Sunday, May 11, 2008

Horowitz Against Free Speech

David Horowitz's campaign against intellectual freedom has often included an attack on cartoons. Horowitz has declared that faculty should not be allowed to put political cartoons on their office doors. Now his lawyer has written to the University of Wisconsin, urging that the Muslim Students Association be punished for running a cartoon of him.

According to Horowitz's lawyer, "The flyer goes beyond legitimate parody or editorial comment and purports to imitate the views Mr. Horowitz develops through rigorous research and scholarship." The lawyer adds, "We request information concerning the university’s financial relationship with and support of the MSA chapter, which, by virtue of the cartoon and comments described herein, appears to promote, endorse and engage in hate speech as well as other activities that violate the constitutional rights of speech and assembly."

Horowitz himself writes, "They have the right to say whatever they want, however reprehensible the sentiment. However, the university is not obligated to provide them with the bulletin board space in the Student Union on which they displayed their bigotry, or to underwrite the expense of printing up the flyers to spread their hatred around campus." Beyond Horowitz's misunderstanding of free speech (MSA does have a right to use a bulletin board to display their messages), it now appears from his lawyer's letter that he no longer believes they have the right to say whatever they want.

Not only do they have the right to display this cartoon, but I really can't see what's anti-Semitic at all about it. It's anti-Horowitz, not anti-Semitic.

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