This article originally appeared at FrontPage Magazine, on October 1, 2007.
Last Friday, on his MSNBC television show, Olbermann named me “The Worst Person in the World.” “The Worst Person” is a regular feature of Countdown, for which Olbermann is the host, and the same program featured an attack on a previous “worst person,” Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly. Olbermann called O’Reilly “unhinged,” while slandering him as a racist despite the lack of any evidence that would justify such a defamatory claim.
It was a performance familiar from the witch-hunting left. What act of mine, you might wonder, qualified me for such a distinction? Had I provided a prestigious platform for the president of Iran, the Persian Hitler whose agents are presently killing American troops in the Middle East and who has openly called for the elimination of the Jewish State? Had I perhaps produced a full page ad in the New York Times, which declared the leader of our troops in Iraq a traitor? Did I perhaps come up with the pun “Less Petraeus, more Betray Us” as a not-so-clever way to tarnish an American hero? No, as a matter of fact, Keith Olbermann did that.
What I did to deserve this distinction was organize a nation-wide campus effort called “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week,” which will be held on over 100 campuses on October 22-26. This is shaping up as the largest conservative student protest ever and has the anti-American left in a frenzy. Its purpose is to alert the academic world to the dangers America faces from Islamic terrorists such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for example, the recent guest of Columbia University, whose president called him a “petty tyrant” when in fact he is a global menace. An even more damning sin of mine, it seems, was to make a theme of the Week’s events “the oppression of women in Islam.”
To dramatize the barbaric treatment of women in some Islamic countries, I selected the above photograph, which I had been told was of a woman being buried up to her neck in preparation for an Islamic stoning in Iran. In fact, it was a still photograph from a 32-minute Dutch film called The Stone which was made to dramatize the barbaric treatment of women in Islamic countries such as Iran. The film was made by Mahnaz Tamizi about an Iranian man who has an affair with a married woman. When they are found out the man is jailed but – in accord with the nice distinctions of Islamic law — the woman is stoned to death.
The subject and brief duration of the film indicate that its purpose was to spread a message about the oppression of women in Islam – precisely the purpose of our Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. In other words, the photo we used was perfectly appropriate for a week of events designed to make Americans aware of the terrible oppression of women under the Islamic law that Islamo-fascists seek to impose everywhere, and that already exists in Iran. According to Amnesty International, for example, despite Iran’s agreement to end the practice in 2002, two women were stoned to death in May 2006 and another seven were sentenced to death by stoning in the same year.
So what is the problem? If it were just a matter of our misunderstanding that the picture represented an actual stoning this would be a truly minor issue. In fact, however, it is the focal point of a campaign by the left across the Internet whose target is the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week itself. (E.g., see here, andhere; and here.)
In the words of Mr. Olbermann: “Keep plugging away Mr. Horowitz. Let’s go on spending billions to stoke up religious hatred and send our kids to die on the battlefield.”
Ralph Luker, who blogs on the History News Network, explains, “Beginning October 22, David Horowitz and Frontpage Rag will bring ‘Hate Your Neighbor Week,’ to a campus near you.” Well that’s true if your neighbor happens to be bin Laden, or Zawahiri or Ahmadinejad.