Free Speech Silenced at Columbia and Princeton

Nonie Darwish, the executive director of Former Muslims United and author of Cruel And Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, was scheduled to speak at Columbia and Princeton Universities last week, but both events were canceled under pressure from Muslim groups on campus.

Remember, we are talking about Columbia University, where Ahmadinejad was welcomed like a returning king.

Just hours before Darwish was scheduled to speak at Columbia, the groups that had invited her to both universities, the Whig-Clio Student Debate Society and Tigers for Israel, succumbed to demands from student Muslim groups and canceled her speaking event. Tigers for Israel, my eye. Their name mocks them. The Whig-Clio Society is the oldest debating society in the U.S., founded by James Madison in 1765. These are the students who are supposed to be the leaders of the future. What a joke.

Look how the cancellation went down at Princeton. Look at the systematic bullying. This is the state of freedom of speech in the age of jihad. Arab Society president Sami Yabroudi and former president Sarah Mousa issued a joint statement, claiming: “Nonie Darwish is to Arabs and Muslims what Ku Klux Klan members, skinheads, and neo-Nazis are to other minorities, and we decided that the role of her talk in the logical, intellectual discourse espoused by Princeton University needed to be questioned.”

KKK? Neo-Nazi? Nonie Darwish was scheduled to speak about Sharia law and Israel, about standing up for human rights against jihad.

But the sponsors of her talk immediately caved. Whig-Clio president Ben Weisman said: “Our decision to co-host the event was based on our belief that by extending an offer to speak to Ms. Darwish, members of TFI deemed her views a legitimate element of the mainstream discourse and in part agreed with her incendiary opinions. By rescinding their offer, TFI indicated their understanding that Darwish’s views have no place in the campus community.”

Tigers for Israel said in a statement:

On Tuesday evening Tigers for Israel and Whig-Clio rescinded our cosponsorship of today’s Nonie Darwish Lecture. Tigers for Israel accepted the opportunity for her to speak based on a misconception about what she actually believes. After her anti-Islam position was brought to my attention on Tuesday afternoon by the Center for Jewish Life director Rabbi Julie Roth and the Muslim Chaplain Imam Sohaib Sultan, I conducted extensive research and discussed the issue with TFI and Whig-Clio leadership, and we decided to rescind our cosponsorship after concluding that Tigers for Israel disagrees with and does not condone Ms. Darwish and her beliefs on Islam. … As President of TFI I take full responsibility for not vetting Ms. Darwish from the beginning, and I sincerely apologize for offending any person or group on campus, especially the Muslim community. Tigers for Israel deeply regrets the initial sponsorship and we do not in any way endorse her views.

Cowards. Pathetic cowards. Haven’t these Ivy-League know-nothings done their homework? Have they studied Islam? Jihad? Have they read Dr. Andrew Bostom’s The Legacy of Jihad and his Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism? Here is something they don’t know: Sohaib Sultan, who helped get the Darwish lecture canceled, wrote the book The Koran for Dummies. In that book, he says that the medieval Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir is the “most referred to” authority on Islam “in the Muslim world today.” Sultan says that Ibn Kathir offers “an excellent collection of historical analysis on the Koran and his mastery of Islamic law makes his insights especially interesting.” Yet Ibn Kathir taught that Muslims should wage jihad against Jews and Christians and impose laws upon them that would make them “disgraced, humiliated and belittled.” Ibn Kathir said that “Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah [Jews and Christians] or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.”

So who really resembles the KKK or neo-Nazis? A courageous woman standing up for human rights for Muslim women and ex-Muslims, or a Muslim imam who holds up as an authority someone who says that non-Muslims should be disgraced, humiliated, and belittled?

Darwish told me that she was shocked that just weeks after an Islamic attack on a military base on U.S. soil, the largest such attack in U.S. history, activists who speak the truth about Islam are being shut down and marginalized.

In another assault on free speech last week, students threw pies at a Robert Spencer event at NYU. What’s next? Grenades?

For those of us who are chronicling the advancing Islamization of America, things have gotten decidedly worse since Obama took over. We have entered a dark age.

Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs web site and is former associate publisher of the New York Observer.