By WILLIAM MAYER
January 5, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In U.S. educational circles, the prevention of "bullying" has become somewhat of a cause célèbre recently, despite its historical omnipresence in scholastic institutions.
The trajectory of this trend, which is not what it appears on its face, is fraught with the potential of having a substantial corrosive effect on the First Amendment.
First, what is bullying?
Of course all of us understand what has been the standard definition of a bully, one who by their aggressive action, seeks to impose their will upon others. The Miriam Webster dictionary notes that bullying consists of "blustering" and "browbeating" done by a person who is "habitually cruel to others who are weaker."
A classic example of this would be schoolyard tough guy who extorts lunch money from those physically weaker than himself. That efforts should be taken to prevent such behavior would seem to be obligatory to the point of being obvious.
Scholarship on the bullying phenomenon is relatively new to social scientists. As David Farrington observes in a 1993 study, Understanding and Preventing Bullying, "Modern research on bullying in the English-speaking world began with the publication of Aggression in the Schools by Olweus (1978) describing studies of bullies and victims of bullying carried out in schools in Stokholm..." [source, http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/cjrr17&div=11&id=&page=]. As one can see the emphasis was clearly on examining this type of behavior in academic environments.
However over the last decade or so there has emerged a different definition of bullying, one so over broad, vague and politicized as to have the potential for the serious abuse of personal liberty and rights enshrined in America's foundational documents, especially the First Amendment.
Wikipedia has the following take on the term, incorporating some of the claptrap we have come to associate with leftist attempts at language manipulation and hijacking.
"Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.[ The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power...It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The UK currently has no legal definition of bullying, while some U.S. states have laws against it." [source, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying#History]
The Wiki posting includes the preposterous linkage of the aforementioned "power imbalance," as having been one of the important factors in precipitating both world wars, "In fact, on an international scale, perceived or real imbalances of power between nations, in both economic systems and in treaty systems, are often cited as some of the primary causes of both World War I and World War II..."
One must note the expanded range of actions which now seemingly fall under this modernized definition. We believe that is the intended result, establishing it as a precursor for future restrictive legislation which might well cover an extraordinarily wide range of actions hitherto not commonly associated with the physically threatening actions of the traditional bully.
In the context of the relatively recent [generally since 9/11] push by Islamists to brand their critics as Islamophobes - religious bigots - bullying would seem tailor made as another avenue to achieve the revolutionary goal of forcing Shari'a compliance on the West while sidestepping important American Constitutional protections.
And this is exactly what has happened with the Muslim Public Affairs Council [MPAC] already well into a campaign wherein bullying will be akin to Islamophobia.
At a recent MPAC training session Aziza Hasan, MPAC's Southern California Government Relations Director, took to the podium. During her presentation which dealt with the Islamist equivalent of community organizing, she stressed three methodologies which the organization will employ going forward, one of which was urging others to campaign with MPAC emphasizing the linkage between "Islamophobia" and bullying. Hasan urged attendees is to pressure legislators to adopt positions against bullying, preferably in video format which MPAC will then apparently put to further use.
The MPAC website [see, http://www.mpac.org/issues/islamophobia/register-for-mpacs-aug.-18-anti-bullying-forum.php] now prominently features anti-bullying content and providing additional opportunities for training in this emerging Islamist tactic.
In this effort MPAC is partnering with the Islamic Networks Group [ING, a Northern California based Islamist speakers bureau] whose website contains numerous references to its bullying [see, http://www.ing.org/index.php/component/search/?searchword=bullying&searchphrase=all&Itemid=705] and the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA, named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the U.S.' largest prosecution of domestic Hamas terror financing, U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation] to equate bullying with Islamophobia.
For example this is MPAC president Salam Al-Marayati's take on the matter, "It is important to equip our youth with the tools in combating Islamophobia and any bullying..." [source, http://www.mpac.org/issues/islamophobia/register-for-mpacs-aug.-18-anti-bullying-forum.php]
According to the same MPAC web page, ING has taken a leadership role in these trainings, "ING piloted these trainings at two Muslim Youth of North America retreats earlier this year, as well as at the annual ISNA convention in July. The trainings are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge to answer frequently asked questions about Islam and Muslims, as well as how to respond to harassment and bullying at school. Take advantage of these trainings before the new school year begins..."
It's clear, that the Islamists have studied well at the feet of the hard left, adopting and in some cases perfecting their tactical use of politicizing language. In this case they are in a very public manner, attempted to hijack the bullying issue and turn it towards their advantage, conflating it with the increasingly threadbare term Islamophobia.
Stripped of its smokescreen, the bullying issue is in fact an attempted end run around the First Amendment. The term is intentionally not defined objectively, instead it is being redefined according to its supposed effect, whether "your heart hurts." Since bullying is not conclusively defined, it is whatever the complainant says it is, thus opening a Constitutional mine field - even if the "victim" will not identify his bully, the police may still step in. The accused not only is deprived of a chance to confront his accuser, he technically does not have an accuser.
If we allow this to happen, and the left appears to fully on board with this approach, the bullying issue might well serve as a particularly dangerous weapon in the Islamist arsenal, having significant potential to hamper the full exercise of the First Amendment, a primary goal among those bent upon incrementally forcing Shari'a on the West.
©2012 PipeLineNews.org LLC. All rights reserved. Beila Rabinowitz and The Prowler contributed to this article.