Reprinted from Santa Barbara News-Press.
It all comes down to defending freedom of speech, conservative activist and speaker David Horowitz told a theater full of students Thursday night at UCSB.
“The First Amendment is absolutely the foundation for all your other rights,” he said. “If you don’t have the ability to express your dissent, in as fair a way as possible, to reach other people, then you can’t defend any of your other rights.”
In spite of controversy that swirled around his appearance, Mr. Horowitz addressed a respectful crowd of more than 400 in Isla Vista Theatre 1 with a presentation titled, “Infantile Disorders at UCSB: Why the Muslim Student Association is Afraid of David Horowitz.”
He addressed how liberal bias on campus stifles free speech, as well as the threat of radical Islamist and the National Muslim Student Association’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mr. Horowitz called out the university’s faculty, Associated Students and administration, all of whom he said fought to suppress his right to express views they disagree with.
Opposition to the appearance began as soon as the visit was proposed. Students stated that Mr. Horowitz’s statements constituted hate speech and his presence made them feel uncomfortable.
During his last visit to UCSB in April 2008, Mr. Horowitz challenged members of the Muslim Student Association to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, which it would not do, according to Mr. Horowitz.
The original MSA was founded in 1964 by a group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations, but Elliott Bazzano, the group’s spokesman, said the UCSB MSA was not the original and is not formally affiliated with the national MSA.
The group touts its autonomy from the National Muslim Students Association, Mr. Horowitz told the News-Press, but members recently attended the national MSA conference where they heard from an imam who supported the destruction of the Jews.
Mr. Horowitz presented a different idea of “hate acts” on Thursday night, describing the radical Islamist mission of wiping out America and annihilating Israel.
Yet for all the cries of racism and hate speech he has received for speaking on the threat of radical Islam, Mr. Horowitz said, the real hatred is that of the Arab states in the Middle East against Jews.
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