Middle East studies in the News
Sometimes You Have to Shout to Be Heard [ref. Middle East studies]
by David Warren
This is "Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week" in the U.S. To Canadian eyes that will sound a little confrontational - we've always been better at walking the walk, than talking the talk. But let me assure my reader, that even if our media are not much reporting it, the thing is happening.
On more than 100 university campuses across the United States, from Berkeley to George Washington in the U.S. capital, speakers are directly confronting crowds of very loud and angry campus leftists and Islamists, to make politically incorrect points about radical Islam, backed by a range of panel discussions, book stalls, and supporting exhibits.
The organizers - all the usual suspects from a left or Islamist point of view - are doing these things on the argument that students in American universities need to know about, and need to be able to discuss openly, matters that cannot be raised in women's studies programs, or in Saudi-subsidized Middle Eastern studies departments. Ditto, the public at large.
According to the organizers: "By the end of the week millions of people will have heard our message that we will no longer turn a blind eye to the violence directed against women, gays, and 'infidels' in Islamo-Fascist regimes. This homicidal intolerance, and the conspiracy of silence that protects it on America's campuses, will no longer be accepted."
Attempts to disrupt the events have thus far largely played into the organizers' hands. For they are trying to get attention, and disruptions help. And since the protesters from various campus radical cells do a good job of illustrating the very points the organizers are making - trying to silence people by intimidation - people can see the main point in action.
But how do they get anyone to listen? An account by Peter Collier of one of the events, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where David Horowitz was speaking specifically on the fate of women under radical Islam, gives some idea. Before he had even started, the noise and hostility was rising to cancellation levels.
But on a large screen he flashed up a photograph of a woman in burka on her knees being shot in the back of the head. Into the sudden stunned silence, Mr. Horowitz began: "Everyone in this photograph is a Muslim. There is a helpless victim. There are the perpetrators of murder. This photograph is why we're here tonight."
"I left the Middle East because there was no freedom of speech and now I am here and there is fascism," Nonie Darwish shouted at the demonstrators trying to drown her out at Berkeley on Monday. Protected by a bodyguard, and with the help of campus police, who removed (but did not arrest) the most aggressive hecklers, she was nevertheless able to continue, against the background noise of the campus fascisti beating on the doors and walls outside the lecture hall.
Mrs. Darwish is the daughter of a famous Egyptian general, Mustafa Hafez, who was in charge of conducting terror raids into Israel from Gaza in the early 1950s. He was doing then, under the Nasser regime, what Hamas is doing today. His "total score" was 400 Jews killed, before he himself became the victim of Israel's first targeted assassination. At his state funeral, Gamal Abdul Nasser himself asked little Nonie and her siblings, "Which one of you will avenge your father's death by killing Jews?"
She is thus an unlikely founder of the organization, "Arabs for Israel." The story of her progress from her father's daughter in Gaza, through education in Cairo and emigration to the States, is an interesting one that can be linked through Google. Since 9/11, she has been a major Arab voice - carried sometimes even on al-Jazeera - condemning not only Islamic extremism but the silence of Muslim non-extremists.
And her "core message" coincides precisely with that of the organizers of Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week. It is not a protest against international terrorism, for events which make a staple of our media coverage speak for themselves. The focus is rather on the way in which jihadist organizations are gaining power, and becoming the uncontested spokesmen for Muslim communities, not only across the Islamic world, but within the West. And on the success they have had, over many decades, in poisoning Arab and other Muslim societies with dogmatic hatred towards Jews, Christians, Hindus, and others both abroad and in their midst.
To this we can add their success, more recently, in getting the old radical, secular left -- in both the Muslim world and in the West -- to make common cause with them on all the old Marxist fronts: anti-bourgeois, anti-American, anti-Christian, and so forth.
As I hinted above, the instinctive Canadian response to something like an Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week is to condemn anyone who is "confrontational." But in the service of truth, a little confrontation is sometimes necessary.
David Warren writes Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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