When anti-Israel voices are outweighed four to one, yet the editor feels the need to apologize for publishing a perspective that would have made it four to two, then the freedom of debate at Tufts University is at a 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, in our ad, the crosshairs over the faces of the victims were an incitement to violence. This is irrational: the crosshairs were over the faces of people who were already victimized, a visual means of bringing urgent attention to the violence that had already been committed against them. That and another element of her response make it clear that she never even saw the advertisement that she was denouncing: Jacob described the ad as depicting six women; the ad actually included two gay men, one Christian man, and one little girl.
Jacob 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.”
Ms. Jacob: five of the victims in the ad had been targeted by their governments, or were targeted by others with government backing. “Discrete incidents” hardly represents an informed analysis, but a distorted, biased one. 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” when they are openly state policy?
Could Ms. Jacob offer her readers a single human rights organization that would agree with her 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 causes on campus, while some forms of persecution are not to be mentioned. Demonizing the Israeli victims of Islamic terror — that falls within the realm of campus free speech. Speaking up for the vulnerable minorities in the Muslim world does not.
If our 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 our 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 been offering ritual apologies while lying about our ad’s content. It is why the attacks on the advertisement have taken refuge in vague platitudes about offensiveness, though have not offered a single attempt at a factual rebuttal. It is why every response to the ad has claimed that speaking about Islamic bigotry constitutes the only real bigotry involved.
There were eight faces, eight names in the censored advertisement that the president of Tufts, the editors of Tufts Daily and 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. They did not want those names to disturb the manufactured campus consensus they have constructed, with great effort, about Israel and Islamic terrorism.
So: again, here are their names:
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.
They were repressed as individuals. Now their story is repressed on the American campus.