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Monday, June 14, 2010

UC Irvine's Muslim Student Union recommended for suspension

From the Orange County Jewish Experience:

Many in our community have waited a long time for UC Irvine officials to take action against the ongoing actions by the Muslim Student Union.  Some thought it would never happen.  Today’s blog is will certainly get your attention.

Jewish Federation Orange County announced this morning  it has learned the results of UC Irvine’s judicial process.  UCI has suspended the Muslim Student Union (MSU) for one year and placed it on disciplinary probation for an additional year.  That’s not all. The MSU is also required to collectively complete 50 hours of community service.  As a result, it will not be allowed to conduct organized campus events until at least the fall of 2011.
Here is what Shalom Elcott, the President of the Jewish Federation Orange County had to say about the decision.

“We commend the University for its judicious decision in support of free speech and civil discourse.  The University’s disciplinary action regarding the MSU establishes an important and appropriate precedent and sends a powerful message to other universities across the nation.”

According to a UCI campus document, suspension means that the recognition of the MSU organization has been revoked.  Gone.  Done.   Additionally the document states that no current executive officer listed on the Dean of Students registration application form will be allowed to act as an “authorized signer” for any other student organization at UC Irvine during the suspension.  The effective dates pertaining to the suspension are from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011.

How did this come to pass.  Let’s go back to events that happened earlier this year.

On February 8, 2010, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren visited the Orange County, California, campus for a planned visit and speech to UCI students and community members.  During the 90-minute event, Oren was repeatedly interrupted by members of the Muslim Student Union, 11 of whom were arrested. The investigation into this incident revealed the Muslim Student Union’s well-documented and premeditated plan to prevent Oren from delivering his presentation.
The results of the campus judicial reviews regarding the 11 individual students arrested at the Oren event will not be released by the University.  Privacy laws protect the student notifications, so we cannot know the outcome at this time.  Unless the students step up and make or challenge the announcement themselves, we may never know how the university has punished them.

Jewish students at UCI, whose campus experience is largely a positive one, have been the target of the Muslim Student Union’s anti-Israeli campaigns and anti-Semitic slurs for years.    The MSU, while publicly denying its student programming as being anti-Semitic, brought fringe speakers to the campus just last month.  One speaker, Malik Ali, said during a campus speech just steps from the UC Irvine administration building, “Ya’ll (Jews) are the new Nazi’s.”  Ali also confirmed his public support for terrorist organizations Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
This is a very rare acknowledgment of the fact that many campus Muslim organizations routinely cross the line into pure hate.

Here's some background about MSU at Irvine.

According to the LA Times blog, the suspension has been recommended but has not yet been implemented, and the MSU is appealing.

(h/t Faith)