Following three weeks of controversy surrounding an advertisement placed in the Daily Nexus, occasional Fox News analyst David Horowitz will lecture tonight at UCSB.
Horowitz’s speech, entitled, “The Jihad Against America and Israel,” will center on issues such as terrorism, the Middle East and the ad placed in the newspaper. The event is hosted by the UCSB College Republicans, and will take place at 8 p.m. in Embarcadero Hall.
The ad, which was purchased by the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Terrorism Awareness Project, appeared in the Nexus on April 14 and read:
“In its nearly 600 chapters at colleges across the country, the Muslim Student Association postures as just another campus religious and cultural organization. In fact, the MSA is a radical political group that was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the godfather of al Qaeda and Hamas, to bring the jihad into the heart of American higher education.”
Following the ad’s placement, the Nexus received letters for three weeks with some readers defending MSA and others supporting Horowitz. Additionally, over 80 UCSB faculty and staff signed a petition, which appeared in the paper, urging the Daily Nexus to refrain from publishing “inflammatory” ads.
Daily Nexus Editor in Chief Nick Dürnhöfer responded by stating that advertisements placed in the paper do not necessarily represent his own views or the views of his staff. He also said in order to maintain objectivity, the editorial and advertising departments are kept separate, thus editors are not in charge of selling or placing ads in the newspaper. However, he said that the ad was a form of protected free speech nonetheless. Dürnhöfer also invited community members from all sides to submit letters to the editor in response to the ad.
According to Horowitz, angry responses and allegations targeting his organization’s advertisements are a regular occurrence. He alleged that editors at other papers were intimidated by their surrounding communities and local MSA chapters, and refused the ads, which Horowitz called a violation of the first amendment.
“The way I see the situation, the MSA continues to attack the free press,” Horowitz said. “I have seen such attacks go on at several universities, and other [college] newspaper editors have been intimidated not to publish them.”
Meanwhile, Horowitz’s appearances have inspired uproars at a few universities, including his recent lecture at the University of Wisconsin, which ended in the removal of 15 protesting students by local law enforcement.
UCSB MSA Vice President Hadi Noori, a third- year history major, said he along with several other MSA members will peacefully attend tonight’s event, despite his disagreement with the ads placed by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
“We are not going to be protesting the event, because we are in favor of freedom of speech,” Noori said. “We are going to wear green to represent peace, and we are going to show up wearing as much green as possible to use peace against hatred.”
Horowitz said he welcomes members of UCSB’s MSA to attend his lecture. He also said he urges MSA to condemn organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, alleging that such groups call for the destruction of Israel. He also said MSA should speak against al Qaeda and Hamas.
“What the Muslim Brotherhood calls for is the elimination of the only remaining non-Muslim State in the Middle East,” Horowitz said. “Let [the MSA] come out and say that there should be a Jewish state in the Middle East.”
UCSB College Republicans Executive Director Ryan McNicholas said he is looking forward to hosting Horowitz’s lecture.
“The best thing about David coming to UCSB is that anyone who disagrees with him will be able to ask questions, specifically about the advertisement,” McNicholas said. “I hope that the MSA can come and ask David questions directly so that they can hear his response and not attack him like they have in the past in the Nexus and online.”
"Daily Nexus Editor in Chief Nick Dürnhöfer responded by stating that advertisements placed in the paper do not necessarily represent his own views or the views of his staff… he said that the ad was a form of protected free speech nonetheless."
Would the Nexus publish an equally inflammatory ad directed towards a Jewish student organization?
I didn’t think so.