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Oct 7, 2007

Hate Week Comes to Campus 

If you wanted to know what Sen. Joe McCarthy would sound like if he came back from the dead, read David Horowitz's explanation for "Islamofascism Awareness Week," an event he is sponsoring on college campuses across the country from October 22-26:

'The progressive left is the enabler and abettor of the terrorist jihad. It has forged an "unholy alliance" with the most retrograde and reactionary forces in the world today. The institutional base of the left is the university system, from whose classrooms it is conducting a behind-the-lines psychological warfare campaign against its own countrymen.'

Horowitz, who edits the online FrontPage Magazine and runs the creepily named Web sites CampusWatch and DiscoverTheNetwork, is the self-appointed chief of the new thought police on college campuses.

Ironically, Horowitz is a former radical himself--a prominent writer and activist in the movement against the U.S. war in Vietnam. But in the 1970s, he distanced himself from the left, and by 1987, he had "come in from the cold"--hosting a "Second Thoughts" conference that brought together fellow ex-radicals who now embraced Ronald Reagan and the Cold War.

Horowitz's subsequent career "baiting the left"--to use his own phrase--is lucrative. In 2005, the David Horowitz Freedom Center received more than $15.5 million in right-wing grant money, and in 2003, Horowitz's own income for the year was $310,000.

Though he sounds like an irrelevant crank, a look at Horowitz's track record shows no one should ignore his latest stunt. "Islamofascism Awareness Week" is one part of a broader attempt to stifle academic dissent.

In just the past year, the new McCarthyism cost several professors their jobs, including DePaul University's Norman Finkelstein, an outspoken critic of Israel's occupation of Palestine; and Native American scholar Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado. Other academics have been investigated and censured for their political ideas.

Horowitz has been at the center of the assault. In 2003, he launched the misnamed Students for Academic Freedom (SAF), which encourages students to "collect evidence" of their professors' "indoctrination" in the classroom, and file reports with college administrators.

Horowitz claims SAF is "nonpartisan," and college administrators who have collaborated in the witch-hunt echo its innocuous language about protecting scholarship from "shifting to advocacy"--the phrase DePaul University president Dennis Holtschneider used in his decision to deny tenure to Norman Finkelstein.

But Horowitz's blacklist is reserved exclusively for critics of U.S. wars and the right-wing agenda. Whatever their rhetoric, the new witch-hunters want to silence ideas that challenge the status quo from the left.

"ISLAMOFASCISM Awareness Week" is designed, according to FrontPage, to "challenge most of what students are taught about the so-called War on Terror both in the classroom and on the quad."

In reality, Horowitz and friends rely on standard right-wing myths and stereotypes--echoed by mainstream politicians and the media on a regular basis--to demonize Arabs and Muslims, and justify U.S. war atrocities in the Middle East, including a future attack on Iran, which is at the top of the Horowitz wish list.

A featured speaker on Horowitz's right-wing road show is the self-described "religious expert" Robert Spencer, author of the book Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't.

Spencer's book argues that the Koran is responsible for violence committed by Muslims against Western targets--but that "there is no justification for violent acts committed by Christians, either in the Christian Scriptures or the teaching of various Christian churches."

Really? What about the Crusades in the Middle Ages? The Spanish Inquisition? The genocide of Native Americans? The ongoing U.S. war on Iraq? All of these crimes were justified in their time by Christians--the Popes of the Catholic Church, Christopher Columbus, George W. Bush--who claimed to be doing "God's work."

Spencer could stand to re-enroll in Bible study class. For every violent or intolerant passage to be found in the Koran, an equally bloody one can be found in the Old and New Testaments. For instance, the book of Deuteronomy contains the command that anyone who "hath gone and served other gods"-- in other words, practiced another faith--should be "stoned by stones till they die."

Another speaker dredged from the gutter to join Horowitz's tour is Ann Coulter. Coulter is a disgusting bigot who saves her most vile slurs for Muslims--like the comment, "I believe our motto after 9/11 should be: Jihad monkey talks tough; jihad monkey takes the consequences. Sorry, I realize that's offensive. How about 'camel jockey'?"

Horowitz is also employing one of the right wing's favorite smokescreens in attacking Muslims--by claiming to be concerned about the "oppression of women in Islam." FrontPage states that "the plight of Muslim women will be featured at 'teach-in' panels and also at sit-ins in Women's Studies Departments."

This cynical ploy has been used many times in the past as justification for Western imperial powers to invade and occupy the Middle East.


"During the British occupation of Egypt, British Consul General Lord Cromer declared that Egyptians should 'be persuaded or forced into imbibing the true spirit of Western civilization,'" wrote Sharon Smith in her book Women and Socialism. "Cromer targeted, 'first and foremost, Islam's degradation of women.'"

But this supposed champion of women's rights in Egypt was, back in England, a "founding member and sometimes president of the Men's League for Opposing Women's Suffrage." 
In 2001, the U.S. used the horrific treatment of women under the Taliban as an excuse to invade Afghanistan. But the new Afghan regime installed by the U.S. relies on a grouping of warlords from the Northern Alliance, which has a record of terrible violence against Afghan women.

According to a 2007 report by UNIFEM, the women's fund at the United Nations, the majority of Afghan women today will be victims of sexual violence, and the average life expectancy of Afghan women is 44 years.

As for Horowitz, he may pose as a champion of women's rights in the Middle East, but making three stops on his Islamophobia tour is one of the right's favorite anti-abortion fanatics: former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
THE CONCEPT of "Islamofascism" has been conjured up as part of the right wing's effort to sell the U.S. war to control the Middle East as a battle of "values" between a democratic, tolerant and rational West and a totalitarian, intolerant and fanatical political Islam.

But even U.S. foreign policy elites reject the idea that there's any connection between political Islam and any conventional definition of fascism. "There is no sense in which jihadists embrace fascist ideology as it was developed by Mussolini or anyone else who was associated with the term," wrote Daniel Benjamin of the mainstream Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In reality, the claims about "Islamofascism" have more to do with the longstanding practice of the U.S. political and media elite to brand every passing U.S. enemy as the "new Hitler."

Among those who to receive the label are Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic and even Jean-Bertrand Aristide. But of course, the Hitler slur is never used against the U.S.-supported right-wing regimes that did embrace elements of Nazism--for example, the racist apartheid regime in South Africa or the Indonesian military dictatorship under Gen. Suharto.

Another example of this double standard is the hysteria surrounding the recent visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Columbia University. New York tabloids screeched that hosting Ahmadinejad was akin to hosting Hitler, and Columbia President Lee Bolinger introduced him as the "mind of evil." You would never know that it was the U.S. government hinting that it was about to declare war on Iran, and not the other way around.

Meanwhile, on the same day as Ahmadinejad's visit, the president of Turkmenistan--the ruler of a one-party state that tortures political prisoners and prohibits freedom of the press, as even the State Department admits--spoke at Columbia, and neither the media nor Bollinger had any complaints.

The difference, of course, is that Turkmenistan is a U.S. ally.

Horowitz's Islamophobia tour takes place at a time when racism against Muslims and Arabs is rampant and provides one of the only remaining selling points for U.S. wars. Politicians and the corporate media use bigotry to scapegoat Iraqis for the ongoing failure of the U.S. occupation and turn up the military pressure on Iran.

Given the climate, it's little surprise that the Council on American-Islamic Relations has documented a rise in discrimination and hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims in the U.S.

David Horowitz and his fellow Islamophobes should be confronted and exposed for the bigots they are--at every campus they show up on, and everywhere opponents of war and racism raise their voices.

Aaron Hess writes for the Socialist Worker.




Imported from external blog

May 4, 2007
Focus: Civil Rights
Action Request: Petition
Location: United States

We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:

Homeland Security scheming to track every American - Submit comments now!

Target: U.S. Congress
Sponsor: American Civil Liberties Union

Deadline: 5-8-2007

The Department of Homeland Security (DHs) has launched an attack on our privacy rights and personal freedoms.

DHS is aiming to issue a national identity card, known as Real ID, to every American. The national ID card could dictate how you travel, what government buildings you can and cannot enter and whether or not some of your financial transactions would be authorized.

America does not need this costly "big brother" nightmare. Consider the following:

  • The Real ID card will enable the routine tracking of individuals and propel us towards a surveillance society.
  • This scheme opens the floodgates to invade the privacy of ordinary, law-abiding citizens.
  • The creation of a single interlinked database will create one-stop shopping for identity thieves.
  • The Real ID will make it easy for any business to save your personal information and sell it to other companies.
  • People whose religious beliefs forbid them from having their pictures taken or using a social security card will be forced to obey this law to participate in our society.
  • This Act creates huge administrative burdens for each state and will cost Americans over $23 billion through higher taxes and licensing fees. It provides no federal funds for implementation.

The Department of Homeland Security is accepting comments on the Real ID Act through May 8. The number of comments will be watched by many influential Members of Congress, not just your own.

Your personal comments are critical to prevent Real ID from becoming a Real Nightmare! Please add your comments below.

[We have only until May 8th; so please SIGN and submit your comments NOW!]

A proud card-carrying member of the ACLU -- BMutiny T

Visibility: Everyone
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Posted: May 4, 2007 12:32pm
Apr 7, 2007
Defend Rosie & Protect Freedom of Speech in America | April 4, 2007
Paul Joseph Watson

Rosie O'Donnell has been savagely attacked by talking heads on major news networks and others simply for exercising her first amendment right to ask questions about 9/11, questions that are shared by the majority of family members of the victims.

A relentless campaign on behalf of anti-American haters of free speech is underway to force ABC to fire O'Donnell from her position as host of The View . This petition was created to show that a significant and vocal number of Americans recognize and support Rosie O'Donnell's stance in displaying the highest form of patriotism - asking questions of government and demanding the truth about what really happened on 9/11.

Calls for Rosie to be fired, censored, and in one case even executed , came after Rosie simply raised the question of what caused WTC Building 7 to collapse on September 11.

WTC 7 was a 47-story building in the WTC complex that was not hit by a plane yet collapsed in a perfect symmetrical implosion at freefall speed in the late afternoon of September 11.

If the collapse of the building was an accident, why were ground zero personnel, firefighters and police told to vacate the area surrounding Building 7 in advance because the structure was to be brought down?

If the collapse did not involve the use of demolition charges, why did NYPD officer Craig Bartmer report bombs tearing down the building as he ran away from it?

Why did WTC complex leaseholder Larry Silverstein admit on a 2002 PBS documentary that WTC 7 was deliberately pulled?  To "pull" is industry jargon for controlled demolition. Why has NIST changed its explanation for the collapse of Building 7 on several different occasions and why to this day has it still not come to a conclusion ?

How can fire damage have caused the building (which had been structually reinforced) to collapse in freefall when photos taken immediately before it fell show limited fires confined sporadically to just eight floors? Why did news networks like CNN and BBC report the collapse of WTC 7 over 20 minutes before the building actually fell?

Why are news networks like Fox, CNN and MSNBC so eager to throw out ad hominem insults and employ smear tactics against Rosie O'Donnell simply for raising these kind of questions yet universally refuse to debate the cold hard facts surrounding Building 7?

Why are enemies of free speech attempting to have Rosie O'Donnell thrown off the air simply for discussing this issue?

Show your support for Rosie's stance, for the survival of free speech in America and for a full investigation of what really happened on 9/11 by signing this petition. Send a message to those that wish to create a chilling atmosphere of intimidation that their anti-American assault on the bill of rights and the first amendment will be repelled by a substantial and sustained counter-attack.

[VOTE NOW!] ABC NEWS POLL - Rosie's New Feud: Whose Side Are You On?
After you've signed the petition, vote on this poll and keep showing your support for Rosie

Rosie is ahead in the Poll! NEARLY TWO TO ONE!!! Let's make the gap even wider!!! 
Show your disdain for the threats made to her life: PETITION  

After signing, please re-post this on the Internet, and to all of your friends!!! Thank you!

Imported from external blog

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Posted: Apr 7, 2007 12:21pm
Sep 28, 2006

SIGNS OF FASCISM  by Laurence W. Britt, a result of his research of seven fascist regimes.














The Bush mis-Administration has MADE UP OUT OF NOTHING, something it calls "Islamo-Fascism". That is a NOUN WITHOUT A REFERENT; there just AIN'T NO SUCH THING. The reason the Bush spin-meisters did this, is to DEFLECT ATTENTION FROM THE FACT THAT THEY ARE, BY ANY DEFINITION OF THE WORD, THE FASCISTS.

CHECK OUT THE LIST; check 'em off one by one by one!

BMutiny T

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Sep 28, 2006 9:21am


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