On August 15, 2008, Daily Kos writer John K Wilson wrote a piece attacking David Horowitz and his planned "Stop the Jihad on Campus" campaign. Wilson's article was entitled: "David Horowitz's jihad against free speech on campus".Below is my response:"I would like to respond to John K Wilson’s article of August 15, 2008 attacking David Horowitz’s "Stop the Jihad" campaign. As one who has been teaching part-time at the University of California at Irvine for the past 10 years, I can tell you that Horowitz is correct when he describes radical Islamic activity on US campuses.
The campus where I teach is arguably the worst in the nation when it comes to radical Muslim activity and anti-Semitic expression.The UCI Muslim Student Union (MSU) on a regular basis, brings in radical speakers who are not only anti-Israel, but anti-Semitic and anti-American to boot. Acknowledging the fact that there is nothing unusual about anti-American and anti-Israel thought on US campuses and it is, indeed, protected by the First Amendment , it is the anti-Semitic nature of these speakers that most concerns me.
This past May, the MSU hosted a "Palestine Holocaust" week. Among the speakers was Mohammed Al-Asi, a Washington-based Imam who, in a past appearance at UCI, referred to Jews as "low-life ghetto-dwellers" and made the following statement: "You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the Jew". As he was spouting his hate-filled rhetoric in May, a group of high school students on a campus tour was right behind him waiting for their bus. They had to listen to this hate speech. Meanwhile, that situation was ignored by a group of deans who more interested in playing hall monitor and keeping Jewish protestors from getting too close to the speakers. (The protest was entirely peaceful.)Also appearing, as he does virtually every quarter, was Oakland-based Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali. This hate-filled figure is an open supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah (as is Al-Asi), who glorifies suicide bombers and others who specialize in bombings against innocent Israeli men, women and children. This is another figure who hates his own country as much as he hates Israel. As he repeatedly called George Bush an idiot, he also referred to a black Army general serving in Africa (name unknown) as an "Uncle Tom".
Free speech? Sure, but is this the kind of speaker the MSU wants to be identified with? What kind of conclusions are the rest of us supposed to draw?In addition, during the week-long hate-fest, the MSU erected a mock wall simulating the wall Israel has built to keep out suicide bombers (with notable success). Along with various other photos and phrases, there appeared a cartoon drawing of Ariel Sharon, drawn in the unmistakable style of Julius Streicher’s Der Stuermer, the notorious anti-Jewish Nazi newspaper of the Third Reich. In the drawing, Sharon was portrayed with all the stereotypical Jewish features, hooked nose, thick lips and a leering gaze. This drawing remained on that wall for an entire week.And who pays for these speakers and displays? MSU at UCI receives university funding-taken from student tuition fees including $6,500 for the "Palestine Holocaust Week".
Indeed, the other half of the problem at UCI is a complacent and/or intimidated university leadership that will not address complaints about the hate speech, which they insist is "free speech". They will not even speak out publicly and condemn the things that are being said against Jews.No one, including myself, has ever suggested that these speakers be dragged off to jail for what they say. At the same time, I object to the fact that Jewish students at UCI have to endure this hatred on an almost quarterly basis. Last May, a Jewish female student who was filming Malik Ali’s evening speech was followed back to her car by half a dozen male Muslim students and surrounded and harassed as she tried to leave. A woman from South Africa witnessed the incident. According to this woman’s account, when the campus police arrived and observed what was happening, they reportedly showed complete indifference. One officer reportedly stated to the woman, "It’s just the Muslims getting back at the Jews." (Though I have no personal knowledge of the incident, I brought it to the attention of the UCI EEO Office and requested they look into it. No one has ever gotten back to me about it. )This is not to suggest that Jewish students have to live in fear at UCI. I would point out that 99% of the students at UCI are not involved in this ugliness. Yet, there is a problem at UCI that I see as twofold. First, there is a radical MSU that is clearly sympathetic to acts of terror against Israel. The other is the leadership at UCI.
Finally, there is this saying that has recently appeared on the campus website of the University of Southern California Muslim Student Association :'Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him....'The above is the hadith (Sacred Teaching) that is one of the most troubling writings in Islam. Fortunately, the USC Provost has just ordered the MSA to remove it.
You can talk about freedom of speech and freedom of religion all you like, but the above statement is clearly an incitement to murder which has no place on a university website.You may disagree with Horowitz’s politics, but in my view, he is performing a valuable public service in bringing attention to hate speech on US campuses. If the MSU groups across the nation want to make the case for Palestinians’ grievances, that is their right. If they want to bring in speakers who insult the US, and the President , that is also their right, just as it is my right to make the necessary conclusions and express my own reactions. When they engage in clear anti-Jewish words and depictions, then they deserve all the criticism they get. Likewise for an administration that tolerates and turns a blind eye to hatred on its campus by a small but vocal minority."
Gary Fouse Adjunct teacher Univ of California-Irvine, Ext http:garyfouse.blogspot.com
I believe this letter was written as a respectful response to Mr Wilson and focused on the issue of anti-Semitic hate speech. It will be interesting to see what kind of response it gets from Daily Kos and their readership.
posted by Gary Fouse