This morning I read an article on what is being called Islamo-fascism Awareness week and is being put on by the Terrorism Awareness Project. I was interested because I thought that understanding the difference between an Islamic Extremist and and Islamic Pacifist would be valuable, and that Terrorism Awareness could be a helpful conversation in our understanding why people do what they do. What I found, sadly, is that there is no understanding nor comparing and contrasting involved in this project. It is a project that is targeted at universities to undermine the “academic left.”
After looking at the article, I noticed that there is a suggestion that “Islamo-fascism” is a blanket term for “Islamic.” Also, this program preys on the tolerance for diversity that is prevalent on American University campuses, highlighting the oppression of women, gays, and people of other religions to make their point. The scary part, though, was that the Terrorist Awareness Project is bringing ” A petition denouncing Islamo-Fascism and its violence against women, gays, Christians, Jews and religious people.” Are the Muslim students going to be willing to sign this petition? Is there an opportunity for them to be singled out as pro-terrorist if they cannot sign a petition that is actually an assault on the “academic left” and is full of unfriendly remarks about their teachers, alumni, and fellow students?
This is a time in our country’s history when unity is imperative. I am discouraged that there are efforts to create disharmony in places like college campus’, where harmony, unity and tolerance are staples of everyday life. Maybe I am too fond of the college campus, and maybe I am blinded by my own tolerance for diversity, but I fear that this message, unchallenged, will continue to create the “Us vs. Them” mentality that fosters anger and produces war.
I prefer to ignore this kind of position. I don’t want to give it credence by discussing it in a public forum. But, the movement of misunderstanding that have in the past gone unnoticed have resulted in profound mistakes by the people, like McCarthyism and the Witch Trials. We should be careful and try to recognize fanatic movements that prey on fear, like jihadists and the folks at the Terrorism Awareness project.