Revolution #102, September 23, 2007
Resist “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”
Confront the Horowitz Fascists with Real Facts and Truth
There is an ice sheet spreading across the campuses of America. Well-known professors have lost their jobs due to their political views. Scores, perhaps hundreds, of other professors, less well-known, have been fired, denied tenure, harassed and silenced. Critical thinking is under assault; the universities are being transformed into uncontested centers of indoctrination.
This October 22-26, America’s fascists will attempt to make a further major step in this repressive process. They have declared an “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” They are planning programs and protests at over 100 campuses, supposedly against the oppression of women under Islam and “the threat posed by the Islamic crusade against the West.” In fact, their aim is to rally people behind the U.S. “crusade” against the people of the world and to shut down dissent against this crusade on the campus and, by extension, more broadly throughout society. Coming as it does at the time of continued escalation of the Iraq war and the distinct possibility of war against Iran, the danger of this cannot be underestimated. A particular objective of “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” is to whip up reactionary sentiment and hysteria on campuses, and to provide a rallying point to further organize a fascist student movement – spreading racism, chauvinism, and intellectual conformity to reaction; hounding progressive professors and student organizations; and creating a more repressive climate on campus.
This must be confronted and opposed on every campus where it rears its head. Indeed, all people who care anything about critical thinking and academic freedom and about the issues of war, repression, racism and the oppression of women must rally together, and seek out, confront and put this whole effort on the political defensive. Horowitz’s project has to be opposed and taken as an opportunity to raise awareness of the growing danger of U.S. fascism and the reality of the fascist direction and measures being taken by those in the highest reaches of power.
What Is “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”?
The very term “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” is an attempt to frame discussion and debate in a way that forces people to choose between U.S. imperialism’s bloody crusade on the one hand, or Islamic fundamentalism on the other. Posing these as the only choices traps people in a deadly framework and logic. It ends up strengthening both of these reactionary forces, when neither represents liberation for the people.
Islamic fundamentalism is a reactionary force. Like other brands of religious literalism, it is a program full of oppressive and outmoded content: patriarchy, bigotry, religious warfare and the all-round promotion of superstition and ignorance.
But the U.S. is the far, far more aggressive, and dangerous reactionary force in the world. And those who live inside the U.S. have the particular responsibility to oppose this power. What is needed right now, on campuses and around the country (and the world) is to bring forward a movement, and critical thinking that opposes the crimes of U.S. imperialism, and, in the process, brings forward a whole different alternative—both in the imperialist countries and in the nations oppressed by imperialism.
Horowitz is threatening sit-ins against Women’s Studies departments “to protest their silence about the oppression of women in Islam.” Coming from someone who does not only support, but helps strategize with the Bush regime, this is grotesque, galling and shameless hypocrisy. This regime has taken major steps to ban not just abortion but birth control as well. And the Bush regime, and Horowitz himself, is deeply connected to their own brand of reactionary, theocratic religion: the Christian Fascist movement, which commands women to subordinate themselves to their husbands and to see their main role as breeders of children, and which has committed violence and murder against abortion providers.
Horowitz is threatening to go after “the anti-American curriculum of the tenured left” and to “teach an alternative curriculum that will arm America against the radical Jihad.” In fact, Horowitz has already led attacks on professors like Ward Churchill, known mainly for his work on exposing the U.S. genocide against Native Americans, and Norman Finkelstein, known mainly for his exposure of Israel’s crimes and its hypocritical use of the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews to justify those crimes. He has published a book listing 101 “dangerous professors”—almost all of whom research and teach about the real nature of American society and whose work and views don’t “fit into” the crusade now being carried out by the U.S. government.
He is branding the Muslim Student Associations as “the enemy,” and is aiming to stir up hatred and suppression against these students. He is going after the environmentalists for supposedly raising too much concern over global warming in a way that Horowitz feels detracts from the so-called “war on terror.”
If this goes down unopposed, it will be very bad—it will mark a major new degree of chill on the ice age now descending on the universities. Instead, something different must emerge. This “week” must be confronted and opposed, and out of that must emerge a greatly heightened understanding of, and resistance to, the real fascist danger in this society.
People need to prepare to plunge into the coming controversy, seeking out these fascists and confronting them with the real facts and the truth, and in the process winning over many others. Students must step forward now, on every campus, and organize to politically confront and expose Horowitz’ campus fascists—and to change the tone and tenor on these campuses, unleashing ferment and activism, and organized resistance.
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