This was just a commencement speech at a small law school, not really one of the leading institutions of its category. Another run-of-the-mill speech that expresses the new American spirit that is taking over more and more circles in the academia of the world's most powerful nation and Western academia as a whole. This spirit echoes in Israel as well.
Nevertheless, this speech was a seminal moment. A manifestation of all that is wrong with progressive circles in the Western world today. A speech full of lies, hatred and slander. Welcome to the current of thought of the progressive circles.
Graduates at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law chose Fatima Mohammed to deliver the keynote address at the festive ceremony. They knew exactly who they had business with. She was not chosen despite her beliefs. She was chosen because of her beliefs. And above all else, she hates the United States, which granted her asylum.
She wrote, “I pray upon the death of the USA.” And to an American soldier who returned from Afghanistan, she commented, “It's a shame you only lost your legs.” The Jihadist progressive wrote, 'Terms like left-wing Israeli just make me laugh,” and added, “May every Zionist burn in the hottest pit of hell,” and “I wish the death of Israel.” This is similar to the leading slogan of the Houthis in Yemen: “Death to America, Death to Israel."
It's odd that she fled the inferno of Yemen only to spread the poison that caused that same inferno. Her worldview can be defined in one word: hatred. Hatred for the United States. Hatred for Israel.
It has been 22 years since Al-Qaeda’s attacks on U.S. soil, but Jihad has not been defeated. Jihadist organizations now control much more territory than they did in 2001. This control brings destruction, death, massacres and ruin. This is what radical Islam does wherever it reigns or tries to take over."
But even worse than that: it is radical Islam, which is full of hatred toward the West, human rights and equality for women and minorities that is pervading, if not taking over, parts of the intellectual elite in the U.S. Allan Bloom wrote about the "closing of the American mind" as early as 1987, about the triumph of relativism, and about the loss of the quest for truth. He even compared the U.S. to the Weimar Republic in Germany which surrendered to Nazism. Today we surrender to Islamism. It used to be out of fear, but today it's done willingly.
Bloom never would have dreamed of what is happening today. Cheers and applause to an Islamist student, delivering an anti-American, antisemitic speech, while being revered and supported by progressive circles.
Mohammed is a Yemeni migrant. In the past decade, a war has been raging in Yemen. A war started by the angels of death, the Houthis—Zaidis who are considered Shiites—supported by Iran.
The terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has contributed to the devastation. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been involved as well. It's a free-for-all war. This war has already claimed 377,000 lives, with 4.5 million refugees, 17.4 million hungry, and 21.6 million, two-thirds of the population, in need of humanitarian aid.
But the crown jewel of the progressive college did not condemn the industry of death and devastation. In fact, she actually said that she "grew up in the sweet land of Yemen." Rivers of blood were shed there. And the blood, apparently, is sweet.
This is what happened and is happening in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Sahel states in Africa by jihadi proxies. But in Mohammed's view, as per her hateful speech, the problem is capitalism. The problem is American fascism. The problem is Zionism. Osama bin Laden would have signed every word. His body was thrown into the ocean, but his spirit hovers over the United States, destroying it from within, and his representative receives thunderous applause. She is the heroine of the progressive circles. This is not an anomaly."
Mohammed's speech was on May 12 (the full speech can be found on the MEMRI website). It took more than two weeks for the speech to start making waves in the U.S. media, including a front-page cover dedicated to the hateful speech in the New York Post. The university itself issued a condemnation statement in which Mohammed's words were referred to as "hate speech." Several public figures, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and Senator Ted Cruz, claimed that it was an "anti-Semitic speech." Democratic Congressman Ritchie Torres, who is black, also issued a condemnation.
However, the New York Times, a newspaper that is becoming increasingly progressive, joined in on the reporting on June 2 and claimed that "these are the opinions of a 24-year-old young woman.” The criticism mainly targeted those who spoke out against this hateful speech. Not a word was said against the speech itself.
On the contrary, the newspaper expressed astonishment and disdain in the face of the outraged reactions "at tables around the world." What a chutzpah. It's fine for any newspaper to support freedom of expression, but it's a bit strange to support those who declare openly that they are in favor of silencing those who support the very existence of Israel.
The embrace Mohammed received is racism. She's allowed to lie. She's allowed to distort the truth. She's allowed to spread hatred. She's allowed to, precisely because her supporters don't expect the norms of equality or human rights from the culture she represents.
Here and there, during lectures in the United States, when I present comparative data on the nearly zero impact of Israel on the Palestinians, compared to the genocidal impact of jihad on Muslims – I hear the argument: but you're supposed to act according to higher standards.
“Thank you,” I reply, “but you're basically saying that your demand from Muslims is lower. In your eyes, they're inferior. Not in mine. They're allowed to do anything. To oppress women and LGBT individuals, to carry out endless massacres. Your approach has one name: racism."
This isn't America. Let's not be mistaken. Democrats also spoke out against this hateful speech. It was only on Tuesday that U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a bold pro-Israel speech.
But the Red-Green coalition, which connects the BDS movement, Mohammed, and the New York Times, is not backing down. They are increasingly infiltrating liberal circles. Members of the coalition have lost touch with reality and truth. It's not that criticizing the U.S. or Israel is verboten. But all the sins of Israel won't reach one-thousandth of the crimes of political Islamism, with which progressives have made a pact. But how many demonstrations, publications, and protests have there been against Israel, and how many against jihad?
To understand the state of academia in the United States, and perhaps also in most Western countries, it seems we need to ask: is there a chance that at a graduation ceremony, a student, perhaps Muslim, will speak out against the heinous crimes against humanity committed by radical Islam, when most victims are Muslims? Or about the calls and incitement of Hamas to destroy Jews? Or perhaps about the Taliban's ban on women's education? Or the ban imposed by Hamas' court on women leaving the house without the approval of a male guardian? Or, in general, about the oppression of women and LGBT people under Islamic rule? No chance. The truth is a victim of political correctness, of wokeism, of the evil spirit. Lies, deceit, and hatred prevail with ease.
- Ben-Dror Yemini is the author of the book Industry of Lies: Media, Academia, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict.