David Horowitz descended on UCI last night as part of his nationwide tour condemning a national student group called Muslim Student Association—a group with more than 150 chapters in colleges all over the country.
Horowitz, a famous right-wing nut jobber, is known for taking out provocative full-page ads in campus newspapers that say things like “black people don't deserve reparations for slavery,” in advance of his speaking engagements during Black History Month, which would then cause all kinds of static in the school paper. In some cases protesters, or school administrators would admonish the paper for printing the incendiary ad, which would prompt Horowitz to say it is an example of censorship on university campuses.
So Horowitz' appearance at UCI, since he's the master of stirring the pot, was ripe for a good, old-fashioned Muslim Student Union protest. The MSU has been the subject of much scrutiny in the last five years as they've sometimes forgotten to make themselves invisible in a society that is extremely phobic of their multi-continent, multi-faceted, more than one billion person faith. At UCI in particular, things have become heated [see "Against the Wall,” Oct. 19 2007].
As I was walking to the Horowitz event I noticed one of the MSU member from the story I wrote last year. I asked him if he was on his way to the Horowitz event and he just laughed.
So no Muslim protesters, damn, this was going to be a lot more boring, I thought. Once in the lecture room at Rowland Hall, the first thing I noticed was it was sparsely populated, mostly with people 50 and over. There were about 40 audience members total, scattered in seats throughout the lecture room. The room was a minimalist theater style setting with white undecorated walls and ceiling, and puke-inducing overhead fluorescent lighting. At the front of the room was an obviously Photoshopped poster of a hijabed Muslim woman holding a sign that says “God Bless Hitler” in English.
Horowitz is droning on about something in a beige suit with red undershirt. His voice is raspy and he's got a bottle of Aquafina.
He says Muslim student groups all over the United States are being trained to kill us in our own schools, “We're providing technology to people whose ideology is that we are the devil and they have to blow us up,” he says.
“If an anti-black group on campus did what MSU did, things would be different,” he says, referring to the MSU's protest of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Good point, Horowitz, I guess that makes you the Rosa Parks of Zionism, bravo. Maybe Horowitz deserves reparations.
Oh, I forgot in an anti-reparations ad he ran in the Daily Californian at UC Berkeley in 2001, said African Americans actually owe the country for the freedom and prosperity they enjoy, according to an article in the New York Times.
But his whole Muslims-are-evil speech is done to death and he was just preaching to the choir anyway. During the question-and-answer phase, one bright young student relayed a story of how he has also endured suffering.
“I'm a history student and I've had the misfortune of having taken a Chicano studies course,” he lamented. “The whole course was learning about these no-name activists and these brown berets and whatever. The only reason I took it was because it was the only class that fit my schedule.”
“Thugs,” Horowitz replies. Then he goes into detail about how wrong the system is for making this poor young man's schedule so hard to accommodate that he's forced to learn about things he doesn't like.
The rest of the questions were just as stupid and nobody challenged Horowitz once. I think it's because so many years have passed since his post 9-11 fear mongering, pseudo-nationalistic and racist messages actually resonated. Now it's just him and his loyal band of zealous followers, reflecting each others' ignorance back at one another.