Speaking out against Islamist terrorists

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The Article

For the past week, events marking Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) have taken place at virtually every major university in Canada. Among the noteworthy exceptions are the University of Calgary and the University of Western Ontario. Students and faculty on these campuses have distinguished themselves, by unanimously refusing to take part in this festival of Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism.

Israel Apartheid Week was initiated five years ago by the Arab Students’ Collective at the University of Toronto. Since then, the annual hate fest has spread to universities in more than 40 cities around the world.

According to the IAW website, this year’s events focus on “Israel’s barbaric assault on the people of Gaza. Lectures, films, and actions will make the point that these latest massacres further confirm the true nature of Israeli Apartheid. IAW 2009 will continue to build and strengthen the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement (against Israel) at a global level.”

At the Muslim Al Quds University near Jerusalem, Israel Apartheid Week has been extended for a full month, during which the university’s students’ council is urging a boycott of Israeli goods on campus and seeking international support for the alleged right of Palestinian refugees to return in overwhelming numbers to Israel.

How ironical. Here we have students living in Israeli-occupied Palestine openly advocating a policy that would spell the end of Israel as an independent state. Imagine the fate of any Jew in Gaza who dared to speak out against Islamist terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.

Students, faculty and administrators at Al Quds are also clamoring for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. But, of course, they do not speak for all Arabs. Consider the contrasting views of Mohammad Al-Hadid, the distinguished president of the Jordanian Red Crescent Society and Chairman of the international Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Al-Hadid is a champion of peace in the Middle East and a leading proponent of humanitarian co-operation between Israelis and Arabs. He is justifiably proud of the key role he played as an Arab Muslim in persuading The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to admit both the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the equivalent Israeli national society, Magen David Adom, in 2006.

On Monday, Al-Hadid participated in a panel discussion at a national conference of the Canadian Academic Friends of Israel that took place at the University of Toronto. In his address, he lauded Magen David Adom for coordinating with the Jordan Red Crescent Society in coping with local natural and man-made disasters. And he commended his friend and fellow panelist, Dr. Jimmy Weinblatt, Rector, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, for helping to foster a number of ongoing student and academic exchanges between Ben-Gurion University and the University of Jordan.

Incidentally, out of 15,000 students at Ben-Gurion, 1,000 are Arabs, including many low-income Bedouin on full scholarships. Is that the generosity one would expect of a government-funded institution in a real apartheid state?

Al-Hadid is outspoken in his denunciation of Islamist terrorists who deliberately target and kill innocent women and children. “These murderers do not belong to the human race and, above all, are the antithesis of Islam,” he contends. “Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. And it is a sad fact of life today that in many people’s minds Islam equates to terrorism, and Arabs and Muslims are stereotyped as potential terrorists.”

Part of the problem is that so few other Muslims have excoriated Islamist terrorists in public. Prof. Salim Mansur of the University of Western Ontario and Tarek Fatah, a secular founder of the moderate Muslim Canadian Congress, are two courageous exceptions.

Islamophobia—genuine fear of Muslims—is a serious problem in Canada. And it is bound to get worse, unless a lot more ordinary Canadian Muslims join with Mansur and Fatah in boldly speaking out in personal conversations, through letters to the editor and by all other available means against Islamist terrorists and their shameless apologists within the Canadian Muslim community.

Rory Leishman
Latest posts by Rory Leishman (see all)

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