Leave it to Berkeley to provide the latest campus outrage by the Left. Last Tuesday night, nationally renowned Muslim scholar Daniel Pipes attempted to speak at the University. Pipes is a renowned scholar of the Middle East and a recent presidential appointee to the U.S. Institute of Peace -- a nomination that was strenuously opposed by supporters of Islamic radicalism and their allies. His speech at Berkeley addressed the most important topics of our time: terrorism, the liberation of Iraq, Islamic fundamentalism and the Middle Eastern conflict. Clearly, the speech was an invaluable educational opportunity for Berkeley's students. Unfortunately, two student organizations with long records of campus thuggery and support for Islamic hate attempted to prevent other students from hearing what Pipes had to say.
The Muslim Student Association, a Saudi-funded Wahhabi organization with a history of supporting terrorism both as an organization and through the individual actions of its officers, has often taken part in raucous campus protests. The same is true for the incendiary Students for Justice in Palestine. Today's lead feature describes their efforts to disrupt Pipes' lecture, including picketing the event, shouting down the speaker, interrupting his speech and ultimately forcing the university police to eject them from the event. Through the statements that aroused their ire, the anti-Pipes' hecklers showed that they oppose rights for him, hate America and support suicide bombing.
Their disruption was an attack not only on Dr. Pipes but on the university community. All across the country radical groups have used tactics that can only be described as fascistic to attack campus speakers and intimidate students from attending their lectures and hearing a different point of view. The Muslim Brown Shirts who disrupted the Pipes event have learned well from their leftist models, who have pioneered the attacks on campus speakers with heterodox opinions. It is only a small irony that this took place at UC-Berkeley, the academic home of the "Free Speech Movement," which was not really about free speech but about letting the totalitarian parties of the Left agitate on campus.
The Pipes event is an outrage that is only possible because the rest of us are silent and university administrators prefer to deal with it by post-hoc means. It is a disgrace that universities regularly have to deploy armed police to protect conservative speakers and the students who come to hear them on campuses that have been pretty thoroughly purged of conservative views. Campus authorities know who the anti-intellectual ruffians are. Both of the Islamo-fascist organizations that disrupted the Berkeley event -- the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine -- are officialy recognized student organizations funded by student fees. There is no excuse for funding organizations who are self-declared enemies of the free exchange of ideas. The University of California needs to suspend both offending groups and withdraw their funding. That would put the entire campus community on notice that the university intends to defend itself against these attacks on its academic mission.
Students for Academic Freedom -- a national student organization with 123 chapters -- is today filing a formal complaint to acting chancellor John Cummins over this disgraceful event. We ask FrontPage Magazine readers to voice their concern over this incident, as well. Send e-mails to Vice Chancellor John Cummins and Dean Karen Kenney. -- The Editors.