Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Double Standard on Hate

By Daniel Greenfield

Every year college campuses across the country hold a festival of hatred aimed at Jews and the Jewish State. Israeli Apartheid Week has become notorious for the targeted harassment of Jewish students, support for Hamas and even physical violence.

This year the David Horowitz Freedom Center has responded to Israeli Apartheid Week with Islamic Apartheid Week. Unlike Israeli Apartheid Week, which is based on a lie, Islamic Apartheid Week addresses the sexism, homophobia and religious bigotry threatening minorities in the Muslim world. To promote Islamic Apartheid Week, the Freedom Center attempted to place an ad in forty college papers.

The ad called "Faces of Islamic Apartheid" drew attention to the victims of Islamic sexism, homophobia and theocracy by briefly telling the stories of gay men hanged in Iran, women and girls murdered by their governments and their families for the crime of falling in love and the Christian Minister for Minorities Affairs in Pakistan's cabinet who was murdered for trying to reform his country's theocratic blasphemy laws.

These four women, three men and one little girl were the victims of Islamic Apartheid. Five of them have been murdered. Their memory lives on only when they are remembered. One has been on death row for six years. Telling her story may help save her life. The remaining two live under threat of death.

Instead of listening to their stories, the campus culture of political correctness drowned out their voices and apologized for even allowing their stories to be told.

Nine college papers turned the ad down, five of them in the University of California system which has been criticized for tolerating anti-Semitism. When the California State Assembly passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on campus and warned that no public resources should be used for anti-Semitic hate, the University of California objected on free speech grounds. However free speech for Israeli Apartheid Week did not translate into free speech for Islamic Apartheid Week.

Seven college papers took the advertisement. Of those papers, Tufts University's Tufts Daily and Austin's Daily Texan both ran apologies from their editors for even printing the ad.

Tufts Daily editor Martha Shanahan called the decision to run the ad an "editorial oversight." Daily Texan editor Susannah Jacob denounced the attempt to tell the stories of victimized women and children as "hateful" and "an unspoken incitement to violence."

Martha Shanahan spent two pages apologizing for the existence of the "Islamophobic and violently offensive" advertisement, the existence of Tufts Daily, its staff and her own existence. At no point during her long series of apologies, did Martha acknowledge that her paper had run four editorials in a single week from Students for Justice in Palestine attacking Israel and promoting hatred for the Jewish State. And in an unequal response to this, it also ran a brief letter from Tufts Friends of Israel distancing itself from the ad and politely suggesting that apartheid shouldn't be used to refer to Israel.

Anthony Monaco, the President of Tufts University, took to Twitter to denounce the advertisement for vilifying Islam, but made no such denunciation of the Tufts Daily's op-ed, "The Case for Israeli Apartheid" which (not coincidentally) appeared on the same day as the ad. At Tufts, no one apologizes for accusing democratic Israel of apartheid. There are only apologies when theocratic Iran and Pakistan are accused of practicing Islamic Apartheid.

When anti-Israel voices are outweighed 4-to-1 and the editor apologizes for publishing another perspective that would have made it 4-to-2 then the freedom of debate at Tufts University is in a very sad state. When that same editor prints editorials describing Israel as an apartheid state, but promises to put in place an entire system of oversight to make certain that no advertisement challenging Islamic Apartheid is ever printed again, then a system of censorship has been put into place silencing the voices of victims and encouraging their persecutors.

The Daily Texan's Susannah Jacob claimed that the crosshairs over the faces of the victims were an incitement to violence when they were actually a way of bringing urgency to the violence that had been committed against them. And making it clear that she never even saw the advertisement that she was denouncing, Susannah described the ad as depicting six women, when it included two gay men, one Christian man and one little girl.

Susannah further distorted the truth about Islamic Apartheid when she described the pervasive sexism, homophobia and theocracy that these people fell victim to as "discrete incidents of violence by Muslims" being used "to implicate all Muslims" while ignoring the fact that five of the victims in the ad had been targeted by their governments or with government backing.

Can the Daily Texan's editor honestly claim that Iran's persecution of women and gay men or Pakistan's persecution of Christians are "discrete incidents of violence", rather than state policy? Could she find a single human rights organization that would agree with such a dishonest whitewashing of the terror under which millions live?

The responses to the advertisement have established once again that some forms of apartheid are privileged on campus and that some forms of persecution cannot be talked about. Demonizing the Israeli victims of Islamic terror is within the realm of campus free speech, but speaking about the vulnerable minorities in the Muslim world is not.

If the advertisement was wrong, then there would have been no need to censor it. False claims can easily be disproven. Five minutes with Google would have told every reader and editor whether there was any truth to the Faces of Islamic Apartheid.

It is never necessary to censor lies. It is only necessary to censor truth.

That is why the majority of campus papers – ten so far, including Harvard whose editors said they would not print it under any circumstances -- refused to run this paid advertisement. It is why those few who did have begun making ritual apologies while lying about its contents. It is why the attacks on the advertisement have taken refuge in vague platitudes about offensiveness, without a single attempt at a factual rebuttal. It is why every response to the advertisement has consisted of claiming that speaking about Islamic bigotry is the real bigotry.

There were eight faces and eight names in the censored advertisement that the President of Tufts, the editors of Tufts Daily, the Daily Texan and the editors of ten college papers that turned down the ad, did not want their students to see or know about because it might disturb the manufactured campus consensus that they have constructed with great effort around Israel and Islamic terrorism.

These are the names. Amina Said. Sarah Said. Afshan Azad. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Shahbas Bhatti. Rimsha Masih. Mahmoud Asgari. Ayaz Marhoni.

They were repressed as individuals. Now their story is being repressed on the American campus.

Via email

Royal Navy girl who fought in Afghanistan told to cover up uniform on Virgin flight in case it offended other passengers

For 15 years she has proudly served her country as a Royal Navy engineer, risking her life in Afghanistan when she fought against the Taliban.

But far from showing Nicky Howse the respect she deserved as she flew back to her latest posting, Virgin Atlantic staff chose to humiliate her – by demanding that she remove her uniform because it was ‘offensive’.

They warned the 32-year-old helicopter technician she would not be allowed to fly unless she took off her combat fatigues and wore a sleep suit instead.

Petty Officer Howse is on a three-month deployment with a helicopter unit in the US, but had been home on compassionate leave to attend her grandfather’s funeral. She had worn her uniform without any problems on a Virgin flight from America to Britain the week before.

The incident happened as she waited for her return flight to Los Angeles from Heathrow on Monday.

She was confronted by a G4S security guard and Virgin Atlantic staff, who ordered her to change into pyjamas before boarding the jet.

They told her – wrongly – that it was the company’s policy not to allow military personnel to travel in uniform.

In emails sent to a civilian friend, Petty Officer Howse, from Ipswich, Suffolk, said: ‘It was horrific. I was made to feel uncomfortable in my own country for wearing the uniform I wear to defend the place. It made me ashamed of my country that a British serviceman can’t travel in uniform. I was so distressed.’

She told her friend: ‘It started at check-in. Some G4S security guy gave me the third degree about travelling in uniform. I was fuming. He was rude, he wouldn’t let the check-in girl give me my passport.

‘I was shaking with rage. I thought it was all done. But when I got to the departure gate I was taken to the side by the flight supervisor and they said I wasn’t allowed to fly in uniform and had to wear a sleep suit. I then stood feeling completely humiliated with other passengers, clearly curious as to what was going on, staring at me, waiting for him to come back with the black pyjamas.

‘I asked if it was Virgin policy, they said “Yes”. I refused to wear it until after I was on board then still refused but basically got told I’d be asked to leave the flight if I didn’t take it off or cover it up.’

She told her friend: ‘I was basically told it was because “We don’t only fly British passengers” and told it was seen as a threat. I went ballistic. I said “In the country I defend I can’t wear my uniform?”

‘They then said it was for my own safety to stop abuse to which I replied I can deal with that myself if it arises as I did in Afghanistan.

‘Honestly, I was gobsmacked and horrified. I was so distressed, particularly since the whole reason I was travelling was for a funeral.

‘To clarify, a British airline who claims to be Britain’s flag carrier won’t allow a member of Britain’s armed forces to travel on their airline in uniform.’ Armed Forces rules state that a serviceman or woman can wear their uniforms voluntarily from their ‘residence to place of duty, irrespective of whether they travel by public or private transport, or on foot.’

Colonel Richard Kemp, who led British forces in Afghanistan, said: ‘This is an insult to the Royal Navy and to the British armed forces who the Queen’s uniform represents.

‘This naval engineer has volunteered to serve and to fight for her country. How dare Virgin Atlantic and G4S treat her like dirt?’

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a former infantry officer, said: ‘Our soldiers, sailors and airmen risk their lives so that firms like Virgin Atlantic can operate and make money.

‘It is nothing short of disgraceful that they don’t receive the proper respect due to their uniform.’

A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said it did not have a policy against passengers travelling in uniform.  He added: ‘This was a completely isolated case in which our staff were incorrectly advised by a security agent … We have made contact with the passenger in question to express our deep regret for any upset caused.’

G4S declined to comment, claiming it had not received a complaint.


British Liberals  are a bunch of 'nutters and cockroaches', says the party's OWN president

The Liberal Democrats are a 'bunch of nutters and cockroaches', the party's president Tim Farron has claimed in an astonishingly frank interview about their future prospects.

Mr Farron admitted the Lib Dems are in a 'critical state' but he was trying to 'breed and train a bunch of nutters' willing to work tirelessly to defy the opinion polls and win elections.

Despite being rocked by sex and court scandals, he claimed the party had the resilience and ability to survive of 'cockroaches' but warned: 'One day someone will stand on us if we are not careful.

As the Lib Dems prepare for their spring conference in Brighton, starting tonight, Mr Farron warned the party faithful that they cannot take their future survival for granted.

It comes as a new poll shows fewer than a third of Liberal Democrat voters at the last election plan to back the party again, a major poll reveals today.

A survey commissioned by former Tory deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft suggests there is little room for complacency for Nick Clegg despite the by-election victory in Eastleigh last week.

Mr Farron told parliamentary journal The House: 'We are a bit like cockroaches after a nuclear war, just a bit less smelly, we are made of sterner stuff.

'The party is in a critical state. We may well be cockroach-ish, but we shouldn't take that for granted. One day someone will stand on us if we are not careful. We shouldn't assume our survival is guaranteed.'

He said the party could not depend on safe seats, so anyone who chose to stand for election needed to be a 'nutter.

'Essentially we are trying to breed and train a bunch of nutters, absolutely dedicated and who have the skill set and understanding that what it takes is not just doing a good hustings, it’s not just about being able to do a nice TV interview, it’s actually about having the immense fighting spirit.'

In recent weeks the party has been rocked by groping allegations  - strongly denied by Lord Rennard - that women activists were sexually harassed by the former chief exeuctive.

Mr Farron - who previously appeared to make life difficult for the Deputy Prime Minister by suggesting the party had 'screwed up' - said the Lib Dems 'certainly appear to have let people down' but insisted it was crucial that they did not now go into 'institutional self-defence mode'.

He added: 'I think 99 per cent of the people out there just don't care, it's not been raised. I've done a lot of door knocking both in Eastleigh and in my patch this last week. It was mentioned to me once, and that was in sympathy.'

However, the Lord Ashcroft poll reveals the Lib Dems have a real fight for survival.

While many left-leaning former Lib Dem voters want the party to be more vocal in opposing the Tories, such a move would put off more moderate, Conservative-leaning voters who might otherwise stay with the party or even switch to it.

Lord Ashcroft’s research, based on a poll of more than 20,000 voters, finds that only 29 per cent of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 say they would do so again tomorrow – just 5 per cent of the electorate.

The other 71 per cent say they would vote for another party, or don’t know.

However, nearly a quarter of those who say they would vote Lib Dem in an election tomorrow did not vote for the party in 2010 – indicating the party has picked up significant support since entering government.

The party's reputation for scandal has also been bolstered by both the Rennard scandal and the resignation of Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, who now faces jail after admitting perverting the course of justice over his wife Vicky Pryce taking his speeding points.

Today Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Lib Dem leader said: 'Obviously we’d have much preferred that neither of these things should have arisen.'  But he told BBC Radio 4: 'Rumours of our death are grossly exaggerated.'

According to the Ashcroft poll, some 29 per cent of Lib Dem voters in 2010 now say they would vote Labour or Green – with many angry that the party joined the Coalition. Another 8 per cent of 2010 Lib Dem voters would now vote Conservative, with 7 per cent backing UKIP.

More than a fifth – 22 per cent – of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 do not know how they would vote tomorrow. Though many have lost confidence in the Lib Dems, they are resistant to Labour and do not know who to trust on the economy.

The Lib Dems’ flagship economic policy – raising the income tax threshold to £10,000 – is backed by an overwhelming 85 per cent of voters, but four in ten think it was a Tory proposal. The most recognisable Lib Dem policy is an amnesty for illegal migrants, which only 25 per cent of voters support and has not been implemented in government.

Lord Ashcroft, who is now a leading pollster, said: ‘After the Eastleigh by-election Lib Dem activists will be relieved to think that despite the polls, strong local government and an invincible leaflet-dropping network will see most of their MPs safely back to Westminster.

‘But that is not the whole story. Localness matters, but a general election decides who walks up Downing Street. Clegg must have something to say about the Liberal Democrats and government.’

Lord Ashcroft warned the Tories would learn the ‘wrong lessons’ from the Eastleigh by-election if they chased the UKIP vote as this would leave moderate and centre-right voters ‘wide open to the Lib Dems’.


Southern Poverty Law Center Finds Fewer Militias, Hypes Militia Threat Anyway

The Southern Poverty Law Center would more honestly be called the Hatred of Conservatives Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center has released its annual report on "The Year in Hate and Extremism," in which the organization estimates the size of the "extremist" threat. Since its count of hate groups has dropped since last year—the number went down from 1,018 to 1,007—the center is hyping a 7 percent increase in another category: what it calls "conspiracy-minded antigovernment 'Patriot' groups." The SPLC's definition of "Patriot" is pretty broad: The list ranges from the conservative websites
WorldNetDaily and to the Moorish Science Temple and its offshoots. The Moors, a black militant movement, are presumably included because they sometimes borrow ideas from the sovereign citizens and other folks often associated with the right.

For SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok, that 7 percent surge is a sign that a growing terrorist threat demands the Department of Homeland Security's attention:
Eighteen years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote then-Attorney General Janet Reno to warn about extremists in the militia movement, saying that the "mixture of armed groups and those who hate" was "a recipe for disaster." Just six months later, the Oklahoma City federal building was bombed. Today, with our country’s political polarization at historic levels and government officials being furiously demonized by Patriots, we may be approaching a comparable moment.

In the 1990s, warnings that might have averted some of the violence from the radical right failed to stick. Now, as we face another large and growing threat from the extremists of the Patriot movement, the country needs to do better. One important start would be to demand that the Department of Homeland Security, which gutted its non-Islamic domestic terrorism unit after unjustified criticism from the political right, rebuild its important intelligence capabilities.

A different story emerges if you study the list itself. For one thing, while the number of Patriot groups has gone up since last year, the number of militia groups has gone down, from 334 to 321.

That doesn't necessarily mean that there are fewer people involved in militias: One quirk of the SPLC's decision to measure activity by counting groups is that if an organization splinters in a faction fight that shows up as growth, but if two smaller groups join forces it looks like shrinkage. But given that Potok invokes the militias in both the opening and the conclusion of his article, and given that the article makes a big deal of the increased Patriot count, it seems disingenuous not to mention that the militia count is actually declining.

More important, neither the number of militias nor the number of Patriot groups writ large is a good proxy for the number of potential terrorists. As I wrote in response to an earlier edition of the SPLC's list, the Oath Keepers—whose chapters take up 67 spots on the 2013 list—have a history of distancing themselves
from violent-minded supporters, and the whole point of the organization is to persuade the government's agents to refuse orders the group considers unconstitutional, a central tactic not of terrorism but of nonviolent civil resistance. Meanwhile, 41 groups on the SPLC list are chapters of the John Birch Society. Far from an adjunct to the militias, the Birchers—notorious for their own conspiracy theories—devoted a lot of effort in the '90s to debunking the more elaborate conspiracy yarns popular in much of the militia world. They frown on insurrectionary violence, too, sometimes suggesting that it merely plays into the hands of the Grand Cabal.

The militia subculture itself is far from united. The University of Hartford historian Robert Churchill—author of an excellent book on the militias, To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face—has identified two distinct though sometimes overlapping elements within the movement: the "constitutionalists" and the "millenarians." While the first group stresses civil liberties and organizes in public, the second segment is more prone to paranoid, violent, and apocalyptic rhetoric and is more likely to form secret cells. The Hutaree [a militia charged in 2010 with plotting a terror attack] hail from the far end of the millenarian side of the spectrum. There doesn't seem to be any love lost between them and the area's dominant militia, the constitutionalist Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia (SMVM), which greeted the March arrests by denouncing the Hutaree as a religious cult. Mike Lackomar of the SMVM even told The Detroit News that the Hutaree had called his militia asking for assistance during the raids and had been rebuffed....In mid-April both Lackomar and another militiaman, Lee Miracle, told The Detroit News that they had warned the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the Hutaree over a year ago. Miracle says he urged the agency to check out the Hutaree website, telling his contact, "See if they creep you out the way they creep me out."...

None of this is unprecedented. Back in the 1990s, several would-be terrorists in the Patriot milieu were arrested after other militiamen got wind of their plans and alerted police.
Potok cites one more set of data to argue that "the threat of violence seems to be looming":
Already, to the surprise of some analysts, a major new study of domestic political violence from the radical right—"Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right," by the director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point—found that right-wing violence is up dramatically from the 1990s. Specifically, the report found that there were an average of 70 "attacks or violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics" in the 1990s, but that the comparable number for the 2000-2011 period was 308, with especially high numbers from 2007 on.

Potok is pulling a bait and switch here. As noted above, the SPLC keeps its count of hate groups, such as the various competing Klans, separate from its list of anti-government "Patriot" groups. The West Point report follows suit, though instead of Patriot it uses the label antifederalist. Potok's piece is specifically about an increase in the number of Patriot groups, and it's in that context that he invokes the West Point paper. But he cites the paper's claims about right-wing violence overall, not its data on antifederalist violence.

It's not hard to see why he does this. In recent years, as the SPLC was reporting a continuing growth in Patriot activity, the West Point dataset showed a steady level of one to four violent incidents involving "anti-federalists" per year. In 2010, the number spiked to 13, but the year after that the number dropped back down to two. "Thus," the West Point paper concludes, "while there may be a rise in the number of active militia groups, except for 2010 we still do not see this systematically manifested in the level of violence." Given how low these numbers are to begin with, it's not even clear whether the 2010 results reflected something that happened that year or if they were a random outlier. (For more on that West Point report, which really doesn't demonstrate what a lot of people who quote it seem to think it demonstrates, go here.)

Finally, a note about double counting. I don't really mind the fact that the SPLC lists separate chapters of the same organization; it makes sense to do that if you're aiming to show how much activity there is on the ground. I have a harder time seeing the justification for listing both the Tenth Amendment Center and Nullify NOW!, since Nullify NOW! is a campaign run by the Tenth Amendment Center. I was also amused to see that the list includes not just WorldNetDaily but the Western Center for Journalism, which spawned WorldNetDaily; there is also a slot for Aggressive Commentary, a radio show hosted by a WorldNetDaily columnist. Maybe the SPLC should spin off WorldNetDaily into its own list.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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