Uniting against racist hate at UC

November 10, 2008

CINCINNATI--Antiracist activists at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are preparing to protest an event featuring Islamophobe and racist Nonie Darwish on November 13.

Darwish was featured, along with fellow right-wingers Alan Dershowitz and Daniel Pipes, as a so-called "expert" on Arab and Muslim culture in the pseudo-"documentary" film Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West. During the last two weeks of September, the right-wing Clarion Fund paid to distribute more than 28 million copies of the DVD through 70 different newspapers in 14 "swing" states, including Ohio.

On September 26, during the holy month of Ramadan, children whose parents were worshipping at a Dayton, Ohio, mosque were pepper-sprayed by attackers outside a window. Police in Dayton have refused to call the attack a hate crime.

Racism directed at any group, at any time, should be confronted directly. Racist propaganda films like Obsession and speakers like Darwish create an atmosphere of hate, fear and xenophobia, which leads to violence against Arabs and Muslims and is used to justify the U.S. occupations of the Middle East.

Members of several student groups--including the Campus Antiwar Network, International Socialist Organization, Muslim Student Association and Arabic Club--have agreed to protest the event. Protesting this event is the first act of the Students United Against Hate Coalition, which has drafted a statement against any and all hate speech on our campus. Many organizations and individuals are signing on.

Those interested in joining the coalition or protesting this event should come to a planning meeting at UC on November 10, at 7 p.m., at the TUC Atrium.

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