf, it’s a cultural symbol.”

In addition to addressing the ad placed by his organization, Horowitz blamed the university for failing to address the abuses he claimed women face under Sharia law.

“One hundred forty million Muslim girls in Muslim countries have their genitals sliced off every year so they can’t enjoy sex,” Horowitz said. “Where is the Women’s Studies Department on this?”

College Republican President Ross Nolan, a third-year political science major, said Horowitz’s lecture was refreshing because it offered an alternative point of view not often seen on college campuses.

“A lot of people were offended by the event, but the exact same thing happens in reverse to Republicans, military personnel and Americans daily,” Nolan said. “I don’t know why the same level of outrage is not shown to our professors who spew left-wing propaganda from the pulpit every day.”

During the interchange, Horowitz continually urged Muslim audience members to denounce organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

However, UCSB MSA President Faheem Ahmad said the request was unfair.

“That is not my responsibility to denounce anyone,” Faheem said. “I don’t see you condemning Ann Coulter for saying that Jews have to be perfected.”

Meanwhile, Paul Moseman, a first-year business economics major, said he was disappointed that student leaders did not actively denounce terrorist organizations.

“I think it’s sad that [Horowitz] came on campus and asked Americans to condemn Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations, and none of the students who protested him being here did that, especially the president of MSA,” Moseman said.

Over audible booing interspersed with applause, Horowitz thanked the partially vacated auditorium for listening to his message.

“Most of you have been a great audience,” Horowitz said.




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