BRUCE BAWER: CAMPUS JIHAD BRITISH STYLE
Ah, college. The memories! Sitting under a shady tree on the quad reading Twelfth Night. Studying in your dorm room for the big test while “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” plays on a stereo down the hall. Going to a Muslim Student Union event at which the guest lecturer urges you and your fellow students “not to be wimps but to be Mojahedeen” who “terrorize the Kaffars” and “look to die in the path of Allah.”
A couple of days ago, Arnold Ahlert wrote here about “Islam Awareness Week 2013,” coming up next week at the University of California, Irvine, thanks to that institution’s Muslim Student Union. Now, while Irvine, a frequent site of high-profile pro-jihadist and anti-Semitic activity, has almost certainly earned the coveted title of America’s MSU Mecca, its MSU is, in fact, as Ahlert quite properly points out, only one of 600 or so North American chapters of the Muslim Student Association, most of which are no pikers either, holding similar events year in and year out, if on a less headline-grabbing scale. Almost universally, these hundreds of MSUs are viewed by university administrators and other observers as harmless, wholesome, benign – no different from any other student group. Indeed, the fact that so many young Muslims in the West, some of them the children or grandchildren of illiterate peasants, are enrolled at universities is routinely held up by starry-eyed left-wing naifs as proof positive of the triumph of Islamic integration.
Yet the evidence, of course, is overwhelming that the MSUs represent the very opposite of real integration – which requires, first and foremost, the total and unapologetic adoption of secular, democratic Western values, even this means openly rejecting sharia, jihad, and sundry Islamic fundamentals. The MSA, as Ahlert makes clear, is a “terror factory” and a Muslim Brotherhood spinoff-cum-subsidiary, and next week’s Irvine event, purportedly dedicated to dialogue and mutual understanding and featuring speeches supposedly about such innocuous topics as “freedom of speech” and “women’s rights in Islam” will, like countless other such campus gatherings, be a veritable parade of poisonous Kaffar haters, jihad enthusiasts, and would-be crushers of Israel. (As it happens, the University of California at Santa Barbara, not to be outdone by its sister campus in Orange County, will be hosting the annual MSA West conference in February, with speakers like Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who calls white people “devils.”)
The unfortunate truth is that all too many Muslim college students in the West are essentially majoring in Mujahideen Studies – poring over the Koran instead of the Constitution, their dorms, in effect, serving as terrorist cells. Nor, of course, is this just happening in the U.S. and Canada. The jihad-happy student group Islam Net, based at Oslo University College, is probably Norway’s largest Islamic organization, and is unarguably its fastest-growing. In fact, the more closely you look into all of these groups, the harder it is to deny that Muslim collegians, far from being rendered immune by Western higher education to a primitive, bloodthirsty ideology that should, in a more logical world, only appeal to unlettered barbarians, are all too often, if anything, more susceptible to it than their unschooled cousins back in camel country.
That this spreading crisis of campus jihadism is no less acute in the U.K. than in the New World is the urgent message of Challenging Extremists: Practical Frameworks for Our Universities, a new report compiled by Rupert Sutton and Hannah Stuart for the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank, and Student Rights, a group dedicated to exposing extremism at British universities. In large part, Sutton’s and Stuart’s report amounts to a rogues’ gallery of speakers (most of whose names are routinely prefaced by the honorific “Dr.”) who are in demand among the budding red-brick jihadist jet set. Among them: Azzam Tamimi, who has boasted of his closeness to Hamas leaders; Zahir Mahmoud, who insists that Hamas is not a terrorist group; Murtaza Khan, who labels Jews and Christian “filthy”; and Daud Abdullah, who signed a 2009 statement saying that “the Islamic nation” is obliged to regard the Royal Navy’s monitoring of the smuggling of weapons into Gaza as “a declaration of war.”
Then there are folks like Abdullah El-Faisal, whose stirring call to “terrorize the Kaffars,” etc., I quoted from up top, but who’s unavailable for speaking engagements at present because his insufficiently veiled appeals to liquidate non-believers resulted in his becoming that rarest of creatures – a foaming-at-the-mouth jihadist who has actually been expelled from the U.K. Which, by the way, explains the high wink-wink quotient in many of these creeps’ stump speeches – in other words, the plenitude of statements that, if less carefully worded, would be considered incitements to violence, but that have been formulated in lawyerly fashion in a patent effort to skirt prosecution, even though audiences, needless to say, get the message. For example, Abu Salahudeen, while telling his fans that the West has committed “capital crimes” against Islam and reminding them that “in all capital crimes you execute the criminal,” is careful to add that “[i]t’s not for me to tell you how to undertake it, or even to undertake it…I am merely giving you the verdict.”
Still, U.K. law appears to allow a hell of a lot of leeway, given that one Abu Usamah at-Thahabi, who spoke recently at King’s College, London, has gotten away so far with prodding the faithful to actively resist “the oppression of the kuffar” and “go out and perfom the jihad.” Also, in what can only be understood as a deliberate display of the offbeat British sense of humor, U.K. law allows many of the groups behind these shifty shenanigans – such as the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (check out its online magazine) and the Islamic Education and Research Academy, both explicitly pro-sharia – to register as charities. But the highest-profile Islamic group to be involved in all this mischief is the notorious Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose U.K. branch has been careful not to say anything in violation of the 2006 Terrorism Act, even as its affiliates elsewhere have, among other things, called on Muslims to “eradicate Israel and purify the earth of Jewish filth.”
Even more unsettling, however, than the bloodthirsty rhetoric churned out by these vipers – which is, at least, out in the open – is what’s going on behind the scenes. On British campuses that might not necessarily roll out the red carpet for Hizb ut-Tahrir, for example, the organization covertly infiltrates student governments and student clubs and uses front groups to get its speakers booked. Now and then while reading Challenging Extremists, one is reminded of the way Communists operated in the U.S., Britain, and other Western countries in the 1930s. Then, too, students were a target group – one that famously ended up providing the Soviet Union with the exceeedingly useful services of a circle of Cambridge grads employed at the highest levels of the Foreign Service, MI6, and the BBC. All of which causes one to reflect that some of the students who are today inspired by the fire-breathing preachers of jihad to do their part in bringing down the West – on whichever side of the Atlantic – may well find more effective ways of accomplishing that end than joining the mujahideen in Afghanistan or blowing themselves up on a bus.
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