Starting today, a coalition of conservative organizations will be holding “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” at college campuses across the country. Organized by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the event will include demonstrations, petitions, distribution of political materials and speeches by figures such as Horowitz, Ann Coulter and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who will all confront “the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat.” Islamo-Fascism Week’s protests are directed against the “academic left,” who, the organizers claim, serve as apologists for radical Islamist terrorism and work to undermine the U.S. government’s efforts against it.
And herein lies our problem with Islamo-Fascism Week: It’s less about educating students about radical Islamist terrorism than it is about bashing liberals. Groups like al-Qaida do murder innocent civilians in order to intimidate populations into surrendering to their despotic rule. They wish to force women to become subservient, second-class citizens; to execute gays, non-Muslims and anyone who doesn’t abide by their cultural rules;. But, instead of focusing on this genuine threat, Islamo-Fascism Week’s organizers would rather invent one – namely left-leaning professors. “Never mind those with the bombs,” they seem to think. “It’s academics who criticize U.S. foreign policy and society, who are reticent about military force, who keep repeating that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims aren’t terrorists and that Westerners need to better understand their cultures, and who fret about global warming who are the real enemy.” This is a load of rubbish.
If the event’s organizers really want to combat “Islamo-Fascism,” they need to have actual scholars (not conservative pundits) teach about how terrorist groups work, familiarize students with the political and cultural context that gave rise to these groups, sponsor debates on how to counter them and otherwise do things that are actually educational. (MORE)