We, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, repudiate the mission of David Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” We reject the manner in which he manipulates Jewish grief over the Holocaust and the situation in Israel. As Jews and members of a larger campus coalition community, we speak out as allies of our fellow Muslim students.
Horowitz does not speak for us. Instead, he uses symbols and rhetoric which exploit Jewish communal memory and grief. He uses the fear brought about by the Holocaust as well as by terrorist attacks against our fellow Jews. He juxtaposes images of Nazi propaganda with current Islamic extremists. By associating these images with broad groups haphazardly labeled “Islamo-Fascist,” Horowitz seeks to replace intellectual discussion with panic. Such malevolent tactics are of no service to the Jewish people; rather, they are an attempt to induce Jews into sacrificing their values for a world view of oversimplified fear.
Horowitz claims to support moderate Islam, but does nothing of the sort. Horowitz’s “Student’s Guide” features a petition “appeal” aimed at Muslim Student Associations across the country. This “appeal” is in fact a loyalty oath, in which Muslims are forced to choose between denouncing their entire religion as a danger to humanity and being branded as terrorist sympathizers. Such a narrow-minded approach does not aid moderates, but seeks to strand them between two radical and untenable positions.
Horowitz’s anti-Muslim week of action aims to create a dangerous and false dichotomy between “Judeo-Christian Civilization” and Islam, both on our campuses and in the world. Horowitz points to the atrocities of extremist regimes, which are driven by a range of historical, political, and economic factors, and claims such atrocities embody the essence of Islam. By this logic, geopolitical conflict can only be resolved with the end of Islam. Such a headstrong and stubborn conviction could only result in enflaming tensions, and provoking a New Crusade against Islam.
We refuse to lend our voice to those who attempt to parasitically draw on the support of the Jewish community. We are not fooled by pundits who co-opt progressive activists’ language and protest forms. Instead, we stand as allies with communities of faith and our fellow students. Mr. Horowitz: You will not further your campaign of hate and intolerance in our voice.
Shira Gordon is a senior in Barnard College. Alana Krivo-Kaufman is a junior in Barnard College. Joshua Schwartz is a senior in List College. Shlomo Bolts is a sophomore in Columbia College. The authors are all members of the Progressive Jewish Alliance.