Shilling for Islamic Terrorists

A Hamas supporter carries a mock Qassam rocket during a demonstration against Israel at al-Yarmouk Campby Deborah Weiss:

In the immediate aftermath of the bloodbath perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists, the Institute for Palestine Studies showcased a star-studded cast of Palestinian terrorist sympathizers posing as scholars.  Without the slightest acknowledgement of the murder of Jewish innocents that hung in the shadow of the event, the panel lamented the “criminalization” of pro-Palestinian activism.

Prior to the seminar, a pleasant older woman initiated a conversation with me.  She is from “Palestine” and is in the U.S. visiting her children.  One of her sons moved to Lebanon years ago to join the PLO.  He’s been “missing” since the Lebanese civil war in 1976.  However, she and all her children are “very active” in the Palestinian cause.  Her “geography” and “religion” require it.

In an audience packed with pro-Palestinian activists, held at SEIU headquarters in Washington, DC, a panel on the “Legal Assault on Palestinian Rights Activism” began.  It was moderated by Khalid Rashidi, an activist of Palestinian descent, whose views are so skewed that the ADL accused him of manipulating history and distorting reality to the point where it is “unrecognizable.”  His views on Palestine go well beyond mere support for “oppressed” Palestinians.  In past talks, he identified with the PLO so strongly that he repeatedly included himself by stating “we” when discussing the PLO’s agenda.  But that didn’t stop Columbia University from making him the head of its Middle East studies division and giving him a professorship teaching classes to unwitting students.  Not surprisingly, Rashidi is also good friends with President Barack Obama.

Rashidi started the two hour seminar by asserting that “those who oppose Palestinian rights have a hard time when the story gets out. No one wants to be an advocate of colonization, unequal rights and oppression.”  The pro-Palestinian view is exploding in churches, unions, and most of all, on college campuses.  According to Rashidi, it is only “ignorance”, “disinformation and misinformation” that leads Americans to hold a “Zionist viewpoint.”

Andrew Dalack, with the Palestine Subcommittee of the National Lawyer’s Guild, provides legal support for pro-Palestinian activists.  His most notorious client was Rasmea Odeh, who currently sits in jail awaiting sentencing on her conviction for immigration fraud.  Twice, she lied on her application for citizenship to the U.S., falsely claiming she had no criminal record.  In fact, she had been imprisoned in Israel on a terrorist conviction for blowing up a grocery store, killing numerous innocent civilians.  She also was active with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, though according to her attorney, she joined prior to its designation as a terrorist organization.  Dalack, a young, articulate attorney, had an excuse for every aspect of Odeh’s situation.  She misunderstood the application’s question, she really wasn’t guilty of the charge despite her conviction, she said the IDF personnel raped and tortured her, and the U.S. judge on her case was a “Zionist”.

When DHS arrested her at her home, she became the “face” of a national movement.  Dalak explained that “if you come after one Palestinian, you come after all of us.” To him, the real reason Odeh was indicted was her pro-Palestinian “activism”.  “Now”, he stated, “we are all under the government’s magnifying glass.” And, in a theme that would weave itself throughout the seminar, he insisted that prosecutions were “selective” due to political views and intended to intimidate.

Dima Rashidi, (Khalid Rashidi’s daughter) is an attorney who started an organization called “Palestine Solidarity Legal Support” (PSLS).  It works closely with the far-left Center for Constitutional Rights, largely funded by George Soros.  Her organization provides legal assistance, advocacy, and interventionism for pro-Palestinian activists, especially on college campuses. Their activities, sparked by Cast Lead’s “assault on Gaza” and the growth of the BDS movement, should all be protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment she explained.  Her presentation expressed two themes.  First, was that it’s the government’s intent to “silence, crush and criminalize” pro-Palestinian activity.  Second, “Zionist groups” pressure the U.S. government to repress activism and “the government follows suit.”  She claimed that the NSA and the NYPD visited “coffee shops, barbershops and everywhere a Muslim can be found” in order to collect information.  Pro-Palestinian activists are treated “disparately” from others, receiving “selective prosecutions.”  She insisted that the government “targets” Palestinians simply for fundraising.  She cited the freezing of Islamic charities like the Holy Land Foundation and the prosecution of Sami al-Arian, who sits in jail on a terrorism-related conviction.  Rashidi completely omitted that these charities funnel money to Hamas, a State-designated terrorist organization.

Rashidi also complained of activities that “chill speech.”  Ironically, she cited as support for her claim, the arrest of eleven students at UC Irvine, who shouted down Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, preventing him from speaking. The students, warned in advance of the consequences, were arrested for disrupting a public event.  To Rashidi, removing the silencers of speech constitutes the “chilling of speech”.

Read more at Frontpage

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network” and the author for “Council on American-Islamic Relations: It’s Use of Lawfare and Intimidation.”  Her work can be found at www.vigilancenow.org 

Inside the Muslim Student Association Conference, Part 3

Untitled-3-450x336By Mark Tapson:

In Part 1 of this series on the recent 15th Annual Muslim Student Association (MSA) West Conference, which I attended at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I gave a general overview of the conference’s pro-Palestinian activism, its promotion of a sense of victimization at the mercy of an Islamophobic society and university system, its urgent appeal to political activism that goes hand-in-hand with its emphasis on strengthening one’s Muslim faith and community, and its support from top Muslim Brotherhood front groups in America. Part 2 focused on the biggest names who had been invited to speak there, radicals like Siraj WahhajEdina Lekovich and Taher Herzallah of the infamous Irvine 11. Let’s look at some of the lesser-known speakers there whose presentations were even more political.

Ali Mir, Director of Muslim Student Life at the University of Southern California, whose bio was not included in the conference program booklet, lectured the crowd about “white privilege” in a session called “Perennial Spring,” probably intended to echo the disastrous “Arab Spring.” Mir identified cultural and economic “imperialism” as the basis of American foreign policy, and urged students to get politically involved in “social justice”: “As Muslims, we demonstrate our Islamic principles by working to empower all marginalized people, regardless of their faith,” reads his session description. Really? Like the marginalized Christians in Egypt and Nigeria and elsewhere where Muslim fundamentalists are slaughtering them openly? Like the marginalized Jews in Europe and elsewhere who are suffering increased violent persecution at the hands of Muslims? Mir neglected to address that contradiction.

As an example of how the organized Muslim students can effect meaningful change on campus, Mir told the audience that “your friend and mine, David Horowitz” delivered a talk at the University of Southern California three years ago in which “he said stupid things.” He didn’t specify what they were, but the plan he encouraged among his fellow students at that time was to “write down every racist, homophobic, and Islamophobic thing Horowitz said” and force the university to issue a statement denouncing him afterward – which Mir said it did, to the applause of his uncritical audience.

That’s not quite the whole story. In fact, David Horowitz was invited by the USC College Republicans to come on campus and protest an Islamic hadith which appeared on an official USC website, calling for the genocide of Jews. His speech was attacked in advance by Students for Justice in Palestine and the USC Progressive Alliance, who made up quotes and attributed them to Horowitz to paint him as an Islamophobe and a racist. Nonetheless, Horowitz was allowed to speak at USC on November 4, 2009.

Later, the USC Vice President of Student Affairs, Michael Jackson, published an open letter in the campus newspaper, attacking the College Republicans for inviting Horowitz. He claimed that Horowitz’s presence “led members of our community, our Muslim students, to feel threatened, unsafe, and betrayed.” This letter was also sent to every official USC student, faculty, and staff email address and was published as an ad in the Daily Trojan, which Jackson controlled. Horowitz responded with a rebuttal, which the Trojan ultimately and reluctantly printed.

In his MSA West conference presentation, Mir didn’t offer specifics about objectionable Horowitz statements. He didn’t need to; it was enough for him to simply use unsubstantiated, demonizing labels: “racist, homophobic, and Islamophobic.” Because for radicals like Mir (and his allies in the unholy alliance of the left and Muslim fundamentalists), those labels suppress debate and misrepresent the substance and philosophy of their opponents like Horowitz.

Mir went on to condemn the atheist anti-Islam writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali as “as much an extremist as Osama bin Laden,” because of her assertion that Muslims would be better off converting to Christianity. That’s right – he considers Hirsi Ali as much of an extremist as the man who ordered the World Trade Center massacre and other acts of terrorism. The man who was the living inspiration for violent jihadists worldwide. No student in the auditorium raised an objection.

Read more at Front Page

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.