This article was originally published by FrontPage Magazine, on October 19, 2007.
The Left is up in arms over the effort to hold an Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on American college campuses. The goal of the Week is to alert Americans to the threat from Islamo-Fascism and to focus attention on the violent oppression of Muslim women under theocracies in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan and other Islamic states. It has been attacked as “Islamophobic” and “racist” by the Muslim Students Association, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and FoxNews Channel’s Alan Colmes.
Is this not puzzling? Why would the left – which claims to be anti-fascist, anti-sexist and progressive — oppose Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week rather than support it? Why isn’t the left outraged by the genital mutilation of women in countries such as Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, or the sanctioning of wife-beating under Islamic law in Pakistan and other Islamic states? Across America, Women’s Studies programs will teach students about the oppression of women in Peoria and Ann Arbor but not in Teheran or Riyadh. Why not?
Why isn’t the left appalled by the jihad – the holy war that has been declared against the West, and by the sanctifying of murderers as holy “martyrs” when Muslim terrorists kill innocent Americans, Christians and Jews? Perhaps it is because the left is engaged in its own jihad or holy war – and against the same targets: the Great Satan, America, and the little one in the Middle East.
As the left’s response shows, it is not only indifferent to the issues of Islamic terror and oppression, which the campus protest hopes to discuss, it is ready to declare war on anyone who wants to raise them.
We are all familiar with the way the left wages its political wars. If someone happens to disagree with its position on racial issues –if one believes, for example, that government enforced racial preferences are misguided or immoral –the left will denounce that person as a “racist.” In our culture, this is the moral equivalent of a bullet in the head. If the president of Harvard cites scientific data that women have different aptitudes for mathematics (lower) and verbal subjects (higher) than men, the left will denounce him as a “sexist,” another cultural bullet in the head. If a person believes that children should not be instructed about sex in public schools at the kindergarten level, the left will denounce her as a “homophobe” – one more mortal blow.
And, so, if students attempt to discuss the holy war that Muslim fascists have declared against the West, the left can be expected to denounce them as Islamophobes, and bigots too. To make the point, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will send threatening letters to 100 university presidents across the country urging them to deny a platform to students who are practicing “hate speech.” And liberal TV anchors will defend the witch-hunt.
Here is an excerpt from an exchange that took place between FoxNews Channel anchor Alan Colmes and myself, over my efforts to organize Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week:
Alan Colmes: “The words, the phrase ‘Islamo-fascism’ is hate speech. It equates an entire religion with fascism. That’s what people object to. It conflates the two, and it’s wrong.” In other words, students can’t even hold a discussion about “Islamo-Fascism” because the idea itself is hateful, is forbidden.
This argument clearly doesn’t make sense. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is explicitly designed to raise public awareness about the oppression of Muslim women by Islamic radicals who abuse them. How can that be equating all Muslims with oppressors? The term “Islamo-Fascism” was itself coined by moderate Muslims in Algeria who were being slaughtered in the tens of thousands by Islamic radicals bent on jihad. How does using a term invented by Muslims to describe their oppressors equate all Muslims with the fascists?
Does the term “Italian Fascism” equate all Italians with fascism? Or does it just identify those Italians who were followers of Mussolini? Is the term “Italian Fascism” hate speech? What about the term “white racism?” By Colmes’ logic, such a term equates an entire race– including Alan Colmes – with racism, and is therefore hate speech.
Obviously, the attacks on Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week by liberals such as Colmes and radicals such as the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Muslim Students Association are based on reasoning that is absurd. Their only logic is emotional, and the character of that emotion is hatred — hatred for those who want to raise awareness of the threats we face from radical Islam. This hatred has only one purpose, which is to put a metaphorical bullet in the head of those who oppose the jihad. The purpose is to silence them.