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U. Virginia Students Contest Conservative Speakers Ideas

This story was written by Stephanie Kassab, Cavalier Daily

As conservative commentator David Horowitz prepared to speak on Grounds yesterday, students from the Minority Rights Coalition and the Middle Eastern Leadership Council, among others, organized themselves in silent protest against Horowitzs ideas.

Horowitz spoke yesterday about Islamofascism. While Horowitz said there are good Muslims and bad Muslims just as there are good Christians and bad Christians, he spoke out against Palestinian culture.

The Arab states are racist, Horowitz said, citing a situation where Arab terrorists opened fire in a library in Jerusalem killing nine students. According to Horowitzs figures, 85 percent of Palestinians in a poll conducted by Palestinians approved the action.

This is a very sick culture, he said. Hamas is not interested in the Palestinian state. They are interested in a world Islamic state.

MELC President Manal Tellawi noted that his group disagrees with many of Horowitzs views.

They not only offend Muslims... the MRC as a whole has been offended, Tellawi said. The claims he makes are not factual ... like the association [between Muslim students associations and the Muslim Brotherhood].

University Muslim Students Association President Alla Hassan said the MSA has not participated in any political activities this year but rather strives to provide a positive educational and social environment for students on Grounds.

Students standing behind a table with a sign that read, We support freedom of speech but we denounce hate and intolerance handed out a fact sheet that outlined the differences between free speech and hate speech.

We want people to know what Islam is, MRC Co-Chair Carlos Oronce said before Horowitzs speech. There are certain limits to free speech. A lot of what he is saying is definitely a false perception of what Islam is.

Horowitz stressed that he believes Islamofascists cannot be deterred and are unable to tolerate anyone who is not an Arab nor a Muslim.

Unfortunately, these Islamofascists want to die, Horowitz said. Death in the service of Allah is our highest aspiration.

Following his speech, Horowitz responded to audience members questions. One University student asked how Horowitz could call himself a fair speaker after making generalizations that all Arab governments are misogynistic. Horowitz replied that a woman who lives in a Muslim state and is raped needs four male witnesses at her trial to testify that she was raped.

Women are second class citizens in Islam, Horowitz said. They can kill you, You dont call that misogynistic? I do ... thats why I made the generalization.

Graduate Arts & Sciences student Arsalan Khan asked what motivates Muslims to interpret the Koran and religion in the way Horowitz said they were interpreted.

He doesnt have an answer, Khan said. Theres a fundamental hole in his argument.

The Burke Society sponsored Horowitz as a speaker for its Islamofascism Awareness Week. Society member Keenan Davis, a second-year College student, introduced Horowitz, noting the society does not endorse everything invited speakers say and adding that the event was not intended to attack any religion.

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