College Repubs. Question MSA’s Legitimacy

Published Thursday, October 16, 2008

Issue 18 / Volume 89

I was very surprised to read Tuesday’s edition of the Daily Nexus and see that not only did David Horowitz publish an advertisement for his third Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, but that the Nexus printed an entire article apologizing for it in the News section.

I was further surprised to find that in their apology, they contacted the Muslim Student Association for comment, yet they did not contact the College Republicans — the group that has participated in IFAW in the past and that invited Mr. Horowitz to speak on campus last spring. I would think that if the Nexus wanted to give the affected groups the opportunity to comment, they should contact all of them, not just the ones with which they politically agree.

The fact is that the College Republicans were planning on participating in IFAW this week. Actually, they were among the first groups in the country to sign up, and two of their members helped plan the week. We eventually canceled the event when our speaker for the week was forced to cancel at the last minute. We will be rescheduling this event for some time after the election, so stay tuned.

There is one other issue that I would like to discuss. The MSA was quick to say that this advertisement is not representative of their organization. I have had conversations with members of this group in the past, and they have assured me that they are a purely cultural group. I have attended several of their cultural events in the past.

Just last spring, they had a Middle Eastern Fair where they gave out free Middle Eastern food in Storke Plaza. The food was delicious, and I think this event reflected very well on the group as a whole. However, they have, as Mr. Horowitz claimed, lost a large amount of credibility by moving away from the cultural aspects of the club and taking on radical political issues. Also, last spring, during Israel Independence Day, the MSA took part in “al-Nakba,” calling the creation of the state of Israel a “catastrophe.”

Furthermore, at Mr. Horowitz’s speech last quarter, he gave members of the MSA the opportunity to publicly denounce Hamas and Hezbollah. Both of these are radical, genocidal terrorist groups. Unfortunately, they refused. Now, I can understand the MSA not wanting to denounce anything at Mr. Horowitz’s asking. For me, however, I don’t care if it is David Horowitz, Michael Moore, George Bush or Osama bin Laden himself asking me; I will denounce radical Christians who bomb abortion clinics anywhere, because what is right is right no matter what the context, and the fact that I am a Christian myself changes nothing. Why the MSA refuses to follow suit is beyond me. If they want to legitimately be seen as a cultural organization, they need to drop the radical politics and speak out against terrorism of all types, including Hamas and Hezbollah.

Now it appears that the MSA will be having a panel series calling Horowitz (and possibly me) a racist. I want the socially aware students at this school to go to these panels. See how much of the discussion is ad hominem attacks (look it up) and whether or not they actually take on real issues. If they want us to take them seriously, they must first denounce terrorism in all forms no matter who is perpetuating it. If they don’t, that means that Horowitz was right all along.

Ross Nolan is a fourth-year political science major.

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