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Hoax poster roils GWU campus

UPDATE 11 p.m.:

Responding to the report that anti-war activists had confessed to the poster hoax , Jason Mattera e-mails: "What did I tell you!"

Bryan Preston at Hot Air links and observes:

So this was an anti-war group's ploy to attack patriotic young Americans by smearing them as racists ...

As soon as I saw it, the name Adam Kokesh rang a bell. He's the Marine vet who got in trouble for wearing his uniform to anti-war protests, and who heads up the Iraq Veterans Against the War. They were so careful about who they associate themselves with that they touted phony soldier Jesse MacBeth -- until Hot Air and others outed him.

Meanwhile, American Pundit has joined the blog pack, and Little Green Footballs updates.

-- RSM

Monday morning, students at George Washington University discovered that their campus had been decorated with hundreds of posters proclaiming, "Hate Muslims? So do we!!!"

Though the posters were an apparent attack on Muslims, the real target was the campus chapter of the Young America's Foundation. "We were shocked and appalled," Sergio Gor, leader of GW's YAF chapter, told The Washington Times on Tuesday. "Our group does not support any kind of hatred or intolerance. We promote democracy, freedom and liberty for all."

Tuesday night, the GW Hatchet reported:

A group of seven GW students sent an e-mail to The Hatchet late Tuesday night admitting to hanging hundreds of controversial posters around campus early Monday morning.

The students - Adam Kokesh, freshman Yong Kwon, senior Brian Tierny, freshman Ned Goodwin, Maxine Nwigwe, Lara Masri and Amal Rammah - said their motives were misinterpreted. . . .
Kokesh, a graduate student and Iraq War veteran, gained celebrity over the past year because of his vocal opposition to the war. Nwigwe and Rammah are also graduate students.

The anti-war group's attack on YAF angered Gor, a senior majoring in political science and international affairs, who said the posters were intended to mock YAF's plans for Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, Oct. 22-26.

"We want to promote this very important message about the dangers of extremism," Gor said of the group's plans.

There was "outrage" over the posters at a Monday meeting of students, the Hatchet reported:

Many of the students in attendance at the event said they were personally hurt by the posters that were hung.

"This is the first time I felt attacked," said Manalle Mahmoud, a junior who is of the Muslim faith.

Representatives from more than a dozen groups on campus and from Muslim, Catholic and Jewish faiths spoke in unison condemning the posters and the unidentified subjects who hung them.

In a statement issued Tuesday, YAF national spokesman Jason Mattera condemned the perpetrators of the hoax:
The Left is notorious for self-inflicting themselves with incidents of "hate" and then turning around to attribute such incidents on alleged intolerance ...
Accusations of hate speech make great headlines for newspapers, even if those accusations turn out to be wrong -- or even worse -- contrived. Such is the case at The George Washington University.
When the posters were discovered Monday, Gor said, "We were treated as suspects until the university got all the facts right ... The only reason we got attacked was because we're a conservative group."

During Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week, Gor said, the GW group will sponsor a speech by conservative author David Horowitz, sponsor a campus petition condemning terrorism, show the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11," and also host a panel discussion that will include "Muslim women who escaped persecution in Islamic countries. . . . Women who got flogged for wearing nail polish in Iran."

According to Memeorandum, the GW incident has been blogged at Little Green Footballs, Jihad Watch and Solomonia.

-- Robert Stacy McCain, assistant national editor, The Washington Times

Comments (3)



Please stop using the perceived innocuous term "hoax." This was no hoax. This was a thought out effort meant to demonize, belittle, and steal the credibility from an Conservative organization that understands the necessity of treating radical Islam appropriately. For a few moments it, actually, worked to that means. It was malicious in intent, and excusing it as a "joke", "hoax", and "shennanigans" plays into the hands of the perpetrators.

If they do not learn that there are repercussions for their actions...they will merely do it again in another form.

Knave: Stephen Knapp, the president of George Washington University, who is punishing the wrong people in the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week poster saga.
Last week's Knaves were the seven GW students who posted satirical anti-Muslim posters around campus, which were wrongly atttributed to the conservative Young America's Foundation. This week, Mr. Knapp takes dubious honors for vowing consequences but giving the kid-gloves treatment once it emerged that the offending students were not young conservatives, but a bunch of left-wingers seeking to portray the foundation as a nest of bigots.

When the posters were first discovered, Mr. Knapp, unable to recognize them for what they were, called them "reprehensible" and said: "There is no place for expressions of hatred on our campus." That clearly doesn't apply when "expressions of hatred" are meant to smear a conservative group. Late last week, after the perpetrators came forward, the university announced that all disciplinary issues would be handled by the Student Judicial Services, and not the administration. University police have closed their investigation. In fact, the students may escape punishment altogether because GW's "hate speech" provisions do not extend to political affiliation.

Young America's Foundation remains the school's target. School administrators demanded something like a loyalty oath, in which the foundation promised "that you will not allow hate speech to be a part of any [group] events, literature, written or verbal communication planned for Islamofacism Week." When you're afraid of the guilty at GW, you punish the innocent.

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