Conservative Students Join in Nationwide Demonstration Against Islamic Fascism

David Horowitz’s Freedom Centre

In one of the most extensive demonstrations ever staged by American college conservatives, close to one hundred university and college campuses across the country yesterday held an “Islamo Fascism Awareness Day.” Thousands of students were involved in the event, which was coordinated by the Terrorism Awareness Project, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center whose objective is to counter college students’ lack of awareness about the War on Terror and the disinformation about it propagated by radical faculty and student groups.

A total of 96 colleges and universities, including Pace University, Columbia, Duke, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Purdue, Ohio State, Alabama, Colorado and other prominent schools, together with three high schools and two military bases, marked the event by showing Obsession, a documentary film using materials from Arab TV rarely seen in the West and interviews with authorities on Middle East politics, former jihadists, and experts on terrorism to take the viewer inside the worldview radical Islam and its plans for world domination.

Freedom Center President David Horowitz said that the event represented a clear challenge to faculty and administrators who, in the name of political correctness, have sought to shut down debate about Islamic extremism: “The simultaneous showing of a film exposing the Islamist threat at nearly 100 universities is a tremendous victory for the forces of freedom and for intellectual diversity, which are now under attack.”

Reports from many of the participating schools gave a sense of the success of the event. Ryan McCool, Chairman of the College Republicans at Temple University commented after the showing that “the student who participated left with a better understanding of the evil that exists in the world.” And Harrison Sontag, a student at Dartmouth who coordinated the event there, said, “Everyone was completely blown away by the film. Many had no idea exactly how large and credible a threat our enemy is.”

But on some campuses, students attempting to present this program about the nature of radical Islam complained about being pressured, and in some cases openly harassed, to cancel the eventintimidation, they said, that proved exactly how necessary the Terrorism Awareness Project is. Josiah Lanning, a student at Ohio’s Columbus State Community College, recounted how, when he was filling out the paperwork for the event, the school’s activities center required him to “tone down” his proposed flyer for the showing of Obsession because it referred to Hezbollah and similar groups as terrorist organizations, Lanning was next told to suspend the film until further notice because of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Only after he appealed to the dean of students at the college was Lanning finally permitted to proceed with the showing.

Carl Soderberg, chair of the University of New Haven’s College Republicans chapter, encountered similar resistance: “There were some faculty members who pressured me to postpone the film until they could find someone who could properly frame the issue,'” he says. But he went forward, and the film was shown to some 50 students and faculty. For Soderberg the outcome was worth the difficulty: “The point of the film was to raise awareness about a problem that many have stopped thinking about in the last five and a half years, and the best place to do that is on a college campus.”

Ruth Malhotra, a student at Georgia Tech and a member of the school’s College Republicans chapter, had perhaps the most difficult time. Among the hurdles erected by the school, Malhotra faced interference by opposed faculty and school administrators, boycotts and counter-demonstrations from left-wing student groups — and even death threats designed to prevent the screening. Given day long police protection as she presented Obsession on the Tech campus, Malhotra observed: “It’s important for students to know that violent Islamic extremism does pose a threat to our way of life, and to challenge that threat we have to understand what it is we’re up against.”

Stephen Miller, a senior at Duke University and national coordinator of the Terrorism Awareness Project, summed up the meaning of the historic, day-long experience: “Islamo Fascism Awareness Day is necessary because of the denial and ignorance about terrorism on the part of many students,” says “These factors, combined with the unholy alliance between anti American and pro jihad groups on many campuses has made for a lethal combination. We’re in a fight for survival and many students are on the sidelines.”

April 20, 2007 | Comments Off on Conservative Students Join in Nationwide Demonstration Against Islamic Fascism

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