As Muslim students and their supporters protested outside, commentator Ann Coulter told a USC audience Wednesday night that Americans should get tough on terrorists and "stop genuflecting before Islam."
Coulter's speech to a supportive audience of about 230 in Annenberg Auditorium was part of a nationwide series of events on college campuses that has been dubbed "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" by its organizer, Los Angeles author and activist David Horowitz. Another 100 or so watched on screens in the auditorium lobby, not far from about 150 protesters from Muslim, Jewish and Christian student and community groups.
Coulter, who spent as much of her hour-long appearance bashing Democrats as discussing Islam, was greeted in the hall with laughter, cheers and several standing ovations.
"The fact of Islamo-Fascism is indisputable," she said. "I find it tedious to detail the savagery of the enemy . . . I want to kill them. Why don't Democrats?"
Many audience members hooted in appreciation.
The activities on dozens of colleges and universities this week have included speeches, films and presentations. The speakers have included Coulter, Horowitz and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R- Pa.). "This is a greater threat than the Nazis or the communists because these people have modern technologies," said Horowitz, a leftist-turned-neoconservative. "They want to exterminate Jews and impose religious law on everyone through the state."
Horowitz said in a telephone interview this week that he did not intend to brand all Muslims as Islamo-Fascists, saying he differentiated between those he considered moderate and radical Muslims.
But the campus events -- and the name Islamo-Fascism -- have sparked outrage and concern from Muslim groups and supporters across the country, who say the events essentially demonize an entire community. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wrote to schools where the events are scheduled, saying the speakers will be spreading a message of hate.
"Horowitz says this is not an attack on Islam," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "But we say specifically that it is an attack on Islam, on the Muslim community and particularly on Muslim students who attend the schools where these events are being held." (READ MORE)