One can imagine the furore that would erupt if a Muslim group were to launch a "Judeo-Christian Fascism Awareness Week" on American university campuses and then circulate a petition asking people to sign; those refusing to do so would be accused of supporting ‘Judeo-Christian Fascism’. Something similar took place for a week at nearly 200 American university campuses from October 24 but Muslims, not Jews or Christians, were the targets of this vicious campaign. The brainchild of one David Horowitz (right) and his misleadingly named outfit, Freedom Center, the campaign has been roundly denounced by a wide variety of analysts, observers and commentators promoting hatred and identifying a religion – Islam – with such concepts as fascism.
Horowitz projects himself as the author of numerous books, but they have little to do with freedom or free speech and more to do with targeting those with whom he disagrees. He uses a blog, "FrontPageMagazine.com", to peddle his racist ideas about Islam and Muslims. He is a close ally of America's rightwing ideologues, better known as ‘neo-conservatives', and works closely with them. Dominated by a cabal of zionists, their primary loyalty is to the state of Israel, but they try to peddle their racist cant under the pretext of defending America from an increasing Muslim threat. The term "Islamo-fascism" has been coined by these rightwing ideologues and has recently been used even by US president George Bush in some of his speeches. The intellectually challenged Bush might be forgiven for his ignorance of global issues; he reads (often misreads) whatever his handlers thrust before him: the same applies to few others in the US.
One of the main speakers at Horowitz's "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" programmes was Robert Spencer, a well-known Islamophobe. His virulently anti-Islam website promotes the idea that life for Muslims in the West should be made so difficult that they will leave. Spencer was a keynote speaker at a European gathering that included representatives of racist or neo-Nazi political parties. In July he spoke at a so-called "Counterjihad Brussels 2007" conference in Belgium that was attended by those with links to far-right parties, such as Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang (Belgium) and Ted Ekeroth of Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden). Both parties have been accused of having either a racist platform, or a neo-Nazi past, or links with neo-Nazis and other racists. Vlaams Belang is the successor of the Vlaams Blok party, which was banned in 2004 for being an illegal racist political faction (Vlaams Belang's founders collaborated with the Nazis during the second world war). The International Herald Tribune said about the Swedish rightwing party: "Sverigedemokraterna, or the Sweden Democrats, have been part of this country's political landscape for almost 20 years, but they were considered too close to the Nazi-inspired far-right to contend for large numbers of votes" (July 6, 2007).
Horowitz's anti-Islamic campaign is patterned on another zionist's intimidation tactics, which are conducted under the label "Campus Watch". Launched by Daniel Pipes, its aim is to intimidate professors who are considered pro-Palestinian. In reality such professors are viewed as not sufficiently deferential to the zionist point of view: they teach such "dangerous" notions as that Palestinians are being made the victims of zionist crimes. When Pipes first launched his campaign, he thought professors would be afraid of being called pro-Palestinian. Within a few days more than 400 professors at American universities had sent in their names, demanding that they be put on the Campus Watch list as sympathisers of the Palestinians. Both Pipes and the notorious Ann Coulter, a Christian fundamentalist who has called Muslims "rag heads", also spoke at the week-long anti-Muslim fest. Pipes has said that the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war was right, and supports the views of French racist Jean-Marie Le Pen. Pipes has further asserted that Muslims are unclean and do not maintain "Germanic standards of hygiene." It is interesting to hear this from the likes of Pipes, who are not in the habit of washing their hands even after going to the toilet.
Horowitz's anti-Islam campaign, however, has not gone unchallenged. Arthur Waskow, a well-known American rabbi, has questioned the motives behind the so-called Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. He drew parallels with the support leading Lutheran theologians of Germany extended to Nazism and asked whether all Lutherans could be described as Nazi sympathisers, as Horowitz is trying to do by condemning all Muslims and Islam. One could go further; the Dutch Reform Church was the principal backer of apartheid in South Africa. Nobody, however, would denounce every member of that Church as a supporter of racism. Horowitz has been denounced by others as well, notably the Progressive Jewish Alliance. Shira Gordon, Alana Krivo-Kaufman, Josh Schwartz and Shlomo Bolts have written in the Columbia Spectator: "We, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, repudiate the mission of David Horowitz's ‘Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.' We reject the manner in which he manipulates Jewish grief over the Holocaust and the situation in Israel. As Jews and members of a larger campus coalition community, we speak out as allies of our fellow Muslim students." (October 22, 2007). They continued: "Horowitz seeks to replace intellectual discussion with panic. Such malevolent tactics are of no service to the Jewish people; rather, they are an attempt to induce Jews into sacrificing their values for a worldview of oversimplified fear."
Such support has been welcomed by the beleaguered US Muslim community, especially on university campuses, where the zionistshave conducted a virulent anti-Muslim campaign. But Muslims have to do a great deal more to confront such racism, which has escalated alarmingly since September 2001, and have to do it themselves, not rely on others to do it for them.