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mul·ti·cul·tur·al·ismOf or relating to a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture.

The above is a definition that has transformed from mere idea to veritable philosophy to near religion for millions of people in this country and around the world. Those who espouse the multiculturalist viewpoint generally believe the cultural dominance of any particular nation or region should be discarded in favor of a social standing that is indistinguishable from any other. That is not to say there would exist only one cultural utopia where everyone lived in kinship with everyone else. Assimilation plays no part in this concept. All peoples would fully retain their culture of origin–language, customs, religion, beliefs–regardless of the country or region wherein one chooses to reside.

While this smacks of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” many of those who view multiculturalism as a beneficent outlook on societal improvement are more than likely those who would eagerly nudge aside socialism in favor of communism anyway. Additionally, acceptance of a unified cultural society is nascent recognition of the need for a political system that is, or is very much like communism, even if those who support multiculturalistic ideals do so only out of misguided politically correct dogma. In essence, everyone is equal; no one should excel.

Industrialized western society is no better than barbaric tribalism (or even vicious tyrannies) and if the annihilation of industrialization is necessary in order to meet the cultural needs of tribalists, then so be it. Does it matter that modern, industrialized society offers a better quality of life, with far less disease than any third world nation could hope to achieve? Of course not. The third world will become the first world and vice versa. Cultural values for one will mix equally with the other.

Yet the standard meaning of the word multiculturalism itself has been bogged down in histrionics, disguised as a concept too important and necessarily urgent to achieve global order and world harmony–opposition to the supposition of ecumenical multiculturalism is often perceived as bigoted, racist, and even remarkably, anarchistic (I say “remarkably” because those who sup from the cup of multiculturalism are more than likely those who would easily embrace a nihilistic approach to life regardless of the dominant political and/or social climate in which they reside.) This is what helps those who champion multiculturalism browbeat their adversaries in silenced submission–threat of being labeled a racist.

What most multiculturalists fail to take into account is their own latent racist dispositions through adoption of this philosophy, implying that ones’ character is primarily defined by ones’ ethnic background as opposed to ones’ individualistic achievements. Take for example affirmative action or quotas as they are often referred. In the unfortunate situations where affirmative action is instituted as a means to diversify the workplace or the college campus for instance, race, not competence, is rewarded. While this will always produce greater heterogeneity, it does not necessarily follow that increased and improved productivity (for the workplace) or boosts in academia amongst students (on campus) will inevitably occur. To believe so is inherently racist.

This is no longer an issue of discrimination. Instead, it is simply an aspect of the multiculturalist quagmire and slippery slope that will lead modern, industrialized society down a racist and degenerate mountain of ill-conceived politically correct agendas championed most vociferously by the far left who believe communism, or the destruction of individuality and achievement, is far better than advanced, democratic societies and the benefits that flow from them. Is it any wonder why they don’t address such divisive issues as to how religion and politics will fit into this monstrous melting pot. Simply, religion and politics don’t fit (unless sharia becomes the law of the land.)

Below are some fantastic pieces that explain in far greater detail and clarity what the concept of multiculturalism entails and the inadequacies and dangers bearing such a detrimental philosophy harbors.

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Via The Gates of Vienna
The Fjordman Report
The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.


The Greek blogger Phanari has expanded upon my essays about 21st century Communism. According to American writer John Fonte, “Transnationalism is the next stage of the multicultural ideology.” It is implemented at a snail’s pace as a long-term project, to minimize opposition to it.

Karita BekkemellemAs always, Norway and Sweden are at the forefront of enlightened Socialism. According to Karita Bekkemellem, government Minister from the Norwegian Labor Party, female directors must make up at least 40 percent of all new shareholder-owned companies’ boards of directors: “This is all about sharing power and influence and it is intervention in private ownership, but it was overdue.” Violation of the rules will be penalized with forced dissolution of the company. Magdalena Andersson, who chairs the women’s group in Sweden’s “conservative” Moderate Party, demands that female members should have 40 percent of the top positions in the party by 2010.

Quotas and employment based on sex, religion, race or any criteria other than meritocracy, the rule of merit, where individuals are chosen through competition on the basis of demonstrated ability and competence, interfere with private property rights. This violates basic human rights of the employer. Historical experience indicates that respect for private property, along with respect for freedom of speech, are the hallmarks of true liberty. Abandoning these principles inhibits the creation of wealth.

Perhaps the new frontier of liberty in the 21st century consists of battling for national sovereignty in legislation, for a nation’s right to decide how much immigration it wants to accept, if any, and the fight against the imposition of quotas, hate speech laws, hate crime legislation and other threats to the individual’s right to free speech and to defense of his own property, the yardstick against which liberty should always be measured.

I’ve heard Multiculturalists state specifically that our societies should be based on the principle of Multiculturalism and various ethnic groups only tied together by “human rights.” But human rights are a weak glue for a society, to say the least. What’s more: Once you decide that your society should be founded upon human rights and nothing but human rights, you give away power to those defining human rights to decide the future of your society and your country, for instance in managing your immigration policies. This is no doubt why so many hardened Leftists support “international law.” They hope to become the self-appointed and unelected vanguard to run this transnational, Multicultural Utopia, just as they wanted to become a part of the vanguard in the Communist Utopia.

In Denmark, observers Jacob Mchangama and Christopher Arzrouni warn against the excessive use and misuse of human rights. Originally envisioned as a core of rights ensuring political and individual liberty, today human rights are increasingly used for the opposite purpose: To claim other people’s resources, property etc. The very notion of human rights suffers from a kind of schizophrenia. The concept can be traced back to classical antiquity, at least to Solon in the 6th century B.C. The English charter the Magna Carta from 1215 asserted the rights of the individual vis-à-vis the state. This was later expanded by Enlightenment philosophers and inspired the creation of the United States.

The Universal Declaration of Human RightsThe Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, is a crucial document. The first 21 Articles of the Declaration all profess classical Western rights, also called liberty rights or “negative rights,” including the right to private property, freedom of speech and equality before the law. However, the Declaration also contains other concepts about rights. Articles 22-27 assert the right to a good standard of living, the right to a job, to limitations on work hours etc. These are “positive rights,” which can only be achieved if other people make an effort to achieve them for you.

Negative rights imply the right to freedom from tyranny and oppression. They imply limitations on state power, and will thus help prevent totalitarian regimes. Positive rights, however, imply that the state has to increase its power to transform society and direct the activities of its citizens in order to achieve the desired result. Sadly, according to Mchangama and Arzrouni, at the UN and at Human Rights Institutes, as well as in NGOs and among many academics, even governments, there is a consensus that economic and social positive rights should be considered equal to negative political rights.

The Norwegian medical doctor Ståle Fredriksen thinks that giving homework to school children violates their human rights. He refers to article 24 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stating that: “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours.” Dr. Fredriksen believes school children don’t have this right.

Alain FinkielkrautThe French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut thinks that Europe has made human rights its new gospel. Has human rights fundamentalism approached the status of quasi-religion? Have we acquired a new class of scribes, who claim the exclusive right to interpret their Holy Texts in order to reveal Absolute Truth, and scream “blasphemy” at the few heretics who dare question their authority? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a great document, but it is written by humans, and may thus contain human flaws. We shouldn’t treat as if it were a revelation from God, carved into stone. Far less should we deem as infallible the veritable maze of regulations and well-meaning human rights resolutions that have rendered democratic nations virtually unable to defend themselves.

Moreover, who decides which “human rights” should take precedence? If you say that free migration should be a universal human right, you trample on the right of the peoples at the receiving end of mass immigration to preserve their cultural heritage. More explicitly, should Muslim nations be allowed to dump their unsustainable population growth in the West? Since they tend not to respect human rights because they frequently conflict with sharia, allowing them to undermine countries that do respect individual rights means that human rights will become a tool for undermining democratic nations in favor or authoritarian ones, precisely the opposite of what was originally intended.

OxfamOxfam, an international of confederation non-governmental organizations, has stated that Western nations “must” pay tens of billions of dollars every year to combat global warming. First of all: Who died and made Oxfam God? Being a Westerner myself, I don’t recall electing Oxfam to speak for me nor granting them the right to administer my money on my behalf. Why should unaccountable NGOs be allowed to dictate what a sovereign state such as, say, Canada, should or shouldn’t do? And second of all: Even if we assume that global warming is real and man-made, the most intelligent way to combat it would be to institute a Manhattan Project for renewable energy. By freeing ourselves from the dependency of oil from Arab countries, we could fight both global warming and global Jihad at the same time.

When reading Oxfam’s website, I find that the organization is dedicated to “achieving lasting change” and an end to poverty by fighting injustice and addressing the structural causes of poverty. To me, that sounds suspiciously like a code word for global redistribution of wealth — in other words: Socialism.
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I suspect that for some NGOs, fighting global warming isn’t nearly as important as using it as an excuse for bleeding the West financially and implementing global taxes through the back door. Many NGO’s tend to be run by heavily left-leaning individuals who champion good causes, in fact so good that they should bypass the electoral process to implement them. It’s the blueprint for 21st century Communism. The same groups that wanted to abolish private property rights in the 20th century now want to abolish sovereign nation states in the 21st century, starting with the West, of course. There clearly is some kind of connection here. Maybe they’ve decided that the most efficient way to abolish private property, according to Karl Marx the stated goal of Socialism, is to destroy the instrument for enforcing and protecting property rights: The sovereign state.

These people always claim to be champions of some Great Cause. They claim to fight for women’s rights, but barbaric practices of forced marriages, honor killings and gang rapes are now spreading in the West because of the immigration policies they support. They claim to fight for homosexual rights while gays are being physically attacked by Muslims across Europe. They claim to fight for tolerance, yet frequently end up in bed with the most intolerant forces on earth. They claim to fight for diversity, yet cheer for Islam, which is destroying cultural diversity across the world, replacing it with universal sharia. They are also extremely intolerant of diversity of opinion, if these opinions happen to run contrary to their Cause. They claim to fight for “human rights,” but deprive their opponents of one of the most basic human rights of all: The right to free speech.

So why are they doing it? Maybe it’s due to hatred of the West, or maybe it’s just because of the intoxicating rush of feeling that your Cause is just and that you are therefore allowed to do whatever you want to with your political opponents.

Gunnar HeinsohnThe German professor of sociology Gunnar Heinsohn worries about what he calls the “demographic capitulation” of European nations. He fears that the imploding birth rates will lead to the collapse of the welfare state, and that immigration cannot solve this problem. He does not believe that material aid to countries with large youth populations will prevent wars and terror. On the contrary, it may in fact increase unrest and violence, since starving people do not fight, they just suffer. In order to create unrest, they have to be both physically and mentally fit, but lack the positions and the respect they think they deserve. This is consistent with the fact that Islamic terrorists tend to have above average education and at least average income.

This supports the view of Eric Hoffer in his classic book The True Believer: “The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility. The goals are concrete and immediate. Every meal is a fulfillment; to go to sleep on a full stomach is a triumph; and every windfall a miracle. What need could they have for ‘an inspiring super individual goal which could give meaning and dignity to their lives?’ They are immune to the appeal of a mass movement.”

A crowd in PeshawarOver the course of five generations (1900-2000), the population in predominantly Muslim countries has grown from 150 million to 1200 million — an increase of 800 per cent. Heinsohn notes that Western countries are funding the Palestinian population explosion, for instance, and thinks that we must cease this support, so that the Palestinians pay for the children they bring into the world. He also believes that the West should stay out of the affairs of Muslim countries with expanding populations as much as possible, and only interfere briefly if they threaten us directly:

“If you have to go in because you have been attacked, then you must do it, but as soon as the danger has been defeated, it is necessary to withdraw. It is up to the Iraqis and the Afghans themselves to ensure that there is a balance between the size of the population and the number of positions society can offer. And as far back in history we look, we can see that this balance has been maintained by young men killing each other. We have done it in Europe, and it has happened elsewhere. We cannot allow them to send their young men over the borders to kill others. (…) We should stay away. If we interfere, we cannot avoid siding with one party and help killing that party’s opponents. Then the population will see us as doing the dirty work for one side or another.”

In June 2007, British PM Tony Blair, along with Chancellor Gordon Brown and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, met Muslim leaders at a major conference organized by The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme (CIP). In his final days as prime minister, Blair opened the conference by defending Islam as a religion of “moderation and modernity” as he announced a £1M government fund to aid teaching of the religion and train imams, and designated Islamic studies as “strategically important” to the British national interest.

The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme
Timothy Winter, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, said: “The question facing British society, and society as a whole, is not how we encourage minorities to engage with western countries, but how those countries define themselves as a collage of different religious cultures.” In other words: Britain, and Canada, Germany and other Western countries, are no longer to be nations with a distinct heritage, only random spaces on the map with a “collage of different cultures.”

According to Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch, Western nations should not be allowed “to take a special interest in, or have a special affection and tenderness for, their own countries and histories. They are not allowed to worry about cultural continuity, and cultural continuity as being connected, possibly, to other kinds of continuity, including that of ethnic makeup. These are impermissible for that ‘white, Western world’ — even if perfectly permissible for everyone else. (Compare, for example, the policies toward immigration and immigrants in Japan, Korea, China, or the same policies toward non-Arabs, directed especially at black Africans, in Egypt, Libya, Chad, and Morocco). The rest of the world is entitled to preserve itself. We, on the other hand, in North America and Western Europe and the outposts of the former British Empire, such as Australia and New Zealand, are required to give up whatever ‘local’ patriotism, interest and pride in our national histories and cultures, and open ourselves permanently to the world. Other countries can remain countries. (…) The United States is not to remain a country. The United States is, rather, to be transformed, in the determined if unstated view of so many of the ideologues at NGOs. It is to be turned, by slow degrees, into one great big… NGO.”

The Danish writer Carsten Ringsmose was a speaker at a conference at the University of Odense on the immigration-related topic of “Recognition and integration.” He outlined the projected population growth for the Islamic world, and stated that if recent prognoses are correct, the Islamic world will witness a population growth more than the equivalent of all EU member countries combined within just a few decades. One of the other speakers suggested that this population boom could be solved through migration to the West, which would mean that Denmark, with a present population of 5.4 million inhabitants, would have to accept perhaps 9.5 million predominantly Muslim immigrants within the coming two generations. The man who suggested this, accompanied by segments of the audience, laughed when Mr. Ringsmose suggested that this simply wasn’t doable.

Marie SimonsenFollowing the release of the UN population report discussed by Mr. Ringsmose, Marie Simonsen, political editor of the Norwegian left-wing newspaper Dagbladet, wrote that it should be considered a universal human right for people everywhere to migrate wherever they want to. She thus endorsed the eradication of her own people, no doubt congratulating herself for her own tolerance.

In 2000, the then president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, was asked by the Los Angeles Times how the country was going to feed, clothe, house and employ the expected doubling of its population by 2050. She replied: “We’ll send them to America. Globalisation will take that problem away, as you free up all factors of production, also labour. There’ll be free movement, country to country. Globalisation in its purest form should not have any boundaries, so small countries with big populations should be able to send population to countries with big boundaries and small populations.”

Westerners are the suckers of the 21st century. We don’t have interests or cultures of our own. We exist solely as a vehicle for funding other nations, and as the obedient dumping ground for their excess population growth. If we assert the right to defend our borders, the representatives of NGOistan, frequently aided by our so-called leaders, will come down upon us like a ton of bricks. Westerners are fueling the unsustainable growth rates in the Islamic world through material aid and medical advances. Later we are told to let them into our countries, where we will continue feeding them and fund our own colonization through welfare payments. We are thus paying hostile nations to multiply and take over our nations. This is a betrayal of the legacy of our ancestors, and an even greater betrayal of our children and grandchildren. This policy is insane and evil, and it has to stop. Now!

We live in a world demographically — and perhaps soon economically — dominated by Asia. Russians look after Russian interests, Chinese after Chinese interests, Indians after Indian interests, etc. Only Westerners are still supposed to worry about global interests. We should stop trying to save others and start saving ourselves, while we still can. Only by letting go of illusions of hegemony can we regain our sanity. The sooner we realize that, the better are our chances. We should use this situation as an opportunity to regenerate and define a new civilizational mission dedicated to our own survival. If cultural confusion and a lack of hope for the future is a primary cause of our low birth rates, it is likely that a new sense of cultural confidence will lead to a significant rise in the same birth rates. The battle for Western hegemony is already over. The battle for Western survival is about to begin.

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Diversity and Multiculturalism: The New Racism

The “diversity” movement is not imparting knowledge to students, but promoting racism.

Is ethnic diversity an “absolute essential” of a college education? UCLA’s Chancellor Charles Young thinks so. Ethnic diversity is clearly the purpose of affirmative action, which Young is defending against a long-overdue assault. But far from being essential to a college education, such diversity is a sure road to its destruction. “Ethnic diversity” is merely racism in a politically correct disguise.

Many people have a very superficial view of racism. They see it as merely the belief that one race is superior to another. It is much more than that. It is a fundamental (and fundamentally wrong) view of human nature. Racism is the notion that one’s race determines one’s identity. It is the belief that one’s convictions, values and character are determined not by the judgment of one’s mind but by one’s anatomy or “blood.”

This view causes people to be condemned (or praised) based on their racial membership. In turn, it leads them to condemn or praise others on the same basis. In fact, one can gain an authentic sense of pride only from one’s own achievements, not from inherited characteristics.

The spread of racism requires the destruction of an individual’s confidence in his own mind. Such an individual then anxiously seeks a sense of identity by clinging to some group, abandoning his autonomy and his rights, allowing his ethnic group to tell him what to believe. Because he thinks of himself as a racial entity, he feels “himself” only among others of the same race. He becomes a separatist, choosing his friends–and enemies–based on ethnicity. This separatism has resulted in the spectacle of student-segregated dormitories and segregated graduations.

The diversity movement claims that its goal is to extinguish racism and build tolerance of differences. This is a complete sham. One cannot teach students that their identity is determined by skin color and expect them to become colorblind. One cannot espouse multiculturalism and expect students to see each other as individual human beings. One cannot preach the need for self-esteem while destroying the faculty which makes it possible: reason. One cannot teach collective identity and expect students to have self-esteem.

Advocates of “diversity” are true racists in the basic meaning of that term: they see the world through colored lenses, colored by race and gender. To the multiculturalist, race is what counts–for values, for thinking, for human identity in general. No wonder racism is increasing: colorblindness is now considered evil, if not impossible. No wonder people don’t treat each other as individuals: to the multiculturalist, they aren’t.

Advocates of “diversity” claim it will teach students to tolerate and celebrate their differences. But the “differences” they have in mind are racial differences, which means we’re being urged to glorify race, which means we’re being asked to institutionalize separatism. “Racial identity” erects an unbridgeable gulf between people, as though they were different species, with nothing fundamental in common. If that were true–if “racial identity” determined one’s values and thinking methods–there would be no possibility for understanding or cooperation among people of different races.

Advocates of “diversity” claim that because the real world is diverse, the campus should reflect that fact. But why should a campus population “reflect” the general population (particularly the ethnic population)? No answer. In fact, the purpose of a university is to impart knowledge and develop reasoning, not to be a demographic mirror of society.

Racism, not any meaningful sense of diversity, guides today’s intellectuals. The educationally significant diversity that exists in “the real world” is intellectual diversity, i.e., the diversity of ideas. But such diversity–far from being sought after–is virtually forbidden on campus. The existence of “political correctness” blasts the academics’ pretense at valuing real diversity. What they want is abject conformity.

The only way to eradicate racism on campus is to scrap racist programs and the philosophic ideas that feed racism. Racism will become an ugly memory only when universities teach a valid concept of human nature: one based on the tenets that the individual’s mind is competent, that the human intellect is efficacious, that we possess free will, that individuals are to be judged as individuals–and that deriving one’s identity from one’s race is a corruption–a corruption appropriate to Nazi Germany, not to a nation based on freedom and independence.

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And finally, this succinct but striking footnote to the excellent Fjordman piece above…

Freedom is Slavery

by Baron Bodissey

1984In his essay yesterday, “Resisting 21st Century Communism”, Fjordman examined the emergence of transnational politically correct Multiculturalism, and the parallels between this noxious ideology and Communism, and its origins in 20th-century socialism.

In the comments, Ypp left a series of thesis/antithesis pairs that highlight the fundamental contradictions inherent in Multiculturalism and political correctness.

I’ve reworded and reorganized them a bit, but the list below is still Ypp’s handiwork.

The Ten Antitheses of Political Correctness

1.   Materialism is not about matter, but about suppressing ideas.
2.   Communism is not about common wealth, but about depriving people of any personal possessions.
3.   Socialism is not about society, but about depriving people of the means of production.
4.   Human rights are not personal rights, but collective obligations.
5.   Tolerance is not about mutual respect, but about the prohibition of opinions.
6.   Multiculturalism is not about cultures, but about the repudiation of nationhood.
7.   Energy policy is not about the distribution of energy, but about cutting off energy supplies.
8.   Health care is not about health, but about control of our consumption.
9.   Family planning is not about families, but about abortions.
10.   Self-loathing is not about repentance, but about depriving others of their moral foundation.

Whenever they start by improving something, they finish by depriving people of it.

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UPDATE: PART 2 is now up. 

Last night I attended the panel discussion, Totalitarian Islam’s Threat to the West, that took place on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The panel consisted of notable Middle Eastern and Islamic experts, Dr. Yaron Brook, executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute (the organization that hosted the event actually, L.O.G.I.C. hosted the event), Dr. Wafa Sultan, and Dr. Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum and current instructor at Pepperdine University. They were quite a distinguished trio, encompassing vast expertise on the discussed subject from knowledge and experience–sometimes very direct personal experience as seen from their biographies in this post yesterday.

I thought it would be beneficial to post pictures I took at the event so that those who are interested might garner a decent understanding of what one might expect if one were to attend such a gathering in support of individuals, like the panelists, who not only wish to express their viewpoint, but who also wish to practice their freedom to express that view, no matter how controversial it may be.

So, without any further introductory and unnecessary exposition, enjoy the pictures (with some added annoying exposition.)

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A few UCLA police officers enjoy some dinner before the event. The police presence was unsurprisingly fairly large. It appeared there were probably around 20 to 30 officers covering all entrances and exits at the building where the panel discussion was to take place.

Standing in Line

The line to get into the auditorium was long, and it extended quite a ways down the street behind me….

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…as you can see.

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As the line started moving to allow entry, some young Muslims began handing out literature.

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The literature consisted of pamphlets entitled “Exposing Daniel Pipes.” But it did not consist of naked photos. Instead the pamphlet included information about the evil of Dr. Pipes, denouncing his expertise, deeming him a bigot and anti-Muslim propagandist. It goes on to read how his website, Campus Watch was created to restrict free speech by “stifling any criticism of Israel or its policies and by blacklisting any professors who dare not comply. Pipes labeled these academics as ‘advocates of suicide attacks and militant Islam,’ ‘self-hating,’ or ‘anti-American.'”

Of course, anyone who has actually visited Campus Watch knows that claim is absolutely preposterous. From the website…

CAMPUS WATCH, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.”

Campus Watch is designed to ensure what the Muslim pamphlet is accusing Dr. Pipes of doing, doesn’t happen–namely biased academia favoring the Arab or Palestinian position over the Israeli one. Having an opinion is fine. Forcing that opinion on impressionable college students without at least offering an opposing rebuttal is disingenuous and unethical. In all actuality, Campus Watch and the Muslim students pushing the “Exposing Daniel Pipes” disinformation leaflet are in general agreement–desiring a need to reduce bias.

Of course, when you have quotes denouncing Pipes from people such as Hamid Dabashi, Josehp Massad, and Rashid Khalidi, it’s apparent how biased those who were handing out the pamphlets really were.

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Before we entered, everyone was subjected to the metal detectors. Security was understandably tight for this event. Such procedures only seemed to increase the tension that was floating through the air.

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More metal detecting.

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Inside the building, but just outside the auditorium, more propaganda, but this time it’s from the event organizers–Ayn Rand literature including free copies of her seminal work, Atlas Shrugged. Personally, I can’t stand Ayn Rand, and I think Objectivism is contradictory and essentially ridiculous.

Anyway, from this point, I found my way to a seat where I settled in until the panelists arrived on stage.

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And here they are! From the left, introducing Dr. Yaron Brook, Dr. Wafa Sultan, Dr. Daniel Pipes, and on the far right, the mediator for the panel.

(From this point forward, the quality of the pictures degrades considerably. The lighting in the auditorium was poor, and when I end up heading back outside, it’s after sundown which makes taking decent images even more difficult. I apologize for the quality or lack-there-of.)

At the beginning of the discussion, each panelist, beginning with Dr. Brook, offered a four minute opening declaration concerning the danger of radical Islam and the threat it presents against the west. For those who have little knowledge of militant Islam, the majority of the nights discussion would likely have been eye opening to say the least.

Those in the audience who were there in dissent were probably steaming after Dr. Brooks comments, and again I could sense the tension, rising even further. It was obvious to me some members of the audience were there merely to disrupt the proceedings, and while I didn’t wish to profile too much (that annoying politically correct side that’s been indoctrinated into my very soul for over three decades), I found myself picking out several individuals who I suspected might be party to a protest were one to ignite–notably several early 20’s hijab-wearing women a few rows behind me who appeared to be of Middle-Eastern descent.

Finally, Dr. Pipes began to speak, touching upon the concept of capitulation through political correctness to Islam (militant or otherwise), particularly on the American university campus and specifically UCLA. It was a powerful beginning, but short-lived. At that point, the protestors began running interference.

UPDATE: PART 2 is now up.

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