Everywhere you look these days Americans’ most basic freedom is under attack by the jihadists of the international left. The infamous UN Human Rights Commission which includes the worst human rights violators on the planet (now joined by the Obama Administration) has recently passed a resolution against religious defamation — defined as linking Islamists to terrorism. At home Democrats have attached a “hate crimes” amendment which would make thinking a crime to the new defense appropriations bill. Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been banned from owning a National Football League team on the grounds that he is a conservative and conservatives are hateful. And at Temple students who have invited one of the most important international figures in the fight against Islamic terrorism are being attacked by the Muslim Students Association on the grounds that his speech is going to be “hateful.” I myself was scheuled to speak at St. Louis University a Catholic college next Friday but was banned by administrators when supporters of the jihad claimed that my speech would insult Muslims.
The pattern is clear. First smear those who disagree with you as “hate-mongers” and then silence them as untouchables. And soon — if the hate crimes legislation movement continues to roll — put them in jail. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the attempts to shut down the Temple speech of Geert Wilders which is being sponsored by a student organization called Temple University Purpose is the role played by three Temple University administrators who run the student activities program and who at a meeting last week pressured the TUP students to close down their event.
Temple University Purpose is an organization created “to advocate for justice and equality for oppressed and under-represented populations” — which would presumably include Muslim women oppressed by Shariah law and peaceful Muslims oppressed by the Taliban and Hamas and other radical Muslim groups. In the service of this mission, Temple University Purpose proposes “to provide an open forum in which conventional and unconventional views are exchanged and challenged.” It is this aspect of the TUP mission that is under attack, first from the Muslim Students Association, which supports the Islamic jihad against the West and does not want the views of Geert Wilders heard, but most disturbingly from Temple administrators in charge of student activities at the school. These administrators told TUP leader Brittany Walsh that Wilders did not have free speech rights at Temple or in America because he was a foreigner. In a courageous response to these administrators Walsh wrote:
“[You} stated in our meeting that Mr. Wilders is not an American citizen and therefore the First Amendment does not apply to him. The American Bill of Rights is not written to confer rights on Americans as to what they can do, but rather these American rights are conceived as limitations on government. The Bill of Rights says Congress shall make no law abridging free speech and not once claims this only applies to American born citizens, but rather to all of man kind. Freedom of Speech has proved an essential tool in providing a medium for progressive social change in the United States; ie: Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Equal Rights Movement, Vietnam War protests, and even the Equal Human Rights Movement occurring right now in the U.S. advocating on behalf of the LGBT community. Throughout world history, we have witnessed the devastation caused when individuals are deprived of this Right to advocate on behalf of themselves. Many men and women have sacrificed their life or suffered severely to allow you and I to be free; thousands are still doing so today.
Furthermore, I would never dream of telling the Muslim Students Association that they may not practice their religion or espouse their beliefs, but I expect that same respect and consideration to be extended to all individuals and/or groups. As was stated previously in our meeting, regardless of how I may, or may not, feel about what Mr. Wilders believes, I do believe it is his right to say it. Temple University Purpose will defend Mr. Wilders, and anyone else for that matter, against institutions and communities who attempt to silence them. The Right to Freedom of Speech is a fundamental right upon which this country was founded. Our founding fathers found that tyrants will always seek to silence those in opposition in an effort to squash non compliant beliefs and felt it to be of vital importance that men and women alike are protected from future governments, mob rule, and tyrants who seek to steal their voice. All of this being said, it would be a disservice to the Temple community, hypocritical of TUP’s mission, and a disrespect to all of those who have sacrificed for our right to invite Mr. Wilders to Temple, to rescind his invitation. The Temple community is being provided with a rare opportunity to have an open forum with a highly intelligent, though controversial, politician. Moreover, it is my hope that the community will come together, let their voices be heard, and participate in this educational experience being provided for them. Temple University Purpose plans to go ahead with the event on the 20th of October and hope we may do so with your support.”
I hope that the Temple administrators will be persuaded by this eloquent statement and will attend the event and give courageous students like Brittany Walsh and her colleague Alvaro Watson their support. And that every American reading this will understand the gravity of the battle that has been joined.