The far right is taking its favorite catchphrase on tour. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is coming to a campus near you.
According to FrontPage magazine's David Horowitz, the event was designed to "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 global jihad and Islamic supremacism." The week's events will include "awareness" speeches by Michael Ledeen, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter as well as Horowitz himself. With such a fair and balanced list, Islamo-Fascism Week will be the perfect environment to proselytize anti-Islamic propaganda to the under 30 crowd.
According to Horowitz, the official poster of Islamo-Fascism week shows a photo of a teenage girl being stoned to death in Iran (disclosure: my country of birth) and will also feature speeches from Iranians who were victims of persecution. As an Iranian-American, I appreciate that they're spreading the word about human rights abuses in my native country. Unfortunately, I think their goal has less to do with spreading awareness than it does with fostering fear, suspicion and bigotry. Case in point: the poster is not a photo of a teenage girl being stoned to death, but a still taken from the 1994 Dutch indie film De Steen, directed by Mahnaz Tamizi and featuring an actress, Smadar Monsinos. FrontPage describes the posters as follows: "The photo accompanying this article, which shows a teenage girl buried before being stoned to death for alleged sexual offenses, will serve as the poster for the protest week. The stoning took place in Iran." They have since removed the widely circulated photo, but have left the language in place. While there should be no doubt about the barbaric punishments Sharia law imposes on women who have been charged with "immoral" acts, raising awareness about the plight of these women is not Horowitz and company's foremost concern.
Islamo-Fascism Awareness week is about telling you that Islam is evil and that Muslims are out to get you. When in fact, some crazy and violent people have hijacked the religion of billions of peaceful people.
As part of the festivities, the event will feature a series of one-sided films including Islam: What the West Needs to Know, which extols the worldview of good (Christianity) versus evil (Islam). According to FrontPage, the movie is designed to reveal the "violent, expansionary ideology of the so called 'religion of peace' that seeks the destruction or subjugation of other faiths, cultures, and systems of government."
The event will also include a petition drive designed to force "students and faculty to declare their allegiances: either to fighting our terrorist adversaries or failing to take action to stop our enemies." Students will be instructed to urge their classmates to sign and to call attention to those who don't -- reminiscent of the same public pressure to side with "us" or "them" that defined the McCarthy era. The program notably encourages confronting groups "who might be least likely to sign" the petition. Examples include school administrators and the Muslim Students Association.
So much for higher education.