Friday, April 20, 2007

Celebrating Islamo-Fascism Awareness Day

Last fall, Pace University student Michael Abdurakhmanov tried to hold a screening of Obsession, a documentary about radical Islam, on his campus. Hoping to show that Islam is home to moderates as well as extremists, and that it is important to distinguish between the two camps, he unexpectedly found himself beset by opposition. Muslim students angrily rejected the idea. University administrators took an even harder line, with the school’s dean ominously warning Abdurakhmanov that showing the film could be considered a “hate crime,” and intimating, less than subtly, that police might be invited to sift through his personal record.

Now Abdurakhmanov has received restitution in a big way. Not only has Pace president David Caputo tendered a personal apology to Abdurakhmanov for the school’s strong-arm tactics, but yesterday marked the first-everIslamo-Fascism Awareness Day,” a nationwide effort to call attention to the threat of militant Islam by holding a mass-screening of the film that Abdurakhmanov’s school, quite literally, didn’t want him to see: Obsession.

In total, 96 colleges and universities, among them Pace University, Columbia, Duke, and other prominent schools, together with three high schools and two military bases, showed the film, which was sponsored by the Terrorism Awareness Project, a new program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

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