Anti-Muslim Posters Planted on Campus Stir Uproar
July 7, 2008 - 8:06 PM
(CNSNews.com) - Fliers posted across George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on Monday with a message of hatred toward Muslims was "a classic left-wing tactic" to malign the conservatives sponsoring "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" on the campus later this month, a national organizer of the event said Tuesday.
Printed across the top of each poster were the words "HATE MUSLIMS? SO DO WE!!!" The flier also had a picture of an Arab with such "typical Muslim" features as "lasers from eyes," "venom from mouth," a "suicide vest," a "hidden AK-47" and a "peg-leg for smuggling children and heroin."
"To find out more, come to ISLAMO-FASCIST AWARENESS WEEK," the poster stated before listing incorrect dates for the event.
The bottom of the flier indicated that it was "brought to you by Students for Conservativo-Fascism Awareness" and recommended students view "The Power of Nightmares," a BBC documentary that claims the threat of radical Islam is not as serious as neoconservatives say.
George Washington University (GWU) police officers quickly took down the posters, and university administrators began investigating who put them up earlier in the day.
"There is no place for expressions of hatred on our campus," said GWU President Steven Knapp in a statement released Monday night. "We do not condone, and we will not tolerate the dissemination of fliers or other documents that vilify any religious, ethnic or racial group."
In fact, students of different faiths will gather later in the week for "the meal celebrated by Muslims to break fast during Ramadan, considered the holiest month of the Islamic year," Knapp added. "This event speaks to our university's commitment to global cultural understanding and respect."
Sergio Gor, a senior from Los Angeles and the president of GWU's chapter of the conservative Young America's Foundation, told the GW Hatchet -- the student newspaper on campus -- that his group was not responsible for the posters.
"Someone took our name and used it," he said. "It was hateful."
Gor also stressed that the incident will not prevent his group from hosting Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on campus the week of Oct. 22-26, when author David Horowitz will speak, the TV mini-series "The Path to 9/11" will be shown, and a panel of people who have fled Iran will discuss their escape from the brutal regime there.
More than 140 other college campuses will host the week-long event, which was conceived by the Terrorism Awareness Project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Los Angeles 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 the terrorist threat."
"Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point this out," the Project's Web site states. "But nothing could be more important for American students to hear."
Horowitz, who told Cybercast News Service on Tuesday that he will "definitely" speak at GWU during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, called the flier incident "a classic left-wing tactic."
"The left wants to obliterate anybody who disagrees with it, and if you do, you will be called a racist, a sexist, a homophobe or an Islamophobe, so their campaign against our events has been to try and tar us as anti-Muslim," the conservative writer and activist said.
"Our event is actually a defense of Muslims," Horowitz stated. "The Islamofascists have killed 200,000 moderate Muslims in Algeria - they're killing, slaughtering moderate Muslims in the Sudan and Afghanistan," so left-wing opponents "cooked up this lame ad."
"These people are so full of hate for us that they couldn't decide what they were doing," he said. "The typical Muslim, according to this flier, has a peg-leg for hiding children and heroin. Now, that's satire. But this is supposed to appear authentic. You can't do both at the same time."
However, Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), told Cybercast News Service that the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week "is a campaign of anti-Muslim smears to promote Islamophobia and hostility toward the faith of Islam and Muslims."
"Every person involved in this is well known as being in the 'Who's Who' of Muslim-bashers and Islamophobes," he said, while "the Muslim Student Association of the USA and Canada has a 'Peace, Not Prejudice' campaign going on at the same time."
"On the one hand, you've got Muslims promoting peace and mutual understanding, and then you've got these people promoting division, mistrust and hostility," Hooper added.
Nevertheless, Jason Mattera, national spokesman for the Young America's Foundation, defended the event as necessary in a post-9/11 world and criticized the poster incident as "very, very mean-spirited."
"University officials say, 'we're outraged there can be such intolerance and hate-filled speech,' but it's the left that created the hate language because no hatred exists" toward Muslims by conservatives, Mattera told Cybercast News Service.
"So who's really creating an environment of hate?" he added.
While the university's investigation is still underway, Student Association Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger told the GW Hatchet that administrators should take serious action against any students involved with creating or hanging the posters.
"I would support expulsion," Kroeger said. "These acts are completely heinous."
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