Campaign to Counter Terrorist Propaganda on Campus Derided as 'Islamophobic'
Students claim Freedom Center's posters “threaten student safety,” call for administrative intervention.
With free speech under attack at campuses across the nation from the University of Missouri to Yale to Wesleyan to Claremont McKenna, it may come as no surprise that a recent effort to educate students about terrorism-promoting propaganda on campus have been derided as hate speech and “Islamophobia.”
The David Horowitz Freedom Center launched a new campus campaign this fall, titled “Stop the Jihad on Campus,” to confront the agents and supporters of Islamic and anti-Israel terrorism on American campuses.
As the campaign’s website, www.StoptheJihadonCampus.org explains, American campuses are the first front in the war of infiltration and propaganda that Islamists are waging against our country to advance the agendas of the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist army, Hamas.
These terrorist adversaries have two main agendas. Firstly, to limit free speech and stifle opposition to the Islamic holy war by stigmatizing critics as “Islamophobes” and by pushing university resolutions to ban open debate about Islamic terror and oppression as “Islamophobia.” And secondly, to destroy the State of Israel and the Jews who live in it.
Two campus groups, the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine are the chief sponsors of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Resolutions designed to destroy the Jewish State. These resolutions have now been passed by 24 universities. The MSA and SJP are also sponsors of “Israeli Apartheid Weeks” and other events designed to demonize and ultimately destroy the Jewish state. These two organizations were created by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and are promoters of Hamas terrorist propaganda - including Hamas maps which fraudulently claim that there was a Palestinian state in 1947 that has been subsequently infiltrated and occupied by Jews. They chant the Hamas slogan “From the River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free” – i.e., Israelis will be cleansed from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, the boundaries of the Jewish homeland.
Students across the nation have participated in Stop the Jihad’s campaign by bringing speakers like Breitbart.com editor Ben Shapiro to campus and distributing Freedom Center pamphlets including “Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future” by David Horowitz and Robert Spencer and “Students for Justice in Palestine: A Hate Group,” authored by Daniel Greenfield.
In an overt move to bring discussion of anti-Israel terrorism and propaganda to the campuses, Stop the Jihad on Campus conducted a guerrilla postering campaign targeting the campuses of George Washington University and American University in Washington, DC and those of UCLA, UC-Irvine and UC-San Diego in Southern California with highly controversial posters linking SJP and the MSA to anti-Israel terrorists.
One poster depicts a bloody knife and a series of photos of children who are training to become anti-Israel terrorists. The caption reads: “Students for ‘Justice’ in Palestine: Supporting a Culture that Teaches Children to Slaughter Jews.”
A second poster pictures terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a targeted U.S. military strike in 2011, identifying him as an “MSA Terrorist” who served as the “Head of al-Qaeda in Yemen” and also as the “President [of the] MSA [at] Colorado State.” Awlaki is not the only former MSA president to go on to leadership positions in al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
A third poster targets the anti-Israel, Hamas-inspired Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, known commonly as BDS. Alongside an image of a bloody knife stabbing a Star of David, it says: “The Real BDS: Boycott, Divest, Stab”
The hashtags #SJPJewHaters and #StoptheJihadonCampus are printed on each poster.
“Our goal in placing these posters on prominent campuses across America is to expose the true motivations of these terrorist proxy-groups and challenge their genocidal propaganda,” explained campaign founder David Horowitz.
At UCLA and American University, students and administrators reacted to the posters with hysterical vitriol.
“Yesterday, posters expressing threatening Islamaphobic sentiments were posted on our campus and others,” declared the American University administration in a posting on the campus’s public Facebook page. We condemn these hateful views, which have no place at AU… We are working to support the Muslim Student Association, the Students for Justice for Palestine, and all who were threatened.”
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter went even farther in their condemnation, claiming that the posters were intended as a threat to student safety and an assault on religious freedom:
As concerned students and members of an organization dedicated to justice for all marginalized and disenfranchised people, we are extremely alarmed by the use of vitriolic, hateful rhetoric deliberately targeting Muslims, Arabs, those who may appear Muslim, and supporters of Palestinian rights. We staunchly oppose all forms of oppression, and we refuse to tolerate unbridled bigotry on a campus that takes pride in inclusivity. The messages espoused within these posters are clearly intended not only to threaten student safety, but also to suppress the organization and advocacy of religious and political groups on our campus.
The campus Hillel chapter, despite its official position of advocacy for the Jewish state, chimed in with a statement of support for SJP:
We have learned that offensive Islamaphobic signs were posted on campus yesterday by individuals unaffiliated with American University. AU Hillel condemns this act and any efforts to demonize any racial or religious group.
Stop the Jihad on Campus issued a statement responding to these false and offensive descriptions of the poster campaign, noting that the posters made no mention of Islam and were therefore not Islamophobic. Nor did they “threaten” anyone or single out any religious or ethnic group for condemnation.
“No racial or religious group was mentioned in the posters that were aimed at campus groups that hold “Israeli Apartheid Weeks” and spread terrorist, Jew-hating propaganda,” declared Stop the Jihad’s statement. “Members of the same groups support terrorist Intifadas like the present stabbings in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the terrorist parties in Gaza and the West Bank who are calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and the extermination of the Jews of the Middle East… Shame on American University for supporting these groups; shame on the Jews of Hillel for stabbing their fellow Jews in the back.”
Stop the Jihad’s statement continued: “The defense of their genocidal agendas by SJP and MSA are typical of the lies which characterize their anti-Israel, Jew-hating campaigns. If they were for justice for all as they claim, they would be raising their voices against the stabbings in Jerusalem and the West Bank, they would be condemning Hamas for seeking the extermination of the Jews in so many words in their charter, and they would be condemning the 70 year war of unprovoked aggression by the Arabs against the Jewish state which is responsible for all the sufferings in Gaza and the West Bank.”
Stop the Jihad on Campus submitted this statement to the American Eagle, American University’s student-run campus paper, requesting that it be printed as an op-ed or a letter to the editor. The American Eagle did not respond.
At UCLA, reaction to Stop the Jihad’s posters was similarly shaped by the Muslim Brotherhood-popularized trope of “Islamophobia.”
The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student paper, quoted UCLA’s SJP outreach director, Ani Der-Grigorian, who characterized the posters as inculcating “Islamophobia” and claimed they made SJP members feel “unsafe.” She called on the UCLA administration to react more strongly in countering the posters.
David Horowitz responded in a letter to the Bruin, again explaining that the charge of “Islamophobia” was inaccurate as Islam wasn’t even mentioned in the posters.
He continued: “SJP and MSA are linked not because their members are all Muslims, since they obviously are not. Moreover, most Muslims do not support Hamas and its terrorist war against the West. So the charge of Islamophobia against anyone who opposes Islamic terrorism is actually a slander against Muslims. SJP and MSA are linked because both organizations were created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the spawner of al-Qaeda and the creator of Hamas, and because their campus political campaigns adhere chapter and verse to the genocidal propaganda campaigns of Hamas.”
Stop the Jihad on Campus also drew major media attention—and once again, condemnation—for releasing a report on the 10 Top American Universities Most Friendly to Terrorists.
In alphabetical order, the ten universities are: Brandeis University; Columbia University; Harvard University; Rutgers University-New Brunswick; San Francisco State University; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Diego; University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; and the University of New Mexico.
KOB-TV, an NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, NM, took a special interest in the University of New Mexico’s inclusion on the list. In a special segment devoted to the topic, the station interviewed members of the campus chapters of MSA and SJP and a local imam about the characterization of the university as “terrorist-friendly.”
All UNM parties denied any connection between campus organizations and anti-Israel terrorism. But they did not attempt to explain the student government’s passage of a resolution last year condemning “Islamophobia”—a term popularized by the Muslim Brotherhood to curtail all criticism of Islam. What’s more, that resolution defined “Islamophobia” as “dislike or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force,” which implies an endorsement of Sharia law.
UNM’s student organizations have also been vociferous advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel—an anti-Semitic campaign inspired by Hamas—and have brought a slew of extremist speakers to campus including BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti and former professor Steven Salaita who was fired by the University of Illinois after he tweeted hateful commentary about Israel and the Jews.
A write-up of the segment appearing on the station’s website tellingly mentions, “SJP’s UNM chairwoman Bayan Jaber says the group is not associated with any political group, but stopped short of specifically mentioning or disassociating the group from Hamas.”
“The University of New Mexico has codes of behavior,” said Horowitz who was also interviewed for the segment. “They would not tolerate this kind of hate against any ethnic group except Jews.”
“The university should not be funding them and should not be providing them support,” Horowitz added.