The Most Muslim University in America [Excerpts]
At the University of California, Irvine the Muslim Student Union (MSU), a virulently anti-Semitic and anti-American student group, holds several programs which unabashedly support terrorist groups and unjustly denounce Israel, America, and the Western world. MSU events have featured speakers like Norman Finkelstein, Ward Churchill, Muhammad al-Asi and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, and have had titles such as "Hamas: the People's Choice" and "Israel: The 4th Reich."
On May 12, 2008 the Muslim Student Union invited Muhammad al-Asi to speak on the main part of the campus in front of the flag poles. Al-Asi has spoken at UC Irvine before, and his speeches are usually riddled with stereotypical tirades on Jews and unrepentant affirmations of terrorist acts on America and Israel.
Out of all the MSU’s speakers, al-Asi has the most lurid personal history. A former Air Force Officer, al-Asi became radicalized by the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and is an avid admirer of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. In 1983, he was removed from his position at the Islamic Center in Washington D.C. for being too radical, and since then, he preaches his hateful message in front of the very same mosque to passers-by. Al-Asi also makes regular trips to Iran to meet hard-line officials, and as reported by the Washington Post, is under constant surveillance from the United State’s government.
Al-Asi’s hateful message was on full display during this year’s hate week. With a speech peppered with pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic overtones, he didn’t disappoint his keffiyah wearing devotees of the Muslim Student Union. In referring to the fate of the Israeli state, al-Asi boasted about the increasing endangerment of the concentrated Jewish population in the Middle East, and the pent up aggression of their Arab neighbors.
To supplement the general theme of their speakers, the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine erects a mock apartheid wall plastered with standard Jewish blood libel and hagiographic tributes to terror groups. This year, despite their murderous acts against Jews and their chartered mission to eliminate Israel, a whole section of the wall was devoted to praising the terror group Hamas for “leading the resistance against occupation” and humanitarian work in funding and implementing “relief programs, schools, orphanages, clinics, soup kitchens, and children’s programs.”
The MSU also plastered the wall with more overt and racist depictions of Jews. In a political cartoon they posted that looked as if it was ripped out of the Nazi-era publication Der Sturmer, Ariel Sharon was depicted with a stereotypical hooked-nose and over sized lips. The poster’s intention was to be a movie parody on Ridley’s Scott’s Hannibal, but it provided the dual purpose of characteristic blood libel by invoking the portmanteau Cannibal accompanied by a Star of David in the backdrop.
Although MSU events arguably fall within the bounds of "free speech," the right to free speech does not require the administration to be silent when MSU calls for the destruction of Israel and threatens or harasses students who support her.