There are many fronts in the war against global jihad and the fight against dhimmitude. During the Mohammed Cartoon rage, the newspaper pages of a Danish publication became a front. The Internet–where jihadists use video-sharing tools like YouTube to recruit–is another front. And college campuses are important battlegrounds.
To wit: Eugene Volokh flags a story from Tufts University, where students published “Islam—Arabic Translation: Submission,” a satirical advertisement that ridiculed Tufts’ “Islamic Awareness Week” by highlighting militant Islamic terrorism. The invaluable FIRE has all the background. Ben Shapiro reported here. Now, a campus committee has decided that the satire–along with another politically incorrect commentary on affirmative action–constituted “harassment.”
Welcome to the new freedom of speech at the new university. No, the Committee’s actions don’t violate the First Amendment, since Tufts is a private university. But they violate basic principles of academic freedom and public debate on university campuses, especially when the top university administrators claim to “fully recognize freedom of speech on campus.” Appalling.
FIRE is firing back:
Showing profound disregard for free speech and freedom of the press, Tufts University has found a conservative student publication guilty of harassment and creating a hostile environment for publishing political satire. Despite explicitly promising to protect controversial and offensive expression in its policies, the Tufts Committee on Student Life decided yesterday to punish the student publication The Primary Source (TPS) for printing two articles that offended African-American and Muslim students on campus. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has spearheaded the defense of TPS, is now launching a public campaign to oppose Tufts’ outrageous actions.
“We now know that Tufts’ promises of free expression are hollow,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “By punishing political expression—the type of expression at the very core of the right to free speech—Tufts has shown that, in spite of its promises, it has no regard for its students’ fundamental rights. Such hypocrisy must not go unchallenged.”