Posters paid for by the virulent anti-Muslim organization the David Horowitz Freedom Center calling to “stop the jihad on campus” are popping up campuses across the country, raising safety concerns among students.
One of the locations where the flyers are posted is American University in Washington D.C., as reported by The Eagle. The messages printed on the posters defame student groups like the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine.
The posters are part of a recent nationwide campaign launched by the Freedom Center titled Stop the Jihad on Campus. Horowitz and his organization have a history of organizing other anti-Muslim campaigns on college campuses such as “Islamo-fascism Awareness Week” and “Islamic Apartheid Week.”
The Center’s accusations against groups like MSA and SJP, which have been laid out in a 44-page manifesto, claim these groups having ties to foreign terrorist entities, are responsible for spreading terrorist “propaganda,” and operating as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Horowitz group’s major criticisms center on campus activism to address surrounding the plight of the Palestinians and conflicts with Israel.
One of the posters claims the acronym for BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions – a movement supported by some of these student groups) is actually “boycott, divest, stab.” Clearly, this is an attempt by the Freedom Center to conflate American Muslim students and activists with recent turmoil and extremist violence. Another flyer seeks to vilify the groups by saying Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric killed in a drone strike in Yemen, once had ties to a Colorado MSA chapter more than a decade ago.
Aman Abdelhamid, the president of AU’s MSA chapter, told The Eagle the posters have made Muslims students feel unsafe. The flyers also appeared a week after a threat was found at Virginia Tech calling to “kill all muslims [sic].”
DHFC releases campus target list
As part of its latest campaign rid supposed “jihad” from campuses, the Freedom Center also released a list of highlighting the alleged “Ten Top American Universities Most Friendly to Terrorists.” Of course, the list reflects Horowitz’s negative bias against Muslim student activists, and claims these universities are “supportive” of “sinister activities.”
The Freedom Center target list is as follows:
- Brandeis University
- Columbia University
- Harvard University
- Rutgers University-New Brunswick
- San Francisco State University
- University of California, Irvine
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of California, San Diego
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- University of New Mexico
Track record of targeting students
This is not the first time the Freedom Center has sought to publicly defame Muslim student activists, MSA, SJP or their supporters. The Horowtiz’s organization runs a project called Discover the Networks, which serves as an online guide to “expose” a left agenda. The website lists groups like the MSA and SJP, as well as various other civil rights and social justice groups. However, the website puts these groups on par with designated terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Vilifying Muslim student activists is part of a broad and disturbing trend within the organized Islamophobia movement. Earlier this year, John Guandolo, a former FBI agent turned full-time anti-Muslim conspiracist, claimed the MSA’s sole purpose is to “recruit jihadis.”
In 2013, Guandolo collaborated with the anti-Muslim grassroots organization ACT! for America to release an online “counter-terrorism” tool for law enforcement called “The Thin Blue Line Project.” The website, available to anyone who applies for access, includes a “Radicalization Locator Map” which identifies all the MSA chapters across the U.S. as radical hubs.
Launching inflammatory smear campaigns against student groups organizing around legitimate issues is unacceptable. And, unfortunately, nothing new from Horowitz and the Freedom Center.