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The AS funding decisions were heavily influenced by Ahmed Naguib, a Muslim Students Association member who sits on the organization’s financial board. At the height of the controversy, he told the student paper, The Daily Nexus, “I’m familiar with the comments that Horowitz has made. He incites hate and makes students feel very uncomfortable.” Naguib went on to say that Horowitz had in effect forfeited his free speech rights because he “made several racist remarks about Arabs and accused people of terrorism last time he visited.” Naguib was supported by another student, Sophie Armen, who presented a doctored video of Horowitz to the board meeting. Others speaking against the appearance were representatives of the UCSB MSA and Students for Justice in Palestine.
As to Naguib’s assertion that Horowitz was guilty of racism and Islamophobia, the 2008 speech shows no such remarks. In fact, the speech focused on an exploration of Islamic extremism and of the Muslim Students Association’s links, affirmed by the FBI, to the Muslim Brotherhood and its support for terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. The video shows Horowitz repeatedly asking the numerous self-identified MSA members who confronted him during the Q&A if they would condemn Hezbollah and Hamas. After one evasive response after another, Horowitz was finally able to pose the question in a way that the students could not escape.
“I’ve been waiting for one Muslim in this room to condemn an organization which is sworn to kill Americans and kill Jews,” he said. “That’s not too hard. One. Is there one here?”
After several seconds of silence, one voice shouted, “No!” And some members of the audience, including faculty members, screamed obscenities at Horowitz.
“The campaign against free speech is really the frontline attack of the jihadists. What the Muslim Brotherhood wants is for its critics to be silenced,” Horowitz says. “Nobody can say anything about Islamic terror or Islamic imperialism without being ruled an indecent person, not worthy of the public square because they’re an Islamophobe or a racist…In the name of tolerance, we have to be intolerant toward all the critics of Islam. That’s the Orwellian formula.”
On May 26, when round two of the battle between David Horowitz and campus apologists for Islamic extremism takes place at Santa Barbara, the same issues as in his last appearance will be front and center—student support for terror groups, hatred of Israel and of Jews, and a contempt for free speech and the open exchange of ideas.
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