Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large and DailyWire.com Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro is set to deliver a lecture at the racial turmoil-beset University of Missouri campus Thursday evening. But before he left for Mizzou, Shapiro warmed up Wednesday night by speaking to University of Southern California students about the rise of anti-Israel bias on college campuses nationwide.
During a roughly 45-minute lecture and extensive follow-up Q&A period, Shapiro detailed how anti-Israel organizations and initiatives on college campuses across the country have surged in number, even in just the last decade.
“The radical Islamic agenda on campus has gotten significantly stronger since I was on campus [at UCLA], and it was strong even then,” Shapiro said.
When I was on campus, the Muslim Student Association actively fundraised for Hamas and Hezbollah, and had a pamphlet that they handed out with actual P.O. boxes you could send money to. The Muslim newspaper on campus, which was called al Talib, talked about renaming itself ‘al Taliban’ and joked about making Osama bin Laden the editor-in chief, literally a month before 9/11, so it was poor timing on their part. But it signified where the Muslim Student Association was then.
Since then, the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine have made significant inroads on campuses with the help of the left. It’s pretty clear what the agenda on campus is for radical Islamist organizations like the SJP and the MSA, both of which have significant terror ties.
Firstly, to end free speech with regard to the human rights violations that routinely take place in Muslim countries all over the world, with charges of Islamophobia–and this is what the Left typically does on campus. They accuse anybody who disagrees with them of being a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, Islamophobe–whatever it is, there’s a whole list of things that you are if you happen to be somebody who speaks truth on campus. And so this is one goal, to make sure nothing Islamophobic is ever said, and Islamophobia includes things like ‘By the way, Iran hangs gay people from cranes.’ Or ‘democracy and Islam don’t tend to be particularly compatible in Islamic countries around the world.’ This is “Islamophobic,” and therefore it must be silenced.
The other goal is to destroy Israel. And they have to both happen, because if you are going to destroy Israel, then you have to silence any critics about the Muslim world and radical Islam, because after all, if you ever put those two in contrast with one another, it’s pretty clear that there’s a massive moral contrast between the two. The fact is that Israel is a democracy. For all of its flaws, Israel is a significantly more tolerant country than any other country in the Middle East. Israel is a beacon of liberty in a region of darkness, and if you’re going to go after Israel and take everything Israel does out of context and call it a brutal human rights violator, in order to do that, you have to remove all the context, the context being the region in which Israel exists and the people with whom Israel has to deal.
So you have to, on the one hand, silence all talk about Israel’s enemies with charges of Islamophobia, and on the other hand, you then turn around and say that Israel is the gravest threat to the region.
Shapiro also discussed the dysfunctional relationship between the progressive left and the countries with dismal human rights records that they so often like to champion.
These are not places leftists would like to live. If you were to take the LGBT club on campus and plop it down in the middle of Saudi Arabia, it would last all of two minutes. If you were to take the feminist club here and dump them in the middle of Iran, that would not be a pleasant experience. The average lifespan would diminish largely.
The two-hour event was sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation and the USC College Republicans.
Jacob Ellenhorn, president of the College Republicans, praised Shapiro’s speech and said the group would work to bring more outspoken conservatives to campus next semester.
“A lot of people on campus talk about Ben being a ‘controversial’ speaker–I don’t see him that way,” Ellenhorn told Breitbart News. “He represents a diversity of thought that you don’t usually get on campus. He was able to dispel a lot of the lies spread on campus and in colleges across our country.”
Shapiro travels to the University of Missouri on Thursday to deliver a lecture entitled “Truth is a Microaggression.”