Brian Birdnow

At first glance one would be hard pressed to align David Horowitz and Sir Salman Rushdie on any socio-cultural barometer together, but this is no longer the case. Last week a story broke that Saint Louis University rescinded an invitation that the institution had extended to David Horowitz to speak at the school on October 13th. Horowitz, the ex-radical turned caustic critic of the New Left, planned to speak of the dangers of Islamic radicalism around the world. The title of his talk, “Islamo-Fascism and Civil Rights” worried the university administrators and, after protests from faculty members and, apparently a Muslim student group, the university caved and “disinvited” Horowitz on September 30th. On October 7th, Sir Salman Rushdie spoke at Saint Louis University as a celebrated guest, honored by the institution and the broader community as the 42nd recipient of the St. Louis Literary Award, an accolade presented annually to a distinguished man/woman of letters. The irony of this situation, apparently lost on the Saint Louis University Administration, is almost irresistible. Rushdie, a man of the left who understands firsthand the dangers of Islamic extremism is welcomed, feted and celebrated by the academic-intellectual community while Horowitz, a conservative thinker who has attempted to alert the world to the dangers posed by Islamic extremism is shunned and silenced.

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Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.


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