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)