The above posters and stickers were plastered all over five major American campuses in the second week of November – two universities in D.C. and three in Southern California – making fun of local anti-Israel groups, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Muslim Students Association (MSA), pointing out their support for Jew-hatred and violent jihad.
While the identities of those who designed the posters and put them up around the campuses can be neither confirmed nor denied, the responsibility for the campaign was claimed by the David Horowitz Freedom Center here and here. In addition, FreedomPost.us posted a one-minute video with the posters (below) in their story, If You’re A Hamas-Supporting Anti-Israel College In SoCal Or DC, These Posters Are On Your Campus.
The University of California Los Angeles newspaper, THE DAILY BRUIN, responded with an article Offensive posters targeting SJP resurface on campus for third time. The UCLA couldn’t wait to reveal its bias and went for the jugular already in the first word of the title. Rather than attempting to look into the MSA and SJP who like to harass Jews at UCLA, the article offered them the pulpit from which they predictably gunned for the messenger.
SJP outreach director, Ani Der-Grigorian, concluded that the reason SJP and MSA were being grouped together was not their shared hatred of Israel, but Islamophobia. She also complained that UCLA officials have done little in response to the posters and that they “haven’t sat down with us about how unsafe this makes our members feel.” No one bothered to wonder if their own anti-Semitic activities ever made any of the UC Jewish students “feel unsafe.”
The UCLA article states that “Felipe Bris Abejon, SJP education and resources director and first-year political science student, said he was the first to notice the posters on Bruin Walk around 10 a.m., when he found one stuck to the bottom of his shoe.” There was no explanation as to whether the poster stuck to his shoe as a result of repeatedly kicking the wall on which it was displayed, or it crept from behind and attacked the shoe with malicious intentions, but the very fact that it was documented to be stuck to the SJP education and resources director’s shoe is clearly “offensive.”
In Washington, D.C., The American University newspaper, The Eagle, published a tearful article titled, Islamophobic posters found on campus made Muslim students feel unsafe.
“I had people calling me [on Sunday], telling me that they were legitimately scared,” said Aman Abdelhamid, the president of AU’s Muslim Students Association chapter, who claims she felt “severely troubled” by the posters. “The posters…had really strong implications, really threatening messages.”
One might think that Abdelhamid was “severely troubled” after seeing Palestinian children with knives being raised to stab Jews. Or that she felt shocked and ashamed after learning that her fellow president of a Muslim Students Association, Anwar Al-Awlaki, later became an Al-Qaeda leader and was killed in Yemen by an American drone strike. Against all expectations of human decency, however, it appears that Abdelhamid felt “severely troubled” and “threatened” only because all of the above became suddenly exposed.
The article, which initially dismissed the information in the posters as false, has since been edited and appended this notable correction at the bottom: “An earlier version of this article misattributed the New York Times article and stated that Anwar al-Awlaki was not president of an MSA chapter. He was, at Colorado State.” One might think that would change the entire narrative. It didn’t.
Ntebo Mokuena, president of the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, who personally took down some of the posters while being escorted by the campus police, also made similar statements, claiming that some of the local students “offered to walk with Muslim students who did not feel safe traveling alone.”
No word on whether Jewish students have ever been offered the same aid and comfort during the anti-Semitic events that the MSI and SJP regularly hold on the same American University campus.
Laith Shakir, treasurer of AU’s SJP chapter, posted the pictures of the posters on Facebook, saying that they “spew Islamaphobic hate speech” and that he is glad a Public Safety officer “is currently patrolling the campus, finding and documenting these posters they’ve identified as inflammatory and hateful.”
“Not only is all of the information presented here categorically false,” writes Shakir, “it also propagates an exhausted talking point: if you are (or even just look) Muslim, and you’re involved in campus organization, you must also be involved in a terrorist group. Thus, Muslims and people who ‘look Arab’ are inextricably linked to violent extremism. The promoted hashtag [StopTheJihadOnCampus] isn’t trying to just “stop the jihad” (which, itself, is a nonsensical phrase); instead, it’s trying to eradicate anyone who could conceivably be labeled as Arab or Muslim from organizing on campus.”
One might think that at a time when unhinged Islamic terrorism is making everyone in America and around the world feel “unsafe,” reasonable Muslim individuals with a conscience, a modicum of decency, and respect for their host country would pause, step back, and abstain from “organizing” anything except the opposition to such terrorism.
One might also think that “organizing” against international Islamic terrorism would take priority over all other “organizing” for any morally upright Muslim activist who claims that “terrorism gives Islam a bad name.”
What should one then make of those Muslim activists who, instead, jump into action and promote their religion by capitalizing on public fears, panic, and confusion, thus riding the tidal wave of terrorism to which they claim they have no connection, while declaring themselves to be the “victims” and complaining about “feeling unsafe”?
An unbiased observer would probably tell them to calm down and get off that wave. That would certainly help you stop feeling “unsafe.” That would also help you stop looking like a lout without a trace of conscience, reason, decency, and respect for your host country.
EDITORS NOTE: This column was originally posted on The Peoples Cube.