Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week Brings Out the Campus Censors · 19 November 2007

By Sara Dogan

Dear Students and Supporters,

 

The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s recent Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, held on 100+ campuses across the nation last month, tested the commitment of university officials and student bodies to preserving free speech and diversity of thought on America’s campuses. While the Week was an unqualified success, reaching thousands of students across the nation, several universities sadly came up short in the arena of protecting free speech, creating impediments for students organizing Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week events and failing to take necessary steps to ensure that freedom of speech and assembly were respected.  

 

 Fake Leftist Hate Flyers at George Washington U. 

 

At George Washington University in Washington, DC, a group of leftist students committed an elaborate hoax involving the posting of hundreds of fake hate flyers around campus with the intent of disrupting Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week events.


The flyers read, “Hate Muslims? So do we!!.....To find out more, come to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” They pictured of a man described as a “typical Muslim” with labels indicating that he has “lasers in eyes,” a “suicide vest” and a “peg-leg for smuggling children and heroin.” The flyers instructed those seeking further information to contact the “GWU Young America’s Foundation,” the name of the student organization that hosted Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on campus.  

Administrators and some media sources initially rushed to condemn the campus conservatives for committing a hate crime, threatening immediate disciplinary action and stating that “There is no place for expressions of hatred on our campus.” Once it became apparent that the flyers were fakes, creating by students opposed to the holding of the event, the administration immediately backed down, and it is not clear whether the culprits will receive any punishment, despite their deliberate defamation of the campus conservatives.

Despite these disruptions, Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week events at George Washington, including a speech by David Horowitz, went off without a hitch, to the great credit of the members of the Young America’s Foundation who refused to allow insidious tactics to hinder their planned events.

David Horowitz Speech Disrupted at Emory University 

While attempting to deliver a speech at Emory University in Atlanta during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, David Horowitz was forced to leave the stage only 30 minutes into his planned address by unruly protestors that disrupted the event to an extent that it was impossible for him to continue.

 

 The audience of over 300 had been asked to be respectful and to reserve comments for the question-and-answer period, but pleas for civility were to no avail. From the moment of Horowitz’s introduction, the protestors, most of whom were from a radical off-campus group called United for Peace and Justice, interrupted his address with loud jeers, raucous laughter, and shouts of “Heil Hitler” and other chants. Ultimately, the lecture had to be cut short, denying the students who had waited patiently the opportunity to hear Horowitz’s views and to ask questions.  

“These thugs  merely inflicted a defeat on themselves, not me,” Horowitz said after the event. “Civil America, liberals as well as conservatives, will be appalled at the spectacle at Emory.”

Emory University President James Wagner issued an apology to the College Republicans and to David Horowitz for the disruption of the event, but this incident underscores the importance of enacting zero-tolerance policies for those who obstruct the free exchange of ideas on campus.

 

 

The New Campus Fascism  

The incidents at George Washington and Emory are sadly only the most obvious examples of the censorship of free speech occurring during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. At many other campuses across the nation, we heard from students who reported facing administrative roadblocks when trying to organize and publicize events for the Week, ranging from the denial of room reservations to the need for ongoing negotiations over minute details of the events. The failure of campus administrations to protect free speech reflects poorly on those universities and shows that much work still needs to be done to secure free speech and free association rights for students on American campuses.  In his article titled The New Campus Fascism, David Horowitz discusses the incidents at GWU and Emory and describes how they are merely part of a “massive hate campaign conducted over the Internet and in student newspapers to defame our students and speakers as anti-Muslim xenophobes.” “The one way to shut down speech in America is to call it “hate speech” and insinuate that employing it constitutes a ‘hate crime,’” explains Horowitz.

The full article can be read here.

 Join the Academic Freedom Movement 

To bring the academic freedom movement to your campus, please contact Sara Dogan at 888-527-3321 or at Sara@studentsforacademicfreedom.org. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week will be conducted again during the spring semester, from April 7-11, 2008. More information about Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is available at www.IslamoFascismAwareness.org.

Yours in Freedom,  

Sara Dogan
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom