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The recent conviction of the Irvine 11 was a reminder of how far the campus arms of the Muslim Brotherhood will go to silence dissenting speakers. For all their protestations during the trial, they don’t believe in free speech, what they believe in is a monopoly on campus speech.
Nonie Darwish, an ex-Muslim and an informed critic of Islam, has had her talks assailed by Brotherhood campus affiliates numerous times. In 2009, at Seattle University members of the Muslim Students Association did their best to disrupt a speech by Darwish. That same year at Boston University, a fire was set in a bathroom right before her speech to scuttle her presentation. Now, as Darwish was set to speak at a Federalist Society event at the George Mason University School of Law, another Muslim Brotherhood organization, CAIR, deployed a slightly more subtle line of attack.
While Muslim Brotherhood front groups routinely bring extremist speakers to campus, such as Imam Abdel Malik Ali and Norman Finkelstein, CAIR wanted the Federalist Society to provide equal time to a Muslim speaker to “balance” her views. The MSA has never extended such an offer to Jewish student groups, yet the Brotherhood expected it to be granted to them.
In her speech at George Mason University, Darwish described arriving at her first job in America and seeing a sign that said it did not discriminate. “For the first time in my life, I felt free and equal to men under the law.”
But the form of discrimination that Darwish escaped in the Middle East is coming to America, and the modern campus is ground zero for its advance, as followers of a racist and sexist ideology use political correctness and intimidation to decide who can and cannot speak.
As a critic of Islam and the founder of “Arabs for Israel,” Darwish has been a natural target for a movement that believes women shouldn’t be seen or heard, and that Israel should be a radioactive pile of ash. For two years the Brotherhood, through its campus and off-campus affiliates, has been stalking and harassing her. And if CAIR had been allowed to shut down her speech at a university named after the “Father of the Bill of Rights” it would have been a major victory for Sharia law in America.
But instead, Darwish’s speech went ahead as scheduled to the dismay of the Brotherhood, whose chief criticism of her has been that she is “unqualified to speak about Sharia law.” Since only male scholars can be truly qualified, their position forbids the chief victims of Sharia law from speaking out against it. Banning women from criticizing Sharia law is like prohibiting African-Americans from speaking out against segregation.
According to the Brotherhood, Darwish’s life in a Sharia society where she came into contact with polygamy and honor killing does not qualify her to speak about Islam. Similarly, Western leftists claimed that the refugees who escaped the USSR or Cuba were unqualified to discuss Marxism-Leninism because all they had done was live under it.
Darwish and other women like her are so very important because they take the Sharia debate out of the sphere of the purely academic and into the practical. While the Brotherhood spends a great deal of time discussing how a Sharia state should be run, Darwish comes loaded with experience on how they actually are run. And that is what makes her so dangerous to them.
Theories of perfect societies are seductive in academic circles, as the campus affinity for Marxism and now Islamism demonstrates. But beneath the ivory towers and golden domes the system is upheld by the oppression of hundreds of millions of people who are prevented from speaking unless they agree with the dominant ideology. The alternative for them is death.
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