The hypocrisy of the "peaceful Muslim."
The Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine
By FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, April 03, 2008
Over the next several days, Frontpage will publish profiles of individual chapters of the Muslim Students Association and Muslim Student Union on avariety of campuses around the country, showing how they work to advance the cause of radical Islam and to lead the effort to stigmatize Israel. These profiles are compiled in our new booklet, "The Muslim Students Association and the Jihad Network." To read the introduction, click here, the first profile "The MSA at UCLA," click here, and the second profile "The MSA at Berkeley, click here. â€“ The Editors
The Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California - Irvine (UCI) was founded in 1992 by a group of Muslim students who said they wanted â€œto establish a presence on campus.â€ Today MSU seeks to â€œbuild an environment that enhances good, discourages bad, and provides networks of resources, knowledge, people, and companionship to its members.â€ Toward these ends, MSU offers â€œdaily congregational prayers, daily free iftars the evening meal for breaking the daily fast during Ramadan that serve over a hundred Muslims, over eight weekly classes, a quarterly magazine Alkalima, coalition building with other clubs on campus, and a gateway to the larger Muslim community â€¦â€ MSU also provides career advice and a study/tutoring program to help Muslims at UCI.46
Yet beneath this placid description of the groupâ€™s objectives is a seething hatred of Jews and Israel. At the organizationâ€™s on-campus events, its members commonly wear green armbands to signal their allegiance to the terrorist group Hamas. MSU also has displayed posters on the UCI campus that equate the Star of David with the Nazi Swastika.47
In February 2001, MSU hosted the radical cleric Imam Muhammad al-Asi, who told his UCI audience: â€œThe Zionist-Israeli lobby ... is taking the United States government and the United States people to the abyss. We have a psychosis in the Jewish community that is unable to co-exist equally and brotherly with other human beings. You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you cannot take the ghetto out of the Jew.â€48
On February 26, 2004, MSU brought another radical cleric, the black imam Abdel Malik-Ali to the UCI campus to deliver a speech titled â€œAmerica under Siege: The Zionist Hidden Agenda.â€ According to UCIâ€™s student newspaper, he â€œimplied that Zionism is a mixture of â€˜chosen people-ness and white supremacyâ€™; that the Iraqi war is in the process of â€˜Israelizationâ€™; that the Zionists had the â€˜Congress, the media and the FBI in their back pocketâ€™; that the downfall of former Democratic presidential front-runner Howard Dean was due to the Zionists; and that the Mossad Israelâ€™s intelligence agency would have assassinated Al Gore if he was elected in 2000 just to bring Joe Lieberman (his Jewish vice-president) to power.â€
Later that spring, MSU and the Society of Arab Students (SAS) co-sponsored their fourth annual â€œZionism Awareness Week,â€ during which members of both groups again wore green armbands to show their support for Hamas.49
In June 2004, MSU asked UCIâ€™s graduating Muslim students to wear green sashes bearing the word â€œshahada,â€ the Arabic word for the â€œmartyrdomâ€ of a suicide bomber, to their graduation ceremony. Two dozen students appeared in this garb.50
In March 2006, MSU led 1,000 Muslim students to protest the public display of the â€œoffensiveâ€ Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that had recently set off massive demonstrations and riots throughout the Muslim world. In front of several television camera crews, MSU members began the protest by rolling out green prayer mats and reciting a prayer in Arabic. Many of them wore their customary green, pro-Hamas armbands. When a crowd of counter-protesters stood behind an American and Israeli flag and sang â€œGod Bless America,â€ the Muslim students responded by chanting: â€œHey Republicans Stop the Hate! All You Do Is Instigate,â€ and â€œHey, Hey, Ho, Ho! The Prophetâ€™s Cartoons Have Got to Go!â€51
MSU organized a May 2006 â€œHolocaust in the Holy Landâ€ event which consisted of four days of anti-Israel lectures and presentations portraying the Jewish State as the modern-day avatar of Nazi Germany.52 The keynote speaker for the event was the Holocaust-denier Norman Finkelstein, whose speech, titled â€œObstacles to Peace: Israelis or Palestinians,â€ identified Israel as the worldâ€™s worst human rights violator. Adjacent to a mock Israeli â€œapartheidâ€ wall which they had set up in the center of the UCI campus, MSU students wearing leather sandals and taqiyahs (skullcaps) distributed fliers bearing the title â€œExploiting the Holocaust to Justify Genocide.â€53
Abdel Malik-Ali was again the featured speaker at an October 5, 2006 MSU event, where he told a crowd of roughly 200 cheering students: â€œThey Jews think they are superman, but we, the Muslims, are kryptonite. They Jews know that their days are numbered.â€54
In May 2007, MSU held an â€œIsrael: Apartheid Resurrectedâ€ week that featured twice-daily speeches and rallies condemning the State of Israel. On May 17, Abdel Malik-Ali delivered a lecture titled â€œUC Intifada: How you can help Palestine,â€ in which he informed UCIâ€™s Muslim students (who again wore green armbands as well as T-shirts reading â€œUC Intifadaâ€ and â€œFreedom Fighterâ€) that a martyrâ€™s death is the most honorable form of death. â€œVictory or martyrdom,â€ Malik-Ali asserted, are the only two viable options available to the Palestinians in their battle against Israel. Malik-Ali referred to Israel not by its name, but only as the â€œZionist Apartheid State.â€55
In 2007, a UC Irvine student identifying herself as â€œOC Apostateâ€ (she had recently left the Muslim faith in which she was raised) was forced to shut down the blog in which she criticized Islamâ€™s intolerance for fear that members of the campus MSU would harm her family in retribution for her apostasy.
â€œI started a blog as way to express myself. Word finally got around that it was me who was writing it and my family got threats that if I didnâ€™t shut up something might happen. I didnâ€™t want them to suffer for something I had done. So I deleted everything. â€¦ They other Muslim students saw me with my hair out of the hijab. They knew who I was. The reaction was a lot of gossip and speculation about my upbringing. Women who I didnâ€™t know gave me dirty looks. â€¦ I donâ€™t underestimate them. â€¦ The notion of a traitor in your own community is the worse thing that could possibly happen. There is no room for ex-Muslims in a Muslim society. The punishment for being an apostate is death.â€56
MSU invited Yvonne Ridley, a reporter and activist for Iranian PRESS-TV, to speak at UC Irvine on November 12, 2007. Ridley, who also writes a column for the New York-based publication Daily Muslims, is a member of the Respect Party led by British Member of Parliament and former Saddam Hussein supporter George Galloway. She was formerly employed as a senior editor by Al Jazeera and helped launch that websiteâ€™s English-language version in 2003.
Ridley supports divestment from Israel, a nation she has described as â€œthat disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East.â€ She says that her Respect Party â€œis a Zionist-free party,â€ adding that â€œif there was any Zionists in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists.â€57
MSUâ€™s ideology is expressed in journalism as well as radical actions on campus. The Muslim student newspaper, Alkalima, published a special report called â€œZionism: The Forgotten Apartheid,â€ which glorified Hamas and Hezbollah as noble warriors fighting Israeli oppression.58
In 2006 Alkalima published For Justice We Fight, a pamphlet justifying terrorist attacks targeting innocent civilians. â€œThe individual or community that participates in jihad finds itself between two blissful outcomes,â€ said the pamphlet, â€œeither victory and the establishment of justice, or the reward of martyrdom and Paradise.â€59