Critics of the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (IFAW) events that author and activist David Horowitz presented last month should have actually attended some of the IFAW lectures. They might have learned something, particularly from Nonie Darwish, a brave Muslim woman whose criticisms of Islamo-Fascism have put her life at risk.
Instead, they sought to discredit the event. The most egregious act was probably the fake flyer proclaiming anti-Muslim bigotry on the part of the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) chapter at George Washington University (GWU) that sponsored the IFAW on campus. Stories wrongly attributing the, “Hate Muslims? So do we” quote to YAF received widespread coverage while follow-up stories in which YAF’s enemies on campus admitted to concocting the handbill were elaborated upon by Fox News and precious few other outlets.
Meanwhile, the story of the two students whose doors were painted with swastikas in the wake of the IFAW has only been covered by the campus newspaper at GWU even though the FBI has now been called in on the case. Shouldn’t this one be a natural for a so-called mainstream media ever in search of victims?
Before, during and after the IFAW, cluelessness reigned on college and university campuses nationwide, as ever. Professors and student groups sponsored something called “Academic Freedom Week”(AFW) at the University of California at Davis.
During this celebration of the first amendment, AFW participants kept IFAW off campus. The irony was never acknowledged by these activists.
Even Campus Progress (CP), part of the lobbying empire built by left-wing billionaire George Soros, urged faculty and students to show more respect for the First Amendment rights of IFAW organizers than the demonstrators displayed. “While Campus Progress encourages students to speak out strongly against misinformation and intolerance, we urge students and college administrators to respect the free speech and association rights of the event organizers,” CP advised on October 22, the start of IFAW.
“ Not only is free speech an inalienable right, but any attempt to shut down these events will only give Horowitz and his partners in fear-mongering undeserved legitimacy,” CP warned. For its part, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) released “Six Tips for Tackling ‘Islamo-Fascism’ events at universities.”
MPAC advised IFAW opponents to:
• “demonstrate Islamic ethics and restraint;
• “support free speech;
• “not respond;
• “contact campus administrators;
• “talk to other student groups; and
• “report hate crimes and hate incidents.”
The GWU seven would have been well-advised to follow all of the half-dozen
guidelines rather than merely loosely interpreting the last of them.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.