The exact definition of ‘Islamofascist,’ as well as the acceptability of usage, has been hotly debated in the public. Associate professor at MU’s Religious Studies department, Robert Baum, explained why many deem the connection unsuitable.
“Islam is a religion and fascism is an ideology. The most well known fascist was Mussolini, and he was a Catholic, yet we don’t hear the term Catholic- fascist…Linking Islam with fascism is an attempt to link apples and oranges,” said Baum.
In accordance with the week, campus protests are planned at over 200 colleges and universities, including Washington University in St. Louis and Missouri Western. Jackie Litt, chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, said there is no indication that any activity related to the event will occur at MU.
An online guide for students seeking to bring Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week to their campus includes an agenda that briefly outlines activities that the week may consist of, such as speakers on Islamo-Fascism, and sit-ins outside the offices of women’s studies departments to “protest the silence of feminists over the oppression of women in Islam.”
“Of course everyone is entitled to their perspective, but I think there are many feminist scholars of gender and Islam who themselves have analyzed the complexity of gender inequality and gender,” said Litt.
This is not the first time that Horowitz has made women’s study department the target of his criticism. In March 2007 article a series on indoctrination at American universities on Frontpagemag.com, the online journals for the Freedom Center, censured the University of Missouri women’s and gender studies program (which officially became a department in the Fall of 2007.)