Founded two centuries ago, Saint Louis University began as a Roman Catholic institution, but given its antics in recent years, one could be forgiven for believing that it might be better classified as an Islamic university. The most recent example of this transformation took place last month when more than a hundred students, egged on by campus administration, walked out of a speech by black former congressman Allen West because he dared to use the phrase “radical Islam.”
“Radical Islam” is the same expression that Muslim sympathizer President Barack Hussein Obama refuses to say. Obama, who claims to be a Christian, famously waxes poetic on the Muslim call to prayer, describing it as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.” With his head firmly planted in the sand, the president is also reluctant to label Muslim terrorist attacks as such, preferring to use the fuzzy abstraction “violent extremism.”
At Saint Louis University the campus administration tried to dictate the contents of the national security-themed speech in late September sponsored by Young America’s Foundation (YAF), but West, an outspoken conservative who represented a Florida district in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2013 as a Republican, refused to buckle under pressure. An SLU administrator told conservative and Republican students promoting the event that advertisements for it could not contain the words “radical Islam.”
SLU president Fred Pestello called West a “provocateur” and said in an email to students that he stood in “solidarity” with them.
Student Claire Cunningham whined to the Riverfront Times about her hurt feelings.
“Our administrator made a request for him to tailor his speech to our community, and in response he made a lot of hateful comments about our students,” she said.
Outraged at the university’s intolerable meddling the retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who served in the Middle East wrote an op-ed asserting that he had been “censored” by the campus administration and labeled today’s college students who seek so-called safe spaces as “little cupcakes.”
I along with the YAF activists will not back down from this challenge. And if this is just a case of ill-conceived political correctness, we’ll rectify that. But, if this is a case of the influence of stealth jihad radical Islamic campus organizations such as the Muslim Student Association, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, then you will be exposed. And I recommend to the President of St. Louis University, you do not want it known that a radical Islamic organization is dictating speakers on your campus — that is not the type of PR you really want.
In his speech West discussed U.S. policy failures that have allowed Islamic terrorist groups to penetrate the U.S. and in some cases cover up terrorist attacks by describing them as outbreaks of workplace violence.
The terrorists don’t care about our partisan politics, he said, adding that “during 9⁄11, no one came in looking for Republicans or Democrats. They came looking to kill Americans.”
A 22-year military veteran who took part in Operation Desert Storm (1991) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003), West spoke of his experiences dealing with Islamic terrorism, explaining that “the greatest enjoyment I had was working with the Afghan army to make sure little Afghani girls could go to school.”
The walkout itself was staged political theater. Students led by the SLU Rainbow Alliance and the terrorist-linked Muslim Students Association (MSA) showed up early for the event on Sept. 29, filling many of the seats in the two-story auditorium where West was to speak. As he mounted the stage they stood up and left.
YAF spokeswoman Emily Jashinsky said SLU’s treatment of West isn’t out of the ordinary nowadays.” This is what happens when students attempt to bring one conservative speaker to a liberal campus,” she said. “Threatened leftists do everything they can to erect obstacles.”
Years ago David Horowitz had been scheduled to headline an event at Saint Louis University called “An Evening with David Horowitz: Islamo-Fascism Awareness and Civil Rights,” which was put together by the College Republicans and YAF.
In an interview with FrontPage Horowitz recalled how shabbily he was treated in 2009 when he was scheduled to speak at SLU. Ultimately, the campus banned him after bargaining in bad faith over aspects of the event.
SLU wanted to put someone on stage to interpret and counter Horowitz’s message.
“They said okay but only if there’s somewhere there on the stage to explain Catholic teachings and then they withdrew,” he said.
Horowitz told me he agreed to the otherwise ridiculous request but the university canceled anyway.
“It’s the only university that I have not been allowed to speak at and they did it on behalf of the Muslim Students Association.”
“It’s a Catholic school but it’s an Islamic stronghold,” he said.
Founded in 1818 by Archbishop Louis William Valentine Dubourg, the Jesuit university is located in St. Louis, Missouri. Dubourg also served as the first president of Georgetown College, a Jesuit school which later became Georgetown University. Like SLU, Georgetown has embraced Islam with vigor. It is home to the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and Islam apologist John L. Esposito.
SLU hosted a seminar in 2015 by #MyJihad, a group created by Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago office of the terrorist-linked Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The idea behind the presentation was to misrepresent and rebrand the concept of jihad to make it less objectionable to Americans.
Ahmed Mohamed, the young troublemaking Muslim bomb hoaxer called Clock Boy by some, was portrayed at the SLU event as a victim. “What he went through is an example of a struggle,” according to #MyJihad’s account of the event. “Struggles are a human concept, and those can easily be tied into anything that happens.”
Mark Chmiel, an adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University, acknowledges that in 2003 he worked with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. ISM, also known as the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, has been involved with HAMAS and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. Chmiel attacked Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel in his 2001 book, Elie Wiesel and the Politics of Moral Leadership.
SLU reportedly hosted a three-day ISM training and strategy event in 2012. According to one account:
These conferences try to pass themselves off as educational discussions about Middle East peace but make no mistake about it: they are training and strategy sessions to enlist more Rachel Corries to go to the Middle East and interfere with anti-terror operations of the IDF as well as to generate support for Hamas as it continues to fire rockets into southern Israel.
If that isn’t enough, a key emphasis will also be placed on training attendees from all over the nation into how to boycotts and divest from the Jews. Publicly the leaders claim they only promote boycotting Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and the “siege” on Gaza, but training sessions also teach how to infiltrate Jewish organizations in the United States and how to boycott businesses run by American Jews.
Elie Wiesel was interrupted and heckled by campus activists when he spoke at SLU in 2009. They shouted “come to Gaza” and see the “devastation” caused by the Israeli “occupation.”
Saint Louis University has also hosted BDS movement events. For example, in April 2011, the Busch Student Center was the site of an event called “An Introduction to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement: Nonviolent Resistance to Stop the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories.” One of the speakers, Fulbright scholar Sandra Samaan Tamari, was a member of the Saint Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee.
SLU has long had an active branch of the Muslim Students Association. MSA has chapters across the country and functions as a campus-based fifth column in America.
MSA’s parent entity is the Muslim World League (MWL), which is directly funded by Saudi authorities and is tied to al-Qaeda. The League acknowledges on its website that it is “engaged in propagating the religion of Islam” and “elucidating its principles and tenets.” It also engages in strategic lying, known in the Islamic world as taqiyya. The League “is well known for rejecting all acts of violence and promoting dialogue with the people of other cultures,” its website claims, adding that it does “not intend to undermine, dominate or practice hegemony over anyone else.”
The Muslim World League has reportedly taken in more than $1.3 billion since 1962 from the Saudi government to promote Wahhabism. The League, warns Andrew C. McCarthy, is the Muslim Brotherhood’s “principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.”
Quite apart from its support for Islam, SLU is a hotbed of political correctness and anti-Americanism like virtually all institutions of higher learning in the U.S.
Last year the gutless administration at SLU caved to complaints from radical students and relocated a sculpture campus leftists said celebrated white supremacy and colonialism from outside to inside a museum.
The sculpture, named “Where the Rivers Meet,” depicts Jesuit missionary Pierre-Jean De Smet on an elevated platform above two Native Americans, in what critics say could be seen as an attempt to convert them to Christianity. It had stood there for 60 years.
A local newspaper acknowledged that conversion was part of the mission of Belgian-born De Smet who died in St. Louis in 1873 but added “many historical accounts depict him as sympathetic to Native Americans and as working to dispel their reputation as savages.”
Kathryn Kuhn, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology, said at the time that the statue “really is shameful,” adding it has been “controversial for as long as I’ve been here, and I’ve been here for 25 years.”
The same year SLU commissioned a sculpture for display on the campus that “captures the spirit and importance” of a weeklong Occupy SLU protest the previous fall, the College Fix reports.
For six days in mid-October, community activists refused to leave the St. Louis campus in a protest intended as an extension of the summertime riots that had wracked nearby Ferguson over the police shooting of Michael Brown. Three social justice groups – Tribe X, the Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equality, and the Black Student Alliance – took over the campus and lived in tents around its clock tower.
Flying an upside-down American flag, they gave speeches and “teach ins” on topics such as “conscious awakening, systematic oppression, white supremacy, and students’ responsibility to the community,” according to a YouTube video that documented the demonstration.
The demonstrators left only after the university agreed to all 13 of their demands, one of which was a “mutually agreed upon commissioned artwork.”
Of course Saint Louis University gave in to the student radicals.
The Left demands that universities honor depravity and universities like SLU eagerly comply.
Truth-tellers like Allen West and David Horowitz, on the other hand, routinely get the bum’s rush.
And that’s the way left-wingers like it.