Sunday, October 7, 2007

Former congresswoman encourages Columbus State censorship of anti-terror student group

Following up on my FrontPage article last week, “Censorship State”, and my related blog post here concerning the decision by Columbus State Community College Student Life Director Timeka Rashid ( to prevent students with the Terrorism Awareness Project (TAP) from promoting their events later this month, I can now report that former Ohio congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar appears to be behind the Columbus State’s move to censor the anti-terror student group.

In early September, Mary Rose Oakar sent a letter (both the letter and the text are reprinted below) to Columbus State President Valeriana Moeller ( on behalf of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) encouraging the censorship of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week events to be held later this month sponsored by the Terrorism Awareness Project student group. Columbus State is just one of dozens of universities and colleges that will be hosting such events. In a bold move of Orwellian irony, ADC bills itself as a “civil rights organization”.

In an email to TAP student leaders, CSCC administrator Timeka Rashid appealed to Oakar’s letter as the grounds for her denial of the group’s posting fliers advertising their Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week events. At this time, it still is unknown whether Rashid solicited Oakar’s letter as a pretext to censor the TAP, or whether ADC is behind a nationwide push to censor anti-terror student groups. That notwithstanding, this is an unmistakable effort by Mary Rose Oakar and the Columbus State administration to deny these students their civil rights.

Yesterday, JihadWatch had a post revealing that the Muslim Public Affairs Council has posted a handbook providing instruction to university and college administrators on steps to censor students, which may indicate that Oakar’s letter is part of a collective effort by radical Islamist organizations to censor students with an anti-terror message.

In the letter below, Oakar spews plenty of epithets and make a number of baseless claims, but what is of particular note is that the real issue Oakar is concerned with is students challenging the pro-Palestinian terrorist orthodoxy on college campuses — an orthodoxy that Columbus State apparently is desperate to protect.

Here is the text of Oakar’s letter:

September 7, 2007

President Valeriana Moeller
Columbus State Community College
550 East Spring Street
Columbus, Ohio 43216

Dear President Valeriana Moeller:

I am writing on behalf of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Founded in 1980 by former United States Senator James Abourezk in response to stereotyping, defamation and discrimination directed against Americans of Arab origin, ADC is the largest Arab American civil rights organization in the country. ADC has 38 chapters, members across the nation, and ADC is a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR).

It has come to our attention that Columbus State Community College will be the host of a campaign which carries false, hateful, and biased messages about Muslims and Arabs. This nationally organized campaign is called “Islamo-Facism [sic] Awareness Week” and is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22–26.

As a civil rights organization, ADC values the principle of free speech, however, hateful speech cannot be condoned and should not be allowed to permeate American campuses. The post-9/11 United States has seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes targeted against Arab and Muslims or those perceived to be. Events such as “Islamo-Facism [sic] Awareness Week” do not seek to further the discussion in a peaceful manner, but rather they contribute only to the prejudicial anger and hatred which ultimately is targeted against Arab and Muslims in the US.

“Islamo-Facism [sic] Awareness Week” is being organized and promoted by Mr. David Horowitz and his Horowitz Freedom Center. Mr. Horowitz claims, “During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever — Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses.” While the plan for the week includes sit-ins, lectures, and film, ADC is deeply concerned that these planned activities seek not to increase awareness, tolerance, and understanding, but instead promote intolerance, fear, and bigotry.

Materials scheduled to be distributed are: “The Islamic Mein Kampf,” Why Israel is the Victim,” “Jimmy Carter’s War Against the Jews,” and “What Every American Needs to Know About Jihad.” Mr. Horowitz advises campus organizers to request funding from the student government and the University for these activities. If funding is not forthcoming, according to Horowitz’s guide, “it will prove the hypocrisy of your University’s claim to be committed to intellectual diversity and academic freedom.”

This proposed “Islamo Facism [sic] Awareness Week” initiative must be viewed within the context of the organized national campaign to foreclose the debate on the Middle East, especially at university campuses, by promoting fear of Arabs and Muslims. ADC is deeply troubled by the possibility that a tiny handful of student with a narrow political agenda, backed by a well-funded special interest group, would organize this type of hateful and bigoted event on your campus. I urge you to ensure that hate speech and demonstrations of bigotry and racial and religious profiling not be tolerated on your campus.

I would welcome the opportunity for ADC to discuss these concerns with you.

Mary Rose Oakar Kareem Shora, LL.M., J.D.
President, ADC National Executive Director

“President Moeller, George Orwell on line one!”