The brave few who stood up and spoke
Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week has ended. It has been a series of events I found particularly intriguing, for the courage shown by David Horowitz and all the other lecturers and campus supporters who honestly and earnestly sought to "raise the consciousness" of academics about the "dark side" of Islam and for the challenges they set before themselves and embraced (proof of their willingness to debate issues and examine facts).
I have also been shocked this week by the responses these people received on campuses across the U.S. where, instead of being heard and debated they were too often met with intimidation, character defamation, and smear tactics and the crushing of dissent. It was amazing and enlightening to see how their opponents usually didn't even try to argue ideas.As David Horowitz said about the hooligans disrupting his lecture at Emory University in Atlanta: "They call this higher learning?"
As the mother of two children rapidly approaching the age when we must consider which colleges to send them to, I follow such events very closely. (Good old Cal Poly seems reasonable!)
Robert Spencer at Jihadwatch has a wrap-up.
From among the materials put out this week, this "letter to a friend" regarding the equating of Christian fundamentalists with Islamic fundamentalists I found to be very compelling. I actually have friends and relatives who say they fear fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims equally. That is so hard to believe, but this letter offers the quiet but eloquent and complete response I wish I could offer, but don't (because I am usually left speechless):
Just one excerpt:
Few of our colleagues seem to understand that Islam is not merely a religion. It is a religious and a political movement, and in these intertwined aspects it does represent a threat to western, modernizing, and liberal values everywhere. Yet on campus (and far too often in the media) we are busily treating the Islamic world as a Third World underdog that has to be defended, excused, and protected from criticism. At least that's the most generous explanation I can think of for so many colleagues’ gross ignorance and lethal politics. Or is it that they don't really believe there's any danger? Do they have so little respect for Muslims today that they assume they could never succeed in imposing their views on the non-Muslim world? If not, why are they so unconcerned about their own future? Have they truly no clue as to what an Islamist regime would mean for everything - every single value, belief, principle, and everyday matter - these academics hold dear? And these are the very academics who constantly assert that all education is political, which gives them a pretext for not even trying to keep their politics out of the classroom. What, then, do you suppose they’re conveying to their students?
I have appreciated Islamo-Facism Awareness Week and I am sure the consequences and effects will be long-lasting and wide-ranging. I am fascinated to see what happens next as the consciousness-raising continues. It would be terrific if just a few more people, including Muslims, feminists, and liberals on campuses across America (and the world) affirmed:
- The right of all women to live in freedom and dignity
- The equality of dignity of women and men
- The right of all people to live free from violence, intimidation, and coercion