When I was asked about the ?Jenin Massacre? by a Muslim student during an event at Old Dominion last week, it became clear we were coming from two very different perspectives: reality vs. mythology.
There was no ?Jenin Massacre.? Period. The only ?massacre? that took place at Jenin was that of the truth.
Palestinians, long masters of media manipulation, went by the hundreds to foreign media?whom Israel kept outside of the armed conflict?to claim that over 500 innocents had been slaughtered. The man at the front of the prevarication parade was longtime Arafat sidekick Saeb Erekat, giving breathless accounts in interviews with CNN and other outlets.
The international media was in a tizzy, and most of the world fell for the lie. Only after the smoke had cleared and outsiders allowed in did the truth come out.
56 Palestinians had died, but 47 of them were armed. The civilian casualties were at a minimum because Israeli soldiers went door-to-door and put their own lives at risk. Their caution cost 23 young Israelis their lives.
Even the United Nations?which had initially condemned the ?massacre??eventually determined that there had been no massacre. Yet to this day, Jenin is a rallying cry for Muslims around the world, particularly on college campuses in the United States. And Old Dominion is no different.
When I explained that there had been no massacre, some of the Muslim students expressed palpable disbelief, others snickered. Belief in the mythology of Jenin was not limited to that one student.
The student who asked the question did engage me in conversation afterward, and it was readily apparent that he is bright, even hyper-articulate. He could run circles around two-thirds of the successful people inside the beltway. Headed for law school in the fall, he seems destined to be a leader. But that is what?s most troubling.
How could someone so obviously intelligent swallow whole such a widely-discredited fabrication? Has he intellectually cocooned himself and refused to read anything counter to his worldview? Maybe the better question is: has any professor or advisor attempted to challenge his views, forcing him to rethink what he believes?
Youth lends itself to stridency and na?t?making campuses fertile fields for hatemongers and paranoia peddlers, providing an ideal home to delusional Muslim mythology. And political correctness has served as ignorance?s accomplice.
With academia?s moral relativism, no culture or belief system (aside from that of conservatives) can, or is allowed to, be criticized. Muslim students are encouraged to hold ?different? views, even if they differ from established fact. Telling them otherwise can be a terminal mistake. Just ask Thomas Klocek.
After 14 years of continuous service as a part-time adjunct professor, DePaul University in Chicago indefinitely suspended Klocek without pay based on a single incident. His crime? He was accused of insulting Muslim students. Explaining the suspension, Dean Susanne Dumbleton wrote in a letter to the school paper that Klocek had ?demean[ed] the ideas? and ?freedom? of the Muslim students and ?dishonored? their ?perspective.?
DePaul counts among its faculty a Holocaust denier and a well-known Islamist, yet both are still gainfully employed. Neither made the mistake of insulting Muslim students.
Academia?s abdication of its responsibility means that otherwise bright and capable Muslim students will not be afforded the opportunity?as many of us have been blessed to have?to reevaluate and reassess their belief systems. This is particularly ominous if the current Muslim leadership is any indication of what the future holds.
As the twin towers were burning on September 11, Salam al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, theorized that the culprit was?who else?the Jews. On a Los Angeles radio show, he said, ?If we?re going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list.?
He had no historical or factual basis to support his hypothesis. Islamic terrorism had been on the rise for years at that point, and the Palestinian intifada had already showcased almost a year of nonstop Islamic terrorism, yet al-Mariyati instead chose to hatch a crackpot conspiracy theory?one that still is very much alive in mosques across America.
The most common myth perpetuated by America?s Muslim leaders?and sadly, much of the Left?is that Israel is the source of the world?s problems. History says otherwise.
Wahhabism started in Saudi Arabia two centuries before the creation of the Jewish state, and the granddaddy of all modern-day terrorists, Muslim Brotherhood, also got the jump on Israel, launching more than two decades earlier. Yet the doctrine of the Muslim leadership is that creating a Palestinian state will eliminate terrorism.
But you can?t fight their fiction with facts. Because to them, their fiction is fact. The saddest fact, though, is that academia?s moral relativism dictates that there is no distinction.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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