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October 10, 2007
YAF Group Targeted by Campus Administration for Fake Fliers
The Young Americans for Freedom chapter on the campus of George Washington University are being asked by the school administration to sign a statement condemning hate speech even though the incident that precipitated the request was not the result of anything the group did:
Leftist administrators at The George Washington University are on a rampage against a conservative group on campus for anti-Muslim fliers posted that the group had nothing to do with. Young America’s Foundation chapter at GWU did not disseminate fliers that read “Hate Muslims? So Do We!!” even though the flier purported to have the group’s moniker at the bottom. The flier went on to advertise an actual event on radical Islam that the group is sponsoring the end of October. ... This is unbelievable. Through no fault of their own, YAF was smearedby campus radicals, twisting the intent and purpose of the event into typical leftist hyperbole. And instead of defending the youngsters, the school wants to humiliate them by intimating that the conservative group sponsors hate filled events.
GWU officials have glossed over the fact that someone on campus misrepresented a school-sanctioned club. Instead, the school is cuddling up with the local Islamic groups to denounce the drummed up incident of hate and force the Young America’s Foundation chapter to sign a statement condemning hate speech. Bridgette Behling, the assistant director of the Student Activities Center at GWU, wrote an email to one of the conservative students urging them to disavow hate speech that may originate from any future Foundation events: “due to the inflammatory nature of today’s events [falsified posters], as a good faith effort on behalf of YAF, it is important that YAF drafts a statement which states that you will not allow hate speech to be a part of any of YAF’s events, literature, written or verbal communication planned for Islamofacism Week. This statement should also include your plan for preventing these things from happening as well as the consequences for these things happening. It is important that we have this document should any further incidents occur as we move forward.”
GWU’s ire is being directed in the wrong place. The University’s should be protecting the reputation of its students who were wrongfully maligned, rather than rewarding campus radicals who are always looking to suppress or distort conservative activism.
I would suggest the school track down the perpetrators of the smear and deal harshly with their attempt to stifle debate. That would be in keeping with the tradition of academic freedom in America rather than using administrators to curtail that freedom by forcing conservative to hew to a politically correct line.