Responses to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week- A Series of Articles and Links

Below are a series of useful articles responding to the ‘Islamofascism Awareness week’ sponsored by islamophobic bigots. The list is sent out by CAIR in case you’re not on their listserv. Also, here’s a link to a great article published in yesterday’s issue of The Hoya by Georgetown University: http://www.thehoya.com/viewpoint/102307/view6.cfm

MSA LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE ‘PEACE…NOT PREJUDICE’ PROJECT –

This month, more than 100 Muslim Student Associations (MSAs) across the country will hold a ‘Peace…Not Prejudice’ campaign, a project of MSA National, to further improve interfaith dialogue and increase an open exchange of ideas on our college campuses

‘ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK’ STOKES DEBATE –

National Public Radio, 10/21/07

Listen to this story.

Tempers may flare over Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. David Horowitz, a ’60s anti-war radical who later took a right turn, says he’s trying to sound an alarm about radical Islam. His efforts have drawn much criticism.

JUDEO-CHRISTO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK COMES TO AMERICAN CAMPUSES! –

Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Did that title make the hair on the back of your neck bristle? Did it feel like a bigoted attack on Christianity and Judaism?

When the feature film sent out for use in this Week—which focused on the disgusting Christian-led war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the disgusting Jewish-led killing of Muslim children by airplane bombing raids on Gaza – also included interviews with a few peacenik Quakers, Methodists, and left-wing Jews, criticizing that war and those bombings, did you relax, feeling it was a balanced presentation of Judaism and Christianity?

NO??!! —Your guts, your kishkes, felt that practically all Christians and Jews were being set up as potential indeed probable— bad guys? Could-be terrorists who often manipulated by governments that Christians or Jews controlled—– hated other religious communities but had not yet got around to buying the plastique for their bombs?

And since Christians are a huge majority in America but Jews are a small minority with a past of being persecuted, did you especially fear for the impact of Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness on Jews and Judaism? That this Week might incite anti-Semitism?

Did you urge universities to condemn this “travesty” and institute instead a real Judeo-Christian Awareness Week that looked at the wonderful achievements of Christian and Jewish prayer, charity, and social justice; the history of their persecution; AND the history of their violence against others? That did look closely at the murders of Muslims by Baruch/Aror Goldstein but as an aberration? And looked at the support of Nazism by the leading respectable Lutheran theologians of Germany as terrible a mistake? That discussed the genocidal passages of Torah as a long-ago transcended worldview in the light of Hillel’s teaching, “Do not do to your neighbor what would be hateful if your neighbor did it to you?”

Wow. Now THERE’S a concept!— Do not do to your neighbor what would be hateful if your neighbor did it to you!

So what are you doing about the fact that there is NO such week about to appear on US campuses, but on many campuses this coming week, there WILL appear a whole industrial machine called “Islamofascism Awareness Week”?

If you think it would be hateful toward you to have somebody produce Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness Week, what do you owe your Muslim neighbors? Or is Hillel’s teaching (and of course Jesus’ parallel interpretation of “Love your neighbor as yourself”) a mere utopian joke aimed at naïve children? (MORE)

NOT IN OUR VOICE: JEWISH ALLIANCE REPUDIATES ‘ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK’ –
Shira Gordon, Alana Krivo-Kaufman, Josh Schwartz and Shlomo Bolts, Columbia Spectator , 10/22/07

We, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, repudiate the mission of David Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” We reject the manner in which he manipulates Jewish grief over the Holocaust and the situation in Israel. As Jews and members of a larger campus coalition community, we speak out as allies of our fellow Muslim students.

Horowitz does not speak for us. Instead, he uses symbols and rhetoric which exploit Jewish communal memory and grief. He uses the fear brought about by the Holocaust as well as by terrorist attacks against our fellow Jews. He juxtaposes images of Nazi propaganda with current Islamic extremists. By associating these images with broad groups haphazardly labeled “Islamo-Fascist,” Horowitz seeks to replace intellectual discussion with panic. Such malevolent tactics are of no service to the Jewish people; rather, they are an attempt to induce Jews into sacrificing their values for a world view of oversimplified fear.

Horowitz claims to support moderate Islam, but does nothing of the sort. Horowitz’s “Student’s Guide” features a petition “appeal” aimed at Muslim Student Associations across the country. This “appeal” is in fact a loyalty oath, in which Muslims are forced to choose between denouncing their entire religion as a danger to humanity and being branded as terrorist sympathizers. Such a narrow-minded approach does not aid moderates, but seeks to strand them between two radical and untenable positions.

Horowitz’s anti-Muslim week of action aims to create a dangerous and false dichotomy between “Judeo-Christian Civilization” and Islam, both on our campuses and in the world. Horowitz points to the atrocities of extremist regimes, which are driven by a range of historical, political, and economic factors, and claims such atrocities embody the essence of Islam. By this logic, geopolitical conflict can only be resolved with the end of Islam. Such a headstrong and stubborn conviction could only result in enflaming tensions, and provoking a New Crusade against Islam.

We refuse to lend our voice to those who attempt to parasitically draw on the support of the Jewish community. We are not fooled by pundits who co-opt progressive activists’ language and protest forms. Instead, we stand as allies with communities of faith and our fellow students. Mr. Horowitz: You will not further your campaign of hate and intolerance in our voice.

Shira Gordon is a senior in Barnard College. Alana Krivo-Kaufman is a junior in Barnard College. Joshua Schwartz is a senior in List College. Shlomo Bolts is a sophomore in Columbia College. The authors are all members of the Progressive Jewish Alliance.

MN: ISLAMO-FASCISM A RACIST CONCEPT

Fedwa Wazwaz, Minnesota Daily, 10/22/07

In his Oct. 17 letter “Not racist to criticize,” Matt Kleiber states that one of the potential speakers in the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was not a racist for suggesting that Western culture is superior to Arab culture.

Kleiber needs to understand that the very notion of Islamo-Fascism is a racist concept and any speaker that speaks in such an event is a racist. These speakers are not criticizing any Arab country or particular policy but instead are attacking the faith of 1.5 billion people by likening Islam to Fascism. A better analogy is a conference held by the KKK attacking Jews or holding a Judeo-Fascism Awareness Week.

Or how would Kleiber feel about a West-Fascism Awareness Week that seeks to show how Western women are oppressed as sex objects and citing the human trafficking problem where women are sold as sex slaves?

Not everything Muslims do is right; Muslims do not always represent Islam, just as Christians and Jews do not always represent their faiths. There are many problems in the Muslim world today and there are just as many in the Western world. Both societies need to own up to them by forums that open up an exchange of ideas and educate the masses.

However, there is a difference between a forum that criticizes cultural practices in a given society and one that demonizes a group of people. An awareness week that paints all Muslims with the same brush does not promote understanding but rather increases intolerance, fear and bigotry in a climate of prejudice toward Muslims that is already at an unprecedented level.

It is documented that campaigns that demonize an entire group of people are one of the many gradual steps toward genocide. Please read “The six Steps from Discrimination to Extermination” by Bart Charlow. Charlow mentions that step one is to spread myths or stereotypes about people that result in denigration and social distancing from them.

Freedom of speech when embraced in the spirit of elevating the truth is a needed value in every society. However, it is important to understand that hate speech which vilifies an entire group can have dangerous consequences in the form of hate crimes and violence.

Fedwa Wazwaz is a University staff member.

‘ISLAMOFASCISM’ – DEBUNKING A CONSERVATIVE SMEAR TACTIC

Annika Carlson and Sarah Dreier, Campus Progress, 10/22/07

In the days following 9/11, Americans across the ideological spectrum united in support of increased protections against terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But a handful of conservatives used the attacks to promote division among Americans and their allies abroad. For example, conservative writer Stephen Schwartz employed the term “Islamofascism” in a Weekly Standard article to describe the ideology of America’s enemies in its newly minted “war on terror.” Unfortunately, the moniker stuck with many prominent conservatives. Right-wing pundits, policy makers, and journalists started using the term, and even President Bush has employed it to describe terrorist networks in the Middle East.

That’s a shame, because Islamofascism is a misleading and harmful label: Instead of correctly identifying America’s enemies, it inaccurately describes modern terrorism, wrongly demonizes Islam as a violent religion, and dangerously obscures America’s real national security threats.

Here are the top four reasons why conservatives should stop using the term Islamofascism, and an explanation of what ideas and policies they should be promoting instead.

Islamofascism misrepresents modern terrorism and Islam.

It makes little sense to use the word “fascism” to describe today’s terrorism threat. Al Qaeda and other 21st century terrorists do not rely on the nation-state concept that defined 20th century fascism. Whereas fascists used violence to create control out of disorder, contemporary terrorists derive ammunition from chaos. (MORE)

DC: CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST FIGHTS ANTI-MUSLIM PREJUDICE – 10/19/07
A notable leader of the civil rights era is speaking out against what he’s calling a nationwide effort to discredit Islam. Former D.C. Delegate, and civil rights activist, Walter Fauntroy is denouncing “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week,” next week’s series of speeches on college campuses nationwide organized by the neoconservative writer David Horowitz.

Neoconservative scholars and journalists say Islam is the philosophical basis for anti-Western terrorism and must be exposed for what it is. But Fauntroy, who is endorsing a counter-protest organized by Muslim and other college students, says it’s time to set the record straight.

Listen here.

CA: WEEK’S FOCUS STIRRING CONTROVERSY –
Bruin Republicans’ “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” met with criticism from Muslim students
Lucy Benz-Rogers, Daily Bruin, 10/22/07
A weeklong series of events called Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, put on by Bruin Republicans, is beginning today amid some controversy.

Similar events will be held at hundreds of campuses across the nation as part of a terrorism-awareness project started by conservative writer and activist David Horowitz.

“The idea is to raise awareness about the threat of Islamic terror and Islamic radicalism,” said David Lazar, chairman of Bruin Republicans and a former Daily Bruin Viewpoint columnist.

Horowitz emphasized that, while his group developed the idea for the event, the specific details were up to student coordinators such as Lazar.

The week will focus on abuses against women, such as genital mutilation and honor killings, Lazar and Horowitz both said.

“This isn’t about a problem we have with Islam,” said Lazar. “Our focus is on things that I hope we are all able to condemn as horrible,” he added.

Event organizers stressed that they encourage moderate Muslims to join them in opposing Islamic fundamentalism, though Lazar admitted he did not expect much support from Muslim Student Association members.

The reason for this is Lazar’s definition of the term moderate, said Naqib Shifa, president of the Muslim Student Association, which he believes does not align with that of most Muslim students.

Randa May Wahbe, president of Students for Justice in Palestine, agreed.

“The way the week is stamped … is that it’s not a moderate week. I don’t see it as a week that would draw moderates at all,” she said.

In response to the event, those opposed to it will be wearing green, and Shifa said his group plans to set up a table on Bruin Walk to pass out information about Islam to peacefully counter what he called the “hate-themed” events.

Shifa said that, while the Muslim Student Association condemns human rights abuses in the name of Islam, he still believes the way these issues are being presented is offensive to Islam. (MORE)

PA: SANTORUM’S SPEECH ON MUSLIMS SPARKS ANGER -Brett Lieberman, Patriot-News, 10/22/07

Ten months after leaving office, former Sen. Rick Santorum is back in the thick of controversy over whether he and other conservatives’ “hate speech” is stirring up anti-Muslim sentiments.

Santorum is headlining an event on the campus of Penn State University Tuesday night that is part of a controversial line-up of conservative speakers in Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.

Commentator Ann Coulter also is scheduled to speak at campuses in California and Louisiana. The talks are part of a series of events at more than 100 colleges being organized by the Los Angeles-based David Horowitz Freedom Center.

—–

IN: ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS MISFIRES BY TARGETING PROFESSORS –

Indiana Daily Student, 10/22/07

Starting today, a coalition of conservative organizations will be holding “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” at college campuses across the country. Organized by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the event will include demonstrations, petitions, distribution of political materials and speeches by figures such as Horowitz, Ann Coulter and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who will all confront “the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat.” Islamo-Fascism Week’s protests are directed against the “academic left,” who, the organizers claim, serve as apologists for radical Islamist terrorism and work to undermine the U.S. government’s efforts against it.

And herein lies our problem with Islamo-Fascism Week: It’s less about educating students about radical Islamist terrorism than it is about bashing liberals. Groups like al-Qaida do murder innocent civilians in order to intimidate populations into surrendering to their despotic rule. They wish to force women to become subservient, second-class citizens; to execute gays, non-Muslims and anyone who doesn’t abide by their cultural rules;. But, instead of focusing on this genuine threat, Islamo-Fascism Week’s organizers would rather invent one namely left-leaning professors. “Never mind those with the bombs,” they seem to think. “It’s academics who criticize U.S. foreign policy and society, who are reticent about military force, who keep repeating that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims aren’t terrorists and that Westerners need to better understand their cultures, and who fret about global warming who are the real enemy.” This is a load of rubbish.

If the event’s organizers really want to combat “Islamo-Fascism,” they need to have actual scholars (not conservative pundits) teach about how terrorist groups work, familiarize students with the political and cultural context that gave rise to these groups, sponsor debates on how to counter them and otherwise do things that are actually educational.

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2 Comments »

  1. MysticSaint Said:

    thanks for the links

  2. Muslims Against Sharia congratulate David Horowitz FREEDOM CENTER and Mike Adams, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Ann Coulter, Nonie Darwish, Greg Davis, Stephen Gale, David Horowitz, Joe Kaufman, Michael Ledeen, Michael Medved, Alan Nathan, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Daphne Patai, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Luana Saghieh, Rick Santorum, Jonathan Schanzer, Christina Sommers, Robert Spencer, Brian Sussman, Ed Turzanski, Ibn Warraq and other speakers on the success of the Islamofascism Awareness Week.

    Islamofascism (or Islamism) is the main threat facing modern civilization and ignorance about this threat is astounding. We hope that this event becomes regular and reaches every campus.

    A great many Westerners do not see the clear distinction between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism). They need to understand that the difference between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism) is the same as the difference between Christianity and Christian Identity Movement (White Supremacy Movement).

    Original post


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