Muslim Hunting: David Horowitz's Antagonistic Career

Smear Machine

Muslim Hunting: David Horowitz's Antagonistic Career

Alex Galvan was in El Salvador teaching English to poor kids when he first learned about his ties to terrorism.

It was last March, during the patch of the calendar most universities cut out for spring break. But instead of beer-bonging his way through a beach week or posting up on the couch, the Florida State University political science and international relations major caught a flight south.

The trip wasn't unusual: Galvan is hardwired for giving. The Tampa native helped open a free clinic for the uninsured in Tallahassee and has taught poor Moroccans about the importance of clean water. Working young Salvadorans through their ABCs was merely his latest adventure.

Galvan touched down outside of the city of Zacatecoluca, located in a rural region still bleeding from years of civil war and poverty. A bout of malaria was already swimming through his bloodstream. Soon enough, armed thugs were asking about the American stranger. "Be careful," a family member familiar with the area had warned him before the trip, "and don't tell anyone you're Muslim."

Galvan touched down outside of the city of Zacatecoluca, located in a rural region still bleeding from years of civil war and poverty. A bout of malaria was already swimming through his bloodstream. Soon enough, armed thugs were asking about the American stranger. "Be careful," a family member familiar with the area had warned him before the trip, "and don't tell anyone you're Muslim."

But Galvan's problems wouldn't come from El Salvador. They would arrive via e-mail just a few days in, sent by panicked colleagues from the Muslim Student Association chapter at Florida State. The campus newspaper had run an ad claiming the MSA was aligned with terrorists. Galvan anxiously waited out the 30 minutes it took for his shoddy Internet connection to spit out a copy.

The ad climbed half the page, its top splashed with bold lettering: "Former Leaders of the Muslim Student Association (MSA): Where Are They Now?" Below were 10 names, some familiar echoes from the news. Each was followed by lines identifying their terrorist ties, words like "Al Qaeda," "Taliban," and "jihad" shouting at him.

"I took it almost as a personal threat, because it was citing how all these people were presidents of MSA, and I'm a president of MSA," Galvan recalls.

Florida State's Muslims were used to low-dose bigotry. This was panhandle Florida. Galvan regularly endured taunts as he made his Friday trek to the mosque dressed in traditional prayer robes. It was just part of life in the South. But the ad suggested that his group was a pilot program for the terrorists of tomorrow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Normally concerned with sponsoring beach-volleyball games and barbecues, the MSA's most political activity was a yearly Fast-a-Thon to raise awareness about hunger. Looking for a retraction or condemnation, Galvan tapped out angry e-mails to the paper and school administrators.

He was met with silence. The paper wouldn't print his full-length defense, nor, he says, could FSU president Eric Barron be bothered to return his calls: "It was really alarming to us that no one at our university was willing to step up. We seemed to be alone on this issue."

The ad did draw the attention of one group: the FBI. Two years earlier, a mosque near FSU had been torched. A few hours east, in Gainesville, Reverend Terry Jones had become a news-cycle fixture for periodically threatening to burn the Koran. The FBI wanted a sit-down, worried that some backcountry type might see the ad and reach for a gun.

"In the Muslim community, we've seen how far this goes," Galvan says. "People don't just kill a Muslim for no reason. They do it because they've developed an image in their head of Muslims as an evil threat to their lives and families."

But while Galvan and his friends were meeting with the FBI after spring break, a 74-year-old man in Sherman Oaks, California, was most likely gloating over his latest incitement of panic. Over the years, David Horowitz had turned baiting Muslims into a spectator sport. The Florida State ad was just another slash in his win column.

Like many of the '60s generation, David Horowitz changed his political coloring over time.

His career as an antagonist began in Berkeley with the budding New Left movement, which spliced lecture-hall idealism with radical street work. He edited Ramparts magazine, the '60s muckraking venture that printed the first exposés on the CIA's role in Vietnam, allowing him to rub shoulders with revolutionary royalty like writer Noam Chomsky and the Black Panthers.

But Horowitz's feelings for the left eventually soured. He spied hypocrisy in the liberals who decried Lyndon Johnson while trumpeting dictators like Ho Chi Minh. This growing unease came to a head in 1975, when Betty Van Patter's beaten corpse was pulled out of the San Francisco Bay. Horowitz believed that Van Patter, who'd kept the books at Ramparts, had been slain by Black Panthers trying to cover up an embezzlement scheme. The case was never solved.

By the 1980s, Horowitz had switched teams. He founded what would later become the Freedom Center in suburban Los Angeles, producing pamphlets that urged Republicans to take up arms. "The Art of Political War" called for the GOP to adopt an aggressive activist tone that would come to be its trademark. Karl Rove was a fan. The none-too-subtle "Hating Whitey" scorched liberals for unfairly blaming whites for the problems confronted by minorities.

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21 comments
Cassidy
Cassidy

Well, Muslims demonize themselves well enough.  Sure Horowitz is a money-rakin' rabble-rouser but the truth is, while not every terrorist is a Muslim, most are that aren't state-actors.

srjmsbnd
srjmsbnd

Wasn't David Horowitz a paid FBI informer when he worked for Ramparts? and was he recruited because of questions about his parents?

You don't know that is the charm of the police state no one knows until the next revolution when a mixture or revolutionaries and agents storm the old regimes intelligence headquarters and insulate themselves in the halls of power and execute they past associates to hid ethe fact they are snitch agent double-crossers.

I say execute David Horowitz after a quick trial  before dinner or lunch.

iamourhaj
iamourhaj

One correction-- the MSA members listed in the article who "went bad" are a real grab bag and I would suggest not lumping together direct support for Al Qaeda with involvement in local liberation struggles. The tens of thousands of MSA students every year are regular and fairly typical people and the MSAs promote service and positive values. Many are active in interfaith dialogue, especially with Hillel clubs. However, the recent AP articles report how quite a number of such student clubs have been put under police surveillance—based apparently on one student once upon a time joining a conflict or a conspiracy (sometimes with the help of an aggressive agent provocateur). It does not matter if the individual left the club years ago after graduation. The police don’t bother to try to prove any cause and effect—this is their pretext for widespread infiltration, just as they have pretexts for stop and frisks on a huge scale. Media should not make that sloppy police analysis easier, either.

iamourhaj
iamourhaj

Good-- the Voice finally publishes some fairly good articles about the right wing movement that is energetically targeting Muslim Americans and their organizations as if somehow "linked" to Al Qaeda as well as to Kevin Bacon.The truth is that the Muslim community is extremely diverse and its organizations are relatively under-funded. Greater unity will only stabilize the community, and of course will not install some some backward interpretation of Shariah Law in this nation. It would be helpful for that building process, if we Muslims did not to have to dodge media spitballs and police surveillance all the time. Of course, some of our fellow "Americans" just want us out --in the grand tradition of anti semitism, nativism and racism, sad to say.

Quixote3
Quixote3

I wonder how Mr. Horowitz would react if someone sent out a series of little "Gmail confessions" in his name... Would he stand up for "freedom of speech," "satire," and the right to "criticize" people, or would he do what has to be done and call in the Internet cops in New York — who, incidentally, are moving straight ahead with an excellent job of suppressing this form of identity theft, at least when it becomes embarrassing to prominent members of the community — as seen in this case —

http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

alexsullera
alexsullera

Boo hoo hoo. A Jewish man says mean things about Muslims. Ditto for your article of Pamela Geller. When are you going to do articles on all those Muslims and blacks who say mean things about Jews, Asians, gays and women? Far worse than this guy. The media seems to hate uppity Jews. Louis Farrakhan is openly promoted by Jermiah Wright, Tavis Smiley, NAACP, Russell Simmons and thousands of other black civic, religious and student organizations without anyone taking them to task. I don't really agree with Horowitz or Gellers worldview but I like seeing Jews who don't act as house negroes. The left goes bolistic over it. And I say this as a leftist.

TurnToTheLeft
TurnToTheLeft

Please post contact information for David Horowitz; he needs to be flooded with messages from the VOICE nation.

geerterri
geerterri

This is sad. It looks like Horowitz will do anything for publicity. He used to be admired. IMO, it looks like he jumped the shark a long time ago.

p.j.brn
p.j.brn

"Like many of the '60s generation, David Horowitz changed his political coloring over time"....

Not sure how true that. How about "some" for a better stab coming from one who is one of the most who didn't?

alanhw
alanhw

Once a Trot, always a Trot

silkroad
silkroad

First Pamela Gellar, now David Horowitz. Is the Village Village going to continue to give free publicity to crackpots?

robert.cogan
robert.cogan

"Smear Machine" has a better, broader application. I recently searched "obama muslim" and got 48.5 million hits. Aside from insulting the 60+ million voters who chose Obama, such Big Lie hitting, imho, has an adverse turnout selection effect for elections, accounting in some measure, for diminish electoral returns. It invaded and eroded his political capital, measured crudely by vote margin (down from 10+ million in 2008 to about 4 million in 2012.) It weakened him in to point where summer 2010 - 2011 he offered far too much AUSTERITY to get out of the Tea Party Debt Ceiling Strike. Now STRONG REACTION is needed against any severe Depression inducing cuts, especially to Social Security and Medicare. Warning: the Fiscal cliff can turn into a Hostage Job Killing Crisis. Cliff deadline is missed, job "creators" start killing more jobs, Repuglicans shriek "Let us cut your [general welfare entitlements] Social Security and Medicare and we'll agree to a little more taxation on the rich." It's EXTORTION, but, Obama already agreed 2010 2011 to the process and made a bad offer!

Brynmr
Brynmr

@WajahatAli An Islamophobe is one who has an irrational fear of criticizing Islam. @LogansWarning

EddietheInfidel
EddietheInfidel

Yeah, David Horowitz may be antagonistic.... but how many times has he been wrong?... It appears that the author freely admits that he's been right most of the time, despite the spurious claim in the column that he's "broad-brushing" the muslim community.

It's time that people start to admit that there ARE segments of the muslim community that embrace the savage ideology of jihad.

alexsullera
alexsullera

I should add, that blacks and Muslims have been pretty obsessive about demonizing Jews (then later Asians in the former case) starting with Malcolm X through Al Sharpton, Leonard Jeffries, Tony Martin, to Jermiah Wright and Farrakhan today.  It's no big surprise that some formely leftist Jews have returned the favor.  It's very understandable.  Do you expect Jews to take decade after decade of degradation by both groups happily? 

geerterri
geerterri

@robert.cogan According to the SCOTUS ruling in Perry v United States (1935), Congress does not have the right to even consider not paying our legal debts. At all.

I just started a petition on the White House petitions site, We thePeople. Will you sign it? http://wh.gov/5ksN

alanhw
alanhw

@EddietheInfidel what the author says is that, surprisingly, Horowitz is occasionally right.  If he accuses every Muslim and every leftist of terrorism, he's bound to occasionally hit on someone who actually is.  This doesn't change the fact that his method is to simply accuse everyone. 

justbentley
justbentley

@alexsullera

Well, it's good to see that Black folks aren't being left at the back of the bus again! Seems we got ourselves our very own little muckraker!

Can't hold a candle to the original, but with such dim lights, I guess that don't matter none.

Just a heads up though, if you're looking to match Mr. Horrorwits, you ought to try digging up dirt on some other community than toffersfers Black folks cuz see, we ain't really had no leaders since the mid-seventies at best. Nearest we got was Jesse Jackson, and everybody knows he weren't out to help nobody so much as himself.

But then, you indicated at least a partial awareness of how deeply divided our. community is through your employment of the. term "house negro". You misapplied it, but that's not my h of a matter that's

robert.cogan
robert.cogan

@geerterri @robert.cogan Your thought has merit but the subject is complex and it needs clarification as to what specifically you want to have happen. That should be described in a petition. The Preamble of the Constitution is the top of an order of overriding law. Starting with its requirement that the government provide for the common defense AND promote the general Welfare, etc. it's ability to coin money and regulate the value thereof is above even the Amendment prohibiting questioning the validity of the public debt. The ability to coin money and regulate its value are what is pointed out by greenback monetary theorists as a way to sweep aside the entire so called "deficit" problem. "Deficits" are the new "Weapons of Mass Destruction," the big Lie the Republicans have been shrieking to try to win the election and get us to cut Social Security and Medicare. The whole national debt is an accounting contrivance of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. The U.S. Congress can at anytime create "United States Notes" which are debt free (search wiki on this.) It could use them and their power to both pay off and  reduce the quantity of the national debt, or add to the balances in the SS and Medicare Trust Funds any time it wanted to.  See Ellen Brown, The Web of Debt or Steve Zarlenga The Lost Science of Money, Walter Mosler, The Seven Deadly Frauds of Economic Policy. etc.

robert.cogan
robert.cogan

@geerterri @robert.cogan As a monetary theorist, I read that case a long time ago. I was trying to be helpful. But I see you need no help. I do THINK I understand NOW, after your clarification, what you mean. You want a change whereby "Congress shall pass no bill without fully funding it." O.K do you understand the problems with this? Currently bills  are proposed by subcommittees, approved by majorities of committees, and then go to APPROPRIATIONS committees that have to decide how much can actually be spent on them, GIVEN OTHER PASSED BILLS as well. Also sometimes the bills have to go to conference committees with the other house, which has other bill funding priorites. Also, Tax collections VARY and there are emergency funding needs sometimes. Something more like what you want could occur IF there was a greenback funding mechanism like the authors I mentiones proposed. Goodbye and good luck with your idea.

geerterri
geerterri

@robert.cogan @geerterri 

 It's not all that complex. Once Congress passes a bill, and it gets signed by the President, Congress has a legal obligation to pay for it. ALL of it.  

 Did you bother to read Perry v United States? 

I agree with most of what you said, but you took it rather far afield.

Here's a link to Perry v United States

http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/294/330/

Here are the highlights:

5. By virtue of the power to borrow money"on the credit of the United States," Congress is authorized to pledgethat credit as assurance of payment as stipulated -- as the highestassurance the Government can give -- its plighted faith. To say thatCongress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that theConstitution contemplates a vain promise, a pledge having no othersanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor. P. 294 U. S. 351.6. When the United States, with constitutional authority, makescontracts, it has rights and incurs responsibilities similar to those ofindividuals who are parties to such instruments. P. 294 U. S. 352.7. The right to make binding obligations is a power of sovereignty. P. 294 U. S. 353.8. The sovereignty of the United States resides in the people, andCongress cannot invoke the sovereignty of the people to override theirwill as declared in the Constitution. P. 294 U. S. 353.9. The power given Congress to borrow money on the credit of theUnited States is unqualified and vital to the Government, and thebinding quality of the promise of the United States is of the essence ofthe credit pledged. P. 294 U. S. 353.10. The fact that the United States may not be sued without itsconsent is a matter of procedure which does not affect the legality andbinding character of its contracts. P. 294 U. S. 354.11. Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment, declaring that "Thevalidity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, . .. shall not be questioned," is confirmatory of a fundamental principle,applying as well to bonds issued after, as to those issued before, theadoption of the Amendment, and the expression "validity of the publicdebt " embraces whatever concerns the integrity of the publicobligations. P. 294 U. S. 354.

 
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