A Call to Duty at UCI
May 30, 2008
In a strongly worded letter, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) called on the Chancellor of the University of California, Irvine (UCI), to condemn rampant anti-Semitism at events organized and sponsored by its Muslim Student Union (MSU). The letter pointed out that such an event held just weeks ago, appeared "intended to encourage violence against the State of Israel and propagate the spread of anti-Semitism."
MSU events routinely feature anti-Semitic and pro-terror figures, notably Washington D.C.-based radical cleric Mohammed al-Asi and Oakland-based Amir Abdel Malik Ali, an African American convert born Derek Gilliam. Both are known for their high level of vitriol, hatred and support for suicide bombings. The latest event, which took place from May 7 to May 15, was called "Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust."
In his letter, Rep. Sherman explained that, "Comparing current Israeli policies to the Holocaust, the systematic murder of the Jewish people of Europe, is clearly anti-Semitic. It wholly demeans the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and vilifies the Jewish citizens of Israel." He also noted that this position is officially supported by the US government, and quoted the State Department's most recent Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism Report as proof.
Rep. Sherman also expressed concern over one of the speakers at the May event, Abdel Malik Ali, who spoke at sessions entitled, "Death to Apartheid: A Farewell to Zionism" and "Silence is Consent: Stop the Palestinian Holocaust." The letter cited a 2006 YouTube video that shows Malik Ali at a previous UCI event, where he said:
The truth of the matter is: [Israel's] days are numbered. We will fight you until we are either martyred or until we are victorious.
Unfortunately, these examples of radicalism and anti-Semitism emanating from UCI's Muslim Student Union are only a few among many. The MSU at UCI is perhaps the most radical Muslim student organization in the United States.
In response to the MSU's insistence on inciting hatred on campus, several UCI students filed a formal complaint with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR), claiming that the University had been fostering a climate of anti-Semitism on campus. While the federal government cleared the UCI administration of any wrongdoing, the OCR acknowledged that it had only sought to determine whether Jewish students at UCI had been discriminated against because of their national origin, and lacked the jurisdiction to review allegations of discrimination based on religion.
Further, the OCR report stated that its investigation:
"….revealed that during [the events at UCI] many speakers criticized Israel, its governmental policies, its treatment of the Palestinians, and Jews throughout the world who support Israel. Most speakers distinguished opposition to Zionism from opposition to Jews. Other speakers did not do so, yet their criticism of Jews was focused on their perceived support for Israel. OCR's investigation also revealed that some speakers made broad generalizations about Jews which were offensive to Jewish students." [emphasis added]
As an example, witness Abdel Malik Ali, from an MSU event in May 2006, ranting crazily about NewsCorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch being a "Zionist Jew" (Murdoch is not Jewish), and then, in detailing an alleged encounter with a Jewish woman planning on joining the Israeli Defense Forces, Ali stated:
"You've already lost. Because the people who you are fighting are coming to die, meanwhile you are coming to live. And once you deal with a people who are ready to die, who say either victory or martyrdom, you can't fight against that."
In the same video, Malik Ali accuses the Israelis of having "done" 9/11.
At the most recent MSU event that prompted Sherman's letter, Malik Ali (at 5:38), called for more war:
"When people saw the Muslims go against the Zionists whether it was on the battlefield, whether it was in the courts, or anywhere else, they always saw that the Muslims would prevail, and the Muslims were not frightened."
In the same speech, Malik Ali calls for open support for Hamas and Hizballah, which he states are not terrorist groups.
For Mohammed Al-Asi's part, at a 2002 MSU event at UCI, he called for war and violence against Israel:
"If the only thing the Israelis and their mentors, and their sponsors and their superiors in Washington DC are going to understand is the use of force, than that's the language we're going to communicate with, we're going to use force. And whatever was taken by force can only be retrieved by force."
And in 2001, again at UCI, Al-Asi described how Jews control the U.S. government:
"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 can't take the ghetto out of the Jew. And, this has been demonstrated time and time again in Occupied Palestine. And, now they have American diplomats and politicians and decision makers and strategists in their pocket because they have the money."
At this year's event, Al-Asi was asked whether he supported Palestinian suicide bombings. He responded, naturally, in the affirmative:
"You phrase the question and then you want the answer to be phrased according to the way you want it. That's not the way things go. Give a person the right to respond in his own way. I am telling you. These people who are strapped with explosives, they are seeking military targets. These military targets are located in civilian areas. Therefore, they're collateral damage. Can we understand this simple fact?"
Like Malik Ali, Al-Asi said he believes Israelis were responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks.
After the OCR report was released, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release defending the remarks like those made by Al-Asi and Malik Ali as "legitimate criticism of Israel" and "critical thinking." According to the self proclaimed prominent Islamic civil rights group, calling for Israel's destruction, defending suicide bombings and stating that the Israelis were behind 9/11 is "legitimate criticism of Israel."
But it's not just guest speakers spewing venom at UCI. The June 2004 issue of the MSU's publication, Alkalima, contained an opinion piece praising Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizballah, and describing Hamas-founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and former Hamas senior leader Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rantisi as martyrs. The article also identifies Muslim Brotherhood luminaries Hassan al Banna and Sayyid Qutb as martyrs. The article states:
[T]he Arab people have realized that the only solution to the Zionist situation is through military force, which is espoused by Hamas, Hizb' Allah, Islamic jihad, and other Islamic resistance organizations.
Arab countries have come to realize that the only group able to liberate land from the Zionists was Hizb' Allah. Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, who only had control of his tongue, stuck to his correct legitimate ideology and was assassinated as a hero of the Palestinian people and Muslims worldwide.
Just as the legacy of those before them has grown after their martyrdom - as has been the case with Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, and Malcolm X - Sheikh Yassin and Dr. Rantissi have joined these martyrs in the Islamic Movement; their influence on future generations will be immense.
Congressman Sherman's efforts have afforded the UCI officials another opportunity to admit the obvious: that they have a problem with radical Islam on campus and are quickly becoming a national embarrassment, fomenting a potentially dangerous state of affairs. He closed his letter with the following challenge to Chancellor Michael Drake:
While I strongly support the First Amendment rights of individuals to speak freely and without impediment at your campus, I hope that you share my belief that we all have a moral responsibility to denounce speech that is clearly and unambiguously hateful in nature. As an American, you have a right to speak out. As Chancellor, it is your duty to condemn anti-Semitism, especially when it occurs at the UCI campus. If you share that belief, I would ask that you publicly denounce the hate speech discussed above.