The local paper tells me that some students on the campus of George Washington University are in trouble today because they put up fliers advertising National Islamo-facism Awareness Week. The fliers, which start off by exclaiming "Hate Muslims? So Do We!!!" goes on to list several "stereotypical features" of Muslims, such as their "lasers in eyes" and "peg-leg for smuggling children and heroin."

GW students held meetings to express their outrage over the "hate crime." The University police began investigating. And the story went out beyond the campus grounds causing a swarm of unwanted negative publicity for the university. I've heard about it in emails and on list-serves.

Now it turns out that the group that was truly responsible for putting out the fliers did it as an attempt at satire. In an email statement, they said: "It is to our great dismay that the student body and the media missed the clear, if subtle, message of our flier: the hyperbolic nature of the flier was aimed at exposing Islamophobic racism."

Some people don't believe their explanation, but I do. I mean, c'mon, laser-eyes? peg-leg? Bigots are crazy but not that crazy.

I am grateful, however, that the students so vehemently rejected such perceived hatred. They are going to need that moral fibre since, unfortunately, while the flier is a fake Islamo-facism Awareness Week is real. Being organized by crazy-man David Horrorwitz, I mean Horowitz, it is a week-long national attempt to hold rallies of hate across American campuses. The paranoid argument is that Muslims are trying to take over America and create an Islamo-facist dictatorship. (As opposed to us invading a Muslim country or two to set up governments to our liking.)

I'm a little torn talking about this. On the one hand, I think it's important to speak against hatred whenever it arises. Otoh, I don't wish to give these guys any more publicity than they deserve, which is none. I think the best response is to let the students on these campuses respond, trusting that the vast majority of them will recognize this for what it is. If the response of the students at GW are any indication, we are in good hands.

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Acknowledgments is made possible in part by generous support from the Fahs Collaborative