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Education Reporter

96 Colleges and Universities Host Islamo-Fascism Awareness Day

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Fears of discrimination against Muslim students have led many universities to suppress discussion of radical Islam or the challenge it poses to free nations worldwide. The film Obsession attempts to raise Westerners' awareness of the threat, through an inside look at some of the tactics and objectives of militant Islam.

The documentary distinguishes between the majority of Muslims and the vocal minority, saying that most Muslims are peaceable and do not support terror. Even so, some university administrators and others have tried to keep the film off of campuses because they think it is potentially offensive.

In fall of 2006, Michael Abdurakhmanov tried to arrange a public screening of Obsession at Pace University in New York, where he is a student. Muslim students raised some protests against showing the film, but Pace administrators opposed the idea even more strongly. One warned Abdurakhmanov that showing the film could not only incite "hate crimes" against Muslim students but might even be considered a hate crime in and of itself.

On April 19th, however, Pace was one of 96 colleges and universities to screen Obsession on campus, as part of the first-ever Islamo-Fascism Awareness Day. Across the nation, groups of students and faculty watched the documentary together and discussed it. "The simultaneous showing of a film exposing the Islamist threat at nearly 100 universities is a tremendous victory for the forces of freedom and for intellectual diversity, which are now under attack," said activist and author David Horowitz. The David Horowitz Freedom Center's Terrorism Awareness Project sponsored the screenings and helped student groups to bring Obsession to their campuses.

Many of the groups had to fight to be able to show the film. Some administrators with the same concerns as those at Pace created obstacles or tried to talk student groups out of the idea. Georgia Tech student Ruth Malhotra, after overcoming several administrative obstacles and protests by left-wing student groups, received death threats over the film and had to spend most of the day under police protection.

Nevertheless, most student groups reported great results from the awareness day. Post-film discussions were generally civil and productive. Students reported that the film accomplished its goal of raising awareness and prompting discussion on a topic too important to remain taboo. (Front Page Magazine, 4-20-07; Washington Times, 4-18-07)

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