David Horowitz Has Made Taunting College Students a Spectator Sport

Alex Galvan was in El Salvador teaching English to poor kids when he first learned about his ties to terrorism.

It was last March, during the patch of the calendar most universities cut out for spring break. But instead of beer-bonging his way through a beach week or posting up on the couch, the Florida State University political science and international relations major caught a flight south.

The trip wasn't unusual: Galvan is hardwired for giving. The Tampa native helped open a free clinic for the uninsured in Tallahassee and has taught impoverished Moroccans about the importance of clean water. Working young Salvadorans through their ABCs was merely his latest adventure.

David Horowitz morphed from Berkeley radical to conservative darling.
Gage Skidmore
David Horowitz morphed from Berkeley radical to conservative darling.
In the late '60s, David Horowitz (far right) was a member of the New Left and editor of Ramparts magazine.
Courtesy Horowitz Freedom Center
In the late '60s, David Horowitz (far right) was a member of the New Left and editor of Ramparts magazine.

Galvan touched down outside of the city of Zacatecoluca, located in a rural region still bleeding from years of civil war and poverty. A bout of malaria was already swimming through his bloodstream. Soon, armed thugs were asking about the American stranger. Be careful, a family member familiar with the area had counseled before the trip, and don't tell anyone you're Muslim.

But Galvan's problems wouldn't come from El Salvador. They would arrive via email just a few days in, sent by panicked colleagues from the Muslim Student Association at Florida State. The campus newspaper had run an ad claiming the MSA was aligned with terrorists. Galvan anxiously waited out the 30 minutes it took for his shoddy internet connection to spit out a copy.

The ad climbed half the page, its top splashed with bold lettering: "FORMER LEADERS OF THE MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION (MSA): WHERE ARE THEY NOW?" Below were ten names, some familiar echoes from the news. Each was followed by lines identifying their terrorist ties, words like al-Qaeda, Taliban, and jihad shouting from the page.

"I took it almost as a personal threat, because it was citing how all these people were presidents of MSA, and I'm a president of MSA," Galvan recalls.

Florida State's Muslims were used to low-dose bigotry. This was Panhandle Florida. Galvan regularly endured barked taunts as he made his Friday trek to the mosque dressed in traditional prayer robes. It was just part of life in the deep-fried South.

But the ad suggested that his group was a pilot program for the terrorists of tomorrow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Normally concerned with sponsoring beach volleyball games and barbecues, the MSA's most political activity was a yearly Fast-a-Thon to raise awareness about hunger. Galvan tapped out angry emails to the paper and school administrators, looking for a retraction or condemnation.

He was met with silence. The paper wouldn't print his full-length defense, nor could FSU President Eric Barron be bothered to return his calls. "It was really alarming to us that no one at our university was willing to step up," Galvan says. "We seemed to be alone on this issue."

The ad did reel in the attention of one group: the FBI. Two years earlier, a mosque near FSU had been torched. A few hours east, in Gainesville, the Rev. Terry Jones had become a news-cycle regular for periodically threatening to burn the Qur'an. The FBI wanted a sit-down, worried that some backcountry type might see the ad and reach for a gun.

"In the Muslim community, we've seen how far this goes," Galvan says. "People don't just kill a Muslim for no reason. They do it because they've developed an image in their head of Muslims as an evil threat to their lives and families."

But while Galvan and his friends met with the FBI, a 74-year-old man in Sherman Oaks, California, was most likely gloating over his latest incitement of panic. Over the years, David Horowitz had turned taunting Muslims into a spectator sport. The Florida State ad was just another slash in his win column.

The Switch-Hitting Radical

Like many of the '60s generation, David Horowitz changed his political coloring with seasoning. His career as an antagonist began in Berkeley with the budding New Left movement, which spliced lecture-hall idealism with radical street work. He edited Ramparts magazine, a '60s muckraking venture that printed the first exposés on the CIA's role in Vietnam, allowing him to rub shoulders with revolutionary royalty like writer Noam Chomsky and the Black Panthers.

But Horowitz's feelings for the left would eventually sour. He spied hypocrisy in the liberals who flung indignation at Lyndon Johnson yet trumpeted dictators like Ho Chi Minh. This growing unease came to a head in 1974, when Betty Van Patter's beaten corpse was pulled out of San Francisco Bay. Horowitz believed that Van Patter, who'd kept the books for the Black Panthers and at Ramparts, had been slain by Black Panthers trying to cover up an embezzlement scheme. The killing was never solved.

By the 1980s, Horowitz had switched teams. He founded what would later become the David Horowitz Freedom Center in suburban Los Angeles, producing pamphlets that urged Republicans to take up arms. The Art of Political War called for the GOP to adopt an aggressive activist tone that would come to be its trademark. Karl Rove was a fan. The none-too-subtle Hating Whitey scorched liberals for unfairly blaming whites for the problems confronted by minorities.

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7 comments
bobbjobob
bobbjobob

THis is gonna be really good dude.

www.Anon-Surfit.tk

jcslimitied
jcslimitied

Seems like only sheeple frequent these sites: Your cat, dog or gold fish recognize their enemies instantly even if they never saw them beofre. Somehow, you sheeple (sheep included) do not.

I have many friends that follow the Islam theology.  I can tell you that they are either dogs without teeth or raised without any knowledge of their true faith. To understand what I mean, you have to read their good book (s), the Koran, the hadith, etc. Those that do will do exactly as those writings say. I don't expect you sheeple to read them so....have a nice life.  BTW: the writers of these types of articles that call themselves journalists, turn you against "Eye opening " activities of others as its is quite easy to steer sheeple. It used to be done with dogs as sheep herders. Now its journalists with their own agenda, whatever that is.

If you haven't noticed, we are fighting these people around the world. Have a nice day...........

pennbrokeith1
pennbrokeith1

I agree with most all details presented in the article; but from the other side of the "fence". David Horowitz appears as a reasoned and dignified activist. And a hero. Bravo David and keep spot lighting terror trainees and their male supremest outlook.

kp.ryan
kp.ryan

I'd rather have 1000 Muslims living in my neighborhood than 1 zionist jackass like the 'former radical' David Horowitz.  Also, I greatly doubt Horowitz was truly any sort of 'radical' back in the day.  Much more likely he was simply a govt plant who accused others of hate and criminality when in truth it was (and still is!) Horowitz who's engine burns on racist hate. 

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

What an ass hat.  Not all muslims are out to destroy anything not muslim.  Some of my best friends happen to be muslim and are just like everyone else, although one was very tempted to leave the country thanks to nimrods like Horowitz.  

The fact is, IF they were all against the USA, there are enough of them here to have actually done something.  There are even a few in Congress.  Yet, nothing happens.  Why is that?  Because they are just trying to live their lives. 

Dmidify
Dmidify

@jcslimitied

Quran - Surat At-Tawbah 9:5

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. 

By the way Zakah is the tax all non-muslims must pay, or face death. They love killing people who are not muslim. 

Dmidify
Dmidify

@kp.ryan Your Zionist jackasses make up only .035% of the entire global population, less ignorance please.

 
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