Archive for News and Media

Sheikh Ali Gomaa Backs Zaytuna College

Read this great article from the Washington Times.

One of Egypt’s senior Muslim clerics supports the concept of a Muslim college being established in the United States, telling The Washington Times last week that it would help foster better relations between the West and the Muslim world.

“Things like the Zaytuna College are definitely a step in the right direction,” said Sheik Ali Gomaa, who was in Washington last week as part of a two-day conference, A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Rights Agenda, held at Georgetown University.

Zaytuna College is expected to open next year in Berkeley, Calif., where it will offer Arabic language and Islamic legal and theological studies. The plan includes becoming a fully accredited, four-year college.

One of Zaytuna’s co-founders is Sheik Hamza Yusuf, who, after a meeting with President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11 attacks, commented, “Islam was hijacked.”

Zaytuna co-founders and Sheik Gomaa say the school would fulfill educational and cultural needs that have long been ignored.

“There are several million Muslims in the United States and rapidly growing Muslim populations in Canada, Great Britain and Western Europe. Yet, there are no accredited academic institutions capable of training students in the varied sciences of Islam while also instilling in them a sophisticated understanding of the intellectual history and culture of the West,” officials say at zaytunacollege.org. “Clearly, there is an essential need for Muslim institutions that can wed Islam’s classical texts with the contemporary context.”

Zaytuna also could help in the war on terror.

Christians and Muslims have said fighting extremism means reaching out to moderates, teaching younger Muslims that Islam rejects violence and hatred, and finding common ground – such as love of God.

Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the world’s pre-eminent Islamic college, supports Zaytuna, said the sheik, who hopes the two institutions of higher learning will cooperate in several ways, including a student-exchange program.

“These are means we can explore. An exchange program can be one way to further dialogue and engagement,” Sheik Gomaa said.

Engagement and dialogue are key to dispelling misperceptions and falsehoods in the West about Islam and misperceptions and falsehoods in the Muslim world about the West.

The sheik laid out his priorities in a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Times on Tuesday.

No. 1 is education, followed by the media and social cooperation.

He singled out curriculum and historic texts and documents.

“We are in dire need of reviewing curriculum” and rewriting texts to remove”false” perceptions, the sheik said.

“We can make massive strides forward” if that is done, he said.

Read the article here.

Let me know your thoughts!

I Want this new CD Set by Shaykh Hamza!

I see that Shaykh Hamza has a new release out on Alhambra Productions. It’s a 15 disc series.

I can’t wait to have the money to be able to get it inshAllah.

Here is what they say about it on the site.

In the City of the Prophet, peace be upon him, Hamza Yusuf delivered this series of lectures on this lesser known work, Refinement of the Hearts. The author of the text, the 8th century Spanish master of the Islamic sciences and martyr, Imam Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi, presents an unassailable Sufism thoroughly grounded in the Book of God.
This small but powerful treatise is one of the finest pieces of Islamic spiritual literature in Muslim history. Hamza Yusuf’s illuminating and engaging reflections bring it to life for any modern Muslim in search of the keys to refining his or her heart in a world that seduces the hearts of humanity.
Doomsday’s singular preparation is to use the opportunity of the world to refine our hearts, for it is a “Day when nothing avails a person, neither wealth nor progeny, only one who brings to God a sound heart.” This wonderful treatise helps us with practical and effective means to do just that. Esentially dealing with the adornment and the beautiful qualities of the heart.

Click here for more info on the CD set.

Buy it! You won’t regret it! Don’t sleep on Hamza Yusuf.
I am never disappointed by his lectures mashaAllah. May God preserve him for us.

Cosmopolitan on Males and Monogamy

I was reading through Cosmopolitan earlier this month, I know judge me. Let the judgments fly through. Just for the record, I consider it mindless reading and I don’t read much of it. I know I should pick up quran when I’m bored but trashy magazines are my weakness. As some of you may know…95% of the articles are about how to have sex lol, and every month the titles of the articles don’t differ too much.

Anyway, something caught my eye.

“Fallen New York governor Elliot Spitzer’s penchant for prostitutes has left women everywhere wondering, can men ever be monogamous> “It’s possible but having just one partner is a sacrifice,” says George Weinberg, PhD, author of Why Men Won’t Commit. “Even when a guy adores his wife or girlfriend, the power of desire is really strong. Guys cheat because they want novelty and variety. To them affairs represent freedom. “

Now, I straight up am not an avid supporter of polygamy today, and am against it in the USA for the most part. But I think people have to be less hypocritical when discussing the issue. Whenever a Muslim brings up the issue of male libido as being a defense for polygamy, people tend to jump on that negatively. However, people won’t flinch when they read it from Cosmopolitan, a very liberal magazine. They won’t go around screaming misogynist to Dr. George Weinberg’s comment.

For the record, I think bringing up the point of male desire is dumb for a defense of polygamy. I mean the guy is not getting a stripper, he is getting another wife and eventually family. And if a guy really has great desire I doubt even 4 will do the job. So I don’t think that’s a very good defense of polygamy.

Women and The Nationality Problem in the Arab World

Even though many Arab countries are pretty much secular, in the area of women they go back to being Fred Flinstone.

In Lebanon, women who are income earners cannot go to the \to the bank to open a bank account for her kids. There are 18 family codes.

In this Aljazeera English interview, this Lebanese women talks about how she married an Egyptian man and he left her and her kids are teenagers and they can’t get Lebanese citizenship. Isn’t this outrageous? They have NO health care and no social security and they won’t be able to go to college if they don’t get citizenship.

I am very proud of Morocco, because the nationality law was changed. A woman can now pass on her nationality to her children even if she marries a foreigner yay!. When this law was not in place, women whose husbands abandoned them with kids had many problems and I even know of one that had to forge a Moroccan passport for her son in order ti survive. And we know that Morocco is a country where the women and men alike marry foreigners frequently.

Worse, these women’s groups are subject to harassment by radical political Islamists. In Morocco, they had one of their offices bombed. In Jordan, their websites get hacked and now the website leads people to a website about Saudi Arabia. I don’t know what kind of Islamic law prevents children from basic citizenship rights if their father wasn’t the best of men.

Amina Wadud and Sparking Conversation and Dialogue

I know this is old news when there was the “historic” jumuah that a woman led. I know it’s way overkill to talk about this. No I don’t support what happened…
But I have to say one of the things that upset me about the Muslim community was the personal attacks that were being made against this woman. People got angry and made many personal attacks against her as a person. That’s not cool. While I don’t support women leading prayers, that’s still not cool.

But my post isn’t about this topic in general. It’s about using what happened as an example of sparking some type of conversation. All too often the most controversial posts on the blogosphere get the most commentary. Then the writer of the blog writes another well written, well thought out better post and it hardly gets any traffic. Why? (This is just general by the way.)

People tend to listen and leave their comments on very controversial posts with radical statements in them. But some excellent well-written posts get ignored because they might be more moderate.

So do we always need to see something extreme to spark discussion? Did Amina Wadud’s jumuah cause just that? If she would have just resorted to some mosque activism about letting women in mosques etc, would that have had the same effect as her radical move? I don’t know what her goal was at all but maybe it was to spark discussion about women in mosques and not have them be imams, but it took something like that to get people talking? Who knows?

A part of me thinks that she might have just added more wood to the fire (echó mas leña al fuego) because this got many Muslims very angry so it was kind of a shooting in the foot.

Do extreme acts make the most difference and spark the most discussion, or do they just aggravate the wound more and make things worse?

hmm. Just thinking and rambling.

By the way check out this great article at by UmmZaid and women and the mosque.

Dr. Jackson Seerah Intensive at NYU- Medina

For the first time Dr. Jackson did the Medinese period of the Seerah. The Medinese part is tomorrow.

I took more than 15 pages of single spaced notes.

Should I make the notes available for download?

I can’t wait until the second part tomorrow. The man is brilliant!

MashaAllah, May Allah preserve him.

U.S. has become haven for war criminals, senator says

U.S has become a haven for war criminals.

This is disturbing.

Read the article here.

Islamofascism- a Dumb Idea

 “Islamo-facism”: A Dumb Idea

By J.D. Porter

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 26, 2007

Like David Horowitz, CC ’59, I believe that we could end most of America’s problems if we simply repeated the word Islamo-fascism enough times, preferably from some sort of stage. We diverge on the exact methodology, however. He believes in victory through categorizing things, whereas I believe that the whole idea of Islamo-fascism deserves nothing but the utmost derision from everyone who ever encounters it. If we mock it enough, I think we might find problems that exist, as opposed to those invented by frenzied reactionaries.

One argument that really gets Horowitz’s goat is that Islamo-fascism is racist, or at the very least anti-Islamic, since it seems to demonize all Muslims. Horowitz and company deny this, arguing that it’s a simplistic understanding of the word. Apparently the “o” injects some kind of subtlety, because otherwise the word literally consists of “Islam” combined with “fascism”. You can see how some people, such as everyone, might be confused.

The conundrum doesn’t stop there, however, since Islamo-fascism seems to be neither fascist nor characteristically Islamic. Ahmadinejad might be a fascist, although he probably doesn’t have enough power, but you can’t call Al Qaeda fascist—terrorism is by definition anarchic, which is kind of like the opposite of fascism. Mussolini didn’t make the trains run on time by allowing lunatic zealots blow up the stations. Other problems in the Islamic world, like genital mutilation in Africa or “honor killings” in South Asia, don’t seem to have much to do with fascism at all, other than being bad things. You might as well call American gun violence fascistic, since, you know, fascists liked to shoot guns and stuff.

Not only that, but anyone paying attention to Iraq has probably noticed that violent Islamic organizations don’t seem to like each other all that much. I know it’s kind of nice to envision America’s enemy as one monolithic force, like the USSR, or Lex Luthor, but the problematic sects of Muslims can’t even get organized in Iraq. These guys can’t resolve an ancient dispute about the caliphate, much less band together to make some kind of evil League of Nations. It’s like Horowitz is secretly hoping to get a job writing for Saturday morning cartoons.

Even if all the Muslims in the world did have a secret plot against America, I’m not sure how using a nonsensical term would help us to thwart it. Let’s say we all agree that the real problem is not some complicated geopolitical hokum, but rather Islam (got it in two syllables, boys). Then what? Does he plan to infiltrate Islamo-fascist club meetings and ask disruptive questions? (Can Allah make a rock so big he can’t lift it?) America has a decent history of fighting fascists, but we kind of suck at fighting Muslims (killing civilians doesn’t count). In fact, everyone sucks at fighting Muslims. Other than some wins for Britain, the West has a losing record in the Middle East at least since the Crusades.

In part, this is because we don’t know what we’re talking about. While making Princeton aware of Islamo-fascism, Horowitz said of Islam, “I don’t think there has been another religion that has made saints out of murderers.” I can think of one: Christianity. It’s an easy answer because, unlike Islam, Christianity actually has saints. Two of my favorites are Saint Louis, who killed Muslims while losing the second Crusade, and Saint George, a Roman soldier who is now the patron saint, literally, of knights, cavalry and butchers. I don’t think anyone expects Horowitz to cite Catholic arcana, but it might be nice if he knew some basic facts about religion, like, “Islam isn’t just Christianity with different words,” or “People in many religions have done bad things”.

Since Islamo-fascism so successfully merges racism, ignorance, and impotence, we may need a new term. I propose that we have a Repubofascism Awareness Week, dedicated to understanding the ways that Republicans are fascists. Unlike Horowitz, I would like to point out that I am explicitly yoking the American Republican Party to fascism. As justification, I would like to cite an explanation of Islamo-fascism written by Christopher Hitchens for Slate, one that Horowitz himself has endorsed.

As Hitchens puts it, fascists endorse violence and hate “the life of the mind,” so they might, say, start wars and oppose the theory of evolution. Both dislike “modernity” and are nostalgic for “lost glories,” like, for instance, the Reagan years. Both obsess over past humiliations and are “thirsty for revenge,” so that they might endlessly reference Sept. 11, 2001 or invade Iraq. Both are paranoid (Hitchens says paranoid of Jews, but I think fear of “Islamo-fascism” is a good parallel). Both practice “leader worship,” which could lead to expanding executive power, and both believe in “the power of one great book,” like the Bible (to be fair, God wrote it). Both are sexually repressive, especially of “deviance,” like the gays with their marriage hoohah. Hitchens says both despise art and literature, too, but I think I would characterize Bush and company as simply indifferent to all that.

That’s just one definition of fascism, of course, but it’s surprising how many definitions you find would apply pretty well to the Bush administration. I’ve also noticed that many problems, such as the drought in the American Southeast, homophobia, and the War in Iraq happen in places where there are a lot of Republicans, indicating an undeniable causal link. What I can’t understand is why the right-wingers refuse to say the word Repubofascism. It can’t be because it sounds stupid, means nothing, and is offensive and pointless. They must be scared of it.

Compared to Islamo-fascism, Repubofascism is both real and logically plausible. Unlike the billion Muslims across the world, the Republicans really are working together, and they really are doing something that at least vaguely resembles fascism. Fortunately, like any problem, we can stop it now. All we have to do is raise awareness.

J.D. Porter is a Columbia College senior majoring in English.
The Lion’s Roar runs alternate Fridays.
Specopinion@columbia.edu.

Here’s a link to the article. Click here.

Breast Cancer Untreated in Saudi Arabia

I was reading this article. It was talking about how things like breast cancer often go untreated in Saudi Arabia, because of the stigma it has in society.

The article says that many women want to avoid being seen by a male doctor,

“One Saudi woman ignored the cancer growing in her breast because she didn’t want to risk a referral to a male doctor. Another was divorced by her husband on the mere suspicion she had the disease, while a third was dragged away from a mammogram machine because the technicians were men.”

Goodness gracious, what is this? I know the press tends to play these things up but still, if they don’t want to go to a male technician that’s fine but are they going to try and find female technicians? I hope so. Besides, I’m no fiqh scholar but I do know that the order of healthcare goes from Muslim female, non-Muslim female, Muslim male, non-Muslim male. (Let me know if that order is wrong.) It doesn’t say if there’s no Muslim female no health care!

However, I think this artcle was trying it’s best to be balanced wa Allahu alim. It told two outstanding stories at the end of it about very supportive Saudi husbands.

Fawzia al-Zewid, a 45-year-old mother of six, said her husband’s support was overwhelming after she was diagnosed with the disease two years ago. When she began losing her hair, he shaved her hair before shaving his. Her two young sons chose to do the same.

“They didn’t want me to have the only bald head in the house. What more support could you ask for?” said al-Zewid.

Last year her husband died of a heart attack.

“When he was alive, I wasn’t afraid of breast cancer,” she said. “Today, without his support, I am.””

Al-Amoudi has urged the kingdom’s clergymen to “enlighten the people and take up the issue of women’s health in their sermons.”

Ialso think that we do need to appeal to the male religious leaders to talk and be outspoken about women’s health and how important it is. These are the people that have an influence on the masses.

Here’s a picture of Laura Bush with 2 Saudi doctors.

saudilaurabush

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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