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 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 advertisement in 40 college papers.
The ad, titled “Faces of Islamic Apartheid,” drew attention to victims of Islamic sexism, homophobia, and theocracy by briefly relating true events: we told of gay men who were hanged in Iran; of women and girls who were murdered by their governments — and their families — for the crime of falling in love; and of the Christian minister for minority 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 victims of Islamic apartheid.
Five of them were murdered. Two live under constant threat of death.
One has been on death row for six years. Telling her story, as we wished to do, may help save her life.
Yet instead of listening to their stories, the campus culture of political correctness drowned out their voices. Further, they felt the need to apologize for allowing our ad to run, for allowing their stories to be told.
Nine college papers turned the ad down; five of the nine are part of the University of California system, which has often been criticized for tolerating anti-Semitism. When the California State Assembly passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on campus and warning that no public resources should be used for anti-Semitic hate, the University of California objected on free speech grounds.
However, those concerned regarding free speech for Israeli Apartheid Week went mute for free speech regarding Islamic Apartheid Week.
Seven college papers took the advertisement. Of those papers, two — Tufts University’s Tufts Daily and Austin’s Daily Texan — later ran apologies from their editors for 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 as “an unspoken incitement to violence.”
Martha Shanahan dedicated two pages to her apology, mentioning the “Islamophobic and violently offensive” advertisement. However, at no point during her long apologia did Shanahan acknowledge that her paper had run four editorials that very week from Students for Justice in Palestine: each one attacked Israel, each one promoted hatred for the Jewish state.
In an unequal response to this, Shanahan’s paper 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.
These were students, but the hypocrisy extended all the way to the university president.
Anthony Monaco, president of Tufts, took to Twitter to denounce the advertisement for vilifying Islam. Yet he 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 our 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.