David Horowitz, a conservative pundit, attempted to reach out to student groups such as College Republicans and Hillel on more than 100 campuses around the nation in order to dedicate a week to spreading “awareness” of the made up term “Islamofascism.”
He was successful in reaching out to Cal State Fullerton students. The College Republicans did Horowitz’ bid.
If you ask the College Republicans’ leadership and the school administration, they will deny that this event was part of the hate-campaign against Islam. The official title of the event “Islam and Democracy: Companions or Competitors?” was a misleading one.
However, panelist Shawn Steel began his presentation observing “the last day of Islamo-fascism week.”
Shawn Steel is the former California Republican Party chairman who’s known for his bigoted views against Arabs and Muslims. Steel was the man who propagated that Belal Dalati, former candidate for Anaheim City Council, was a “Manchurian candidate” and questioned whether "his primary concern to fix the potholes and improve the city, or does he really have an agenda here to support extremist organizations and cloak them with respectability?"
Steel incorrectly claimed that Dalati was an extremist because of his association with the Council on American Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, his participation in a pro-Lebanon rally after the country was brutally attacked by Israel during the summer of 2006, and for a small campaign contribution he made to the anti-war Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. After the incident, Dalati re-registered as a Democrat.
During his presentation, Steel praised Steve Emerson, America’s leading Islamophobe and self-proclaimed terrorism-expert, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch Parliamentarian who blames Islam for every societal ill, and Daniel Pipes, an anti-Arab propagandist and supporter of the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II who on November 19, 1990 stated in the National Review, “Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene...All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.”
The other panelist was Wafa Sultan, an angry Syrian-American and former Muslim supported and promoted by radical Zionist organizations. Sultan repeated anti-Muslim slogans throughout her presentation and during the Q&A’s. “We should eliminate Islam,” she declared.
In order to give credibility to the event, the College Republicans initially booked Dr. William Haddad, the chair of the History department and faculty advisor to the Middle Eastern Student Society (MESS), to take part in this event. However, after Haddad realized that sponsors included the radical anti-Palestinian group, StandWithUS, it was obvious that this was part of the Islamophobic “Islamofascism awareness” week. Haddad later refused to participate.
“The event wasn’t meant to be an honest discussion and exchange of ideas. Instead, it was advancing an extremist agenda and spreading hatred,” said English-major and former MESS president Noor Higly. In fact, questions were screened and specifically chosen by the coordinators of the event. Higley was unhappy with the event. “I submitted four questions. All of them were ignored,” she said.
Friday the 26th of October was the last day of an entire week dedicated to bash Islam on various college campuses around the nation.
The College Republicans had the option of joining Arab and Muslim students to host credible scholars in order to have an honest discussion about Democracy in the Muslim world. Instead they chose to join David Horowitz in his hatred of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.
In response to the College Republicans, the California College Democrats rejected this Islamophobic campaign in a Press Release. “The College Republicans seem so proud of their political incorrectness and of this week's publicity stunt to spread hateful ideas. Our country has already been through struggles for racial integration. We are supposed to be living in a free, enlightened society. It is ludicrous that college students would be the proponents of an awareness week like this,” said Nick Warshaw, President of the California College Democrats.
The harm with the term "Islamofascism" is associating fascist ideals with Islam. In fact, the term “Islamofascism” has been repeatedly used by many presidential candidates, especially Republicans. The only Republican who refused to use the term was Ron Paul. "It's a false term to make people think we're fighting Hitler…It's war propaganda designed to generate fear so that the war has to be spread," said Paul on the term Islamofascism.
Phyllis Bennis, a Middle East analyst, deconstructed the so-called “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” in Foreign Policy In Focus stating that it “seeks particularly to mobilize Christian Zionists… as well as Jewish Zionists--those ordinarily liberal, but pro-Israeli communities who can easily be pulled into at least acquiescence, if not full support, for future U.S. war in Iran.”
Unfortunately, like Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction, when you constantly repeat a lie, it could become the truth in the people’s minds.