UC Irvine Speaker Stands with Hamas
by IPT News • May 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm
Hamas has "done a lot of good" in Palestine, students at a University of California, Irvine program were told last week.
At a speech sponsored by the Muslim Student Union called "What Israeli Going On," Amir Mertaban repeatedly refused to answer when audience members asked if he condemned the terrorist group which now controls Gaza. He called it "a loaded question." Instead, he praised the group's social and political program while rationalizing the issue of its violence.
"Any unjust killing of Israeli civilians I absolutely abhor and Islam does not allow," he said. "However, Hamas has also done a lot of freedom fighting missions for that matter. And I am absolutely one who defends anyone's right, whether you be American, whether you be Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian, to defend your rights. If you feel that you've been attacked wrongfully, and you defend you rights, I will never call you a terrorist."
Mertaban is a former president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) West and chair of a Southern California program for WhyIslam, an Islamic Circle of North America program dedicated to da'wah, or proselytizing.
His speech was part of a week of programming by the MSU under the banner, "Palestine: An Invisible Nation." The chapter was suspended for the fall semester after school officials determined that 11 students orchestrated disruptions of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech in February of 2010 and then lied about it. The 11 students involved in the disruption currently face misdemeanor charges.
Later in the speech Mertaban said that he supported the Taliban during the 1980s. "So do I support the Taliban then? That's a loaded question. In the 80s – sure, they were fighting for their rights and for their freedoms. I absolutely support what they were doing then." Mertaban said nothing to condemn the Taliban and did not mention the terrorism that the group has employed since its inception.
That is not necessarily surprising, given Mertaban's past remarks at an MSA event.
During a 2007 MSA-West conference, he suggested Muslims stand by Osama bin Laden even if he had done wrong. "I don't know this guy. I don't know what he did. I don't know what he said. I don't know what happened," Mertaban said."But we defend Muslim brothers and we defend our Muslim sisters to the end. Is that clear?"
Reader comments on this item
Amir Mertaban at UCI
Submitted by gary fouse, Jun 25, 2011 17:09
I was present at ther UCI event and can confirm that Mertaban was all over the place in running from the question about support for Hamas and their charter, but the video shows it.
I followed that question with my own about the statement of Mohammed al -Asi when the MSU brought him to speak at UCI about 10 years ago. The question was in connection with the May MSU preambule to all the speakers which rejected claims that the MSU was anti-Semitic.
The statement by Al Asi at UCI was that there was a psychosis in the Jewish community which kept it from living with other peoples (paraphrased). "You can take the Jew out of the ghetto but you cannot take the ghetto out of the Jew" (Exact quote). I stated that a comment ten years ago did not apply to the MSU of that evening's event, but asked if Amir considered the statement anti-Semitic. His answer was , "Yes, absolutely."
Now Amir gives this threatening recitation to folks like us which mentions Jews.
You see, the reason he hates being asked if he condemns or supports Hamas and their charter, is that if the condemns it, he is in big trouble with his people. So he avoids it and dances around it. That is what Amir did at UCI.
Submitted by Amir Mertaban, Jun 1, 2011 15:03
My name is Amir Mertaban and your organization has chosen to write a number of articles on past presentations that I've given. I wanted to write you and tell you that... I undestand.
This whole time, I was thinking to myself...
- Why are they always on our case?
- Why are they always trying to pigeon hole us?
- Why are they always trying to make it sound like we support terrorism?
- Why are they taking things out of context?
- Why are they always asking loaded questions at these events to intentionally make the speaker slip somehow?
- If they were sincere in fighting against radicals, why don't they just put the whole speech/presentation up?
- Why do they only cut bits and pieces from the entire presentation to fabricate their own story?
And then it was clear to me!
YOU HAVE TO! You are scared out of your mind that the American people will finally find out the reality of what's happening in Palestine. You figure, what the hell, the vast majority of Muslims don't support terrorism or the killing of innocent civillians, so we'll make it up. We'll do these things and use these tactics to make it seem like they do.
I have a very clear warning from God Himself to all of you, starting with Emerson...
"And you will see many of them striving with one another to hasten in sin and exceeding the limits, and their eating of what is unlawfully acquired; certainly evil is that which they do.
Why do the rabbis and religious scholars not forbid them from saying what is sinful and devouring what is unlawful? How wretched is what they have been practicing.
And the Jews say: The hand of Allah is tied up! Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out, He expends as He pleases; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord will certainly make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; and We have put enmity and hatred among them till the day of resurrection; whenever they kindle a fire for war Allah puts it out, and they strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief-makers.
And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and feared Allah , We would have removed from them their misdeeds and admitted them to Gardens of Pleasure." (5:62-65)
You should really be afraid of what God has in store for people who lie and spread corruption. The Day of Judgment is near and you should really contemplate your actions before spewing hatred, lies and gossip about others!
So, do what you need to do and continue your work, but I will see you on the Day of Judgment when there is no one but Allah to answer to.
Oh... and if you think for a second that some stupid article on a worthless website is going to scare anyone from the Muslim community from standing up for justice, than you are truly wrong... it just inspires us to do more!