- Students attending a Florida conference in late December were told they needed to “expose Islam” for the “ugly thing” it is.
- Sophia Witt, the director of Israel outreach for Turning Point USA, directed the “F U-nity: Addressing Terrorism on Campuses” session at the conservative advocacy group’s annual Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- “I don’t even want to call it ‘radical Islam’ – it’s just ‘Islam,'” Witt said to applause.
- Turning Point USA is a conservative advocacy group that has gained significant momentum in the Trump era. It has links to today’s mainstream conservatism, with Thursday’s event featuring prominent speakers.
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Students attending a conservative conference in late December were told they needed to “expose Islam” for the “ugly thing” it is.
The conference was held by Turning Point USA, a conservative advocacy group that has gained significant momentum in the Trump era. Its president and founder, Charlie Kirk, is close friends with Donald Trump Jr. and has met with and been retweeted by President Donald Trump.
Kirk’s communications director, Candace Owens, has made headlines in recent months because of her interactions with the rapper Kanye West and her connection to West’s infamous Oval Office meeting with the president. The publicity Owens got in relation to West helped elevate Turning Point USA’s national stature.
The event, part of the conservative advocacy group’s annual Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, saw closer links to today’s mainstream conservatism than it did a fringe right-wing movement.
Speakers at the conference included the younger Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, and the British politician Nigel Farage.
Beyond the talks from the main speakers, TPUSA held smaller, breakout sessions hosted by its staff and in some cases other organizations, such as The Heritage Foundation.
Sophia Witt, the director of Israel and Jewish outreach for Turning Point USA, directed the “F U-nity: Addressing Terrorism on Campuses” session at the conference, which was attended by INSIDER.
Speaking with several dozen young attendees, Witt decried campus groups that claim solidarity with the Palestinians, singling out a group called Queers for Palestine.
Witt said the current academic climate in the US, which she characterized as overwhelmingly anti-Israel, had translated into a situation in which “they’re actually encouraging terrorism on these campuses.”
In a slideshow presentation, Witt said terrorism used to look like the Nazi Party in Germany but today appeared in the form of Muslim students and professors on college campuses.
- John Haltiwanger/INSIDER
“I don’t even want to call it ‘radical Islam’ – it’s just ‘Islam,'” Witt said to applause.
“There are pro-Israel organizations telling students to find common ground with the Palestinians,” Witt added. “Screw that – I don’t want to live in peace with you, you’re a terrorist.”
Witt told the young people in attendance that they should reject calls to find unity in debates regarding Israel and the Palestinians. “Stop unifying with terrorists,” she said.
After her presentation, Witt held a Q & A with the students in which she emphasized her strong Jewish roots and expanded on her views, answering questions on the fly.
Witt said “all” Muslims were “radical” and encouraged the attendees to “expose” them.
“There are a lot of ways to go undercover and expose these people,” Witt said.
“We absolutely need to expose Islam,” she added. “It’s not just Islam, it’s Muslims too.”
Urging the audience against believing practicing Muslims could be moderate, Witt said: “They’re painting a really pretty picture for a really ugly thing. They’re allowing us to believe there are moderate Muslims.”
She said that perhaps the only “good kind” of Muslim was a “nonpracticing” one.
Update: This article has been updated to clarify that some of Witt’s comments were made during a Q and A session.