The big news during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was the disruption of my speech at Emory University by leftists who, it so happens, weren’t actually students. They were members of the Coalition United for Peace and Justice, one of the leading groups in the movement to save the Islamo-Fascist regime in Iraq from being overthrown by American forces. Shutting down peaceful campus lectures is a fascist tactic, but in a country as committed to the principles of fairness and free speech as this one it is not the most insidious. This distinction must be reserved for the massive witch-hunt which attended our events — the pursuit of alleged “racists,” “bigots” and “Islamo-phobes” who, once labeled, can then be discredited and even silenced if university administrators are willing.
The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, whose founder James Abourezk is a Hizbollah supporter, sent letters to 100 university presidents claiming that Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was a “hate” campaign against all Muslims and asking them to shut us down. Since the main agenda of the Week was to defend Muslim women, this was a self-evident falsehood. Nonetheless, several university presidents responded by attempting to impose restrictions on the event. They backed down only after receiving letters from our lawyers reminding them that the First Amendment is still around.
Far more sinister was the 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.” Fox News Channel host Alan Colmes, generally a reasonable leftist, spoke for the radicals when he told guest Steven Emerson “the term Islamo-Fascism is hate speech.” Colmes thereby embraced the ideological campaign to suppress our event.
But Colmes did not follow the statement by calling Emerson a “racist,” the standard attack of the left itself. Because such attacks were the essence of the campaign against our events, it is worth dissecting one that appeared in the UC Irvine student paper New University. The article was titled “Horowitz Disguises Racism As ‘Awareness.’”
UC Irvine is a campus at which the Muslim Students Association two years ago held an “Israel Awareness Week” at which speakers denounced Jewish control of American politics and policy. Some years earlier, a Muslim Students Association speaker on the same campus explained that Jews were possessed by a “psychosis” that caused them to be “unable to coexist equally and brotherly with other human beings.” The speaker, Muhammad al-Asi, imam of the Islamic Center in Washington DC, went on to say “You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the Jew.”