When we speak of “the war of ideas”, we are speaking figuratively in most cases. The “real” war is in Iraq and Afghanistan. But on American Campuses, today, there is a real battle going on, as demonstrated by the pictures and videos that came out of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, last week. Conservative students, and speakers have their work cut out for them against a dug in leftist-Islamist alliance made up of students and faculty. Last week’s event also brought in outside interested parties, from the political left to help protest the protest.
David Horowitz expressed his gratitude, and admiration for the conservative students who braved the hostile crowds, and put up with much abuse to put on these events at 114 college, and university campuses:
Our speakers showed admirable courage in their willingness to endure the slander and attacks they knew that challenging the left would entail. But it was our students who braved the fiercest attacks from members of their campus communities. I can’t say enough how proud I am of the students I met this week on the campuses I visited, and the many others who worked with us to make this week a success. Without their willingness to stand up and be counted, there would have been no Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.
I know why they did it. I have been speaking on college campuses for twenty years and I have never seen conservative students so ready to engage in conflicts that would invite such vicious attacks, alienate their professors and cause them to lose friends because of the vicious intimidations of the campus left. The reason they have become willing to do this now is simple. It is because of the example set by their brothers and sisters in the frontlines in Iraq.
He relates the story of one particular student:
When counter-protesters closed down my speech at Emory University, I remembered my first appearance in there in 2002, during the controversy over reparations. I had been invited by the chair of the College Republicans, a student named Lyle Rubin. Lyle was a bookish, intellectual type, a political science major. Our meeting left me concerned that he would not be aggressive enough to handle the attacks that were already coming his way not only from students and professors, but from “Student Life” deans who were instigator of the protests that attended my visit.
A few years later, I received an email from Lyle which he had sent to a list of his friends informing us that he was in his second week at Marine boot camp and asking if we would write him keep his spirits up so that he could survive the ordeals for which his previous life had not prepared him. Our students see members of their generation ready to put their lives on the line to defend their freedoms. They understand that the war is being waged at home as well. And they are not going to let their brothers and sisters in uniform shoulder the burden alone.
A well deserved kudos to all those conservative students fighting the good fight.