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UC Irvine seeks to suspend Muslim student group

UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake addressed a gathering of more than 600 members of the county's Jewish community, who expressed concern about what they perceived as anti-Semitic activity on campus, much of it involving Muslim students.
The Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine should be suspended for one year for its involvement in repeated disruptions of a February speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, according to a disciplinary report released by the university.

The Muslim Student Union has appealed the recommendation.

The speech about U.S.-Israeli relations was interrupted 10 times by students who got up and yelled out things like, "Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech."

Eleven UC Irvine and UC Riverside students were arrested and cited for disturbing a public event, but none have been charged. The student group maintained that the disruptions were done by individuals and not organized by their group, but the report cited internal Muslim Student Union e-mails and meeting agendas that indicated they planned a disturbance.

The group's attorney Reem Salahi emphasized that a suspension has not yet been implemented but was still disheartened by the report’s recommendations. “It’s collective punishment,” she said. “You have an entire Muslim student body that’s being punished for the actions of a few."

-- Raja Abdulrahim

Photo:UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake addressed a gathering of more than 600 members of the county's Jewish community, who expressed concern about what they perceived as anti-Semitic activity on campus, much of it involving Muslim students. L.A. Times file photo.

Comments () | Archives (174)

This is ridiculous. Just a few months ago a group of students at UC San Diego did something far worse and blatantly racist. Followed by more racist and even THREATNING acts. There was hardly talk of suspension and no disciplinary actions were taken. These students merely were loud and boisterous about something they felt strongly about and not only were THEY arrested but they want to further punish a larger group of students not involved directly in the incident.
Utterly ridiculous.

What happened to FREE SPEECH?????!!!!!

If the University has evidence MSU orchestrated the disruption of this speech by all means the suspension of the organization is warranted.

I doubt the University administration has the fortitude to actually suspend them but I'm pleasantly surprised they had the courage to announce they should do it.

Wow UC Irvine are you for real? Nice stance. It seems you can make fun of every religeous group and god out there except for muslims and allah. When you make fun of them it brings out muslims' true nature of violence. Ask author Salman Rushdie, cartoonist Lars Vilk’s, Comedy Central's Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

It is especially hilarious when these muslims who live in Western countries like England and the US are the ones threatening them. Don't like it then go back to the giant sandbox you came from.

UCI is openly anti-islam? anything anyone says about israel is anti-semite? please stop the hipacracy

Lets all remember that the students only disrupted a speech, and this is their punishment?? a little extreme don't you think??? oh and i forgot college campuses are for the silent minds and blind followers. The university should re-think its recommendation and stop being hounded by the Jewish Federation to do as they please. Students have the right to express themselves whether you like it or not!

Dear UCLA screeners of pertinent information - why did you NOT post my link to http://volokh.com in my previously-posted comment? This website has a link to the ACTUAL DISCIPLINARY LETTER to the MSU - give the readers an opportunity to learn ALL THE FACTS behind the decision to suspend the MCU. Now YOU'RE trying to regulate free speech.

I remember all the US media being pretty okay with people interrupting Iran's president when he spoke in the US. Why... well he condones and carries out murder and oppression.... same as the Israeli guy. If you don't want to face up to the responsibility of the murders your government commits you should resign. It is sad that once again students have to lead the charge in calling a killer out. Just like the Vietnam protests in schools, students are unjaded by the world and clearly see murdering innocents is plain wrong. These Muslims seem to be protesting in a very American way, just because your stock portfolio doesn't agree with their message doesn't mean that innocent students should just ignore a murderer in their midst.

"forget the misuse of the definition "semite": a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs." (merriam-webster dictionary)."

Yes, forget the misuse already. This is the nature of language. Meaning comes from use. Etymology does not always predict meaning accurately. For example, "African-American" means black, even though there are plenty of white people who have lived in Africa for hundreds or thousands of years. If you are an Arab from Algeria, you don't get to call yourself "African-American" even even though you are from Africa. The same goes for "anti-semetism" which is defined by Merriam-Webster as follows: "hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group."

Assuming the protest/disruption was organized by the MSU at Irvine, then it is just that the entire group suffer the consequences, because they were assenting to it.

Free speech is not shouting down someone, particularly a guest at the University.

The student group maintained that the disruptions were done by individuals and not organized by their group, but the report cited internal Muslim Student Union e-mails and meeting agendas that indicated they planned a disturbance.

Hmmm. Taqiyaa? Slick!

How dare the University not accommodate the whims and wishes of the Muslime thugs currently infecting their school.

It's about time people stop tip-toeing around these extremists. This doesn't go far enough.

It's amazing how some of these comments claim the Muslims' disruption of Oren's legally scheduled speech is NOT a violation of the principle of free speech, but that attempts to sanction them for DISRUPTING a University-sponsored speech IS a violation of the "free speech" of the DISRUPTERS.

Talk about twisted logic...

I don't understand why the MSU members couldn't just wait until the Q&A period to bring up their points to the speaker. Why did they have to stand up and shout down the speaker? Was there a Q&A session to be conducted afterward?

The logic behind "punishing the whole for the actions of a few" statement simply does not hold water: isn't that whole point of joining the MSU, or any group for that matter? You join a group to be together with like-minded individuals. You willingly and knowingly join a group, and you can't just conveniently write off the behaviors of certain people in the group as being their own; by joining the group, you basically agree to shoulder some responsibility of every member's actions, and if you don't want that responsibility, then you shouldn't have joined in the first place.

Wow this action by UCI only goes to show how much influence the Isrealis have on not only the campus but the entire UC system. Stuff like this has been going on for YEARS in the US, its part of the fabric of this nation's history. It is a sad thing to see that nonviolent acts such as these are going to be treated like crimes.

Michael Oren IS a war criminal. His and his nations actions have propogated the mass murder of the Palestinians and in some of the most cruel and unimaginable ways possible. Everyone on this forum should be ASHAMED that the administration and students of UCI allowed for a mass murderer to speak at such a prestigious institution. These students are getting punished for doing the LEAST they could do in their duty for humanity.

But regardless of the actions of these 11 students, three of which were from UCR, lets not forget that, this was NOT organized by the MSU at UCI, nor did these students represent that organization. These students acted on an individual basis and will admit that their actions had nothing to do with MSU whatsoever, but everything to do with stopping the TERRORISM spread by Michael Oren.

Kudos to the university for taking a stand against this Muslim group. Everyone has the right to free speech, but also remember that you still have to be respectful and civil. A peaceful protest will get your message heard, but their approach was malicious and disruptive. The fact remains that they were "representing" The Muslim Student Union, so a collective punishment is fit in this case. Now if the MSU is truly "offended" by the actions of their own members they too need to exercise some sort of consequences for these individuals.

Free speech applies to both parties. If a Muslim leader visited UCI and Jewish students caused disruption, the same suspension would have been levied on the Jewish student group. So it is biased to say that this suspension was against the freedom of speech. There is freedom of speech and there is showing respect for others. Freedom of speech doesn't mean I can say anything to you and get away with it. The students should have used the Q&A session at the end to address issues in a respectful and peaceful way. This is not the Gaza and there is no need for violent confrontation. Such emotional outburst will only turn people against the student group. Lastly, Jews and Muslims are half-brothers/half-sisters. Learn to get along, please!

The students who were caught should be suspended. It doesn't sound like there's enough evidence to suspend the entire Muslim Student Union. Free speech, by the way, is not unequivocal, absolute freedom to say whatever you want whenever you want, without fear of reaction or reprisal. That's why we have "time, place and manner" regulations and ordinances and why the University has every right to prevent audience members from disrupting public assemblies and/or speeches.

Well, where's my post LA TIMES? I guess, If you respectfully speak out against the MSA the LAT will not post your comments... Very telling relationship!

for islamic people to invoke free speech as a justification is the pits of hypocrisy. Even small infractions against their religious baloney can get someone destroyed in islamic countries. So please don't import your BS here you islamic nuts, and then point out free speech out of all things as a justification for doing so.

What a wonderful lesson! Push Muslim youth away from the open environment and watchful eye of UCI administrators to the underground, where they can find refuge with the few but radical elements who spout that America is anti-Islam and intolerant of Muslims and free speech.

Instead, have an open debate on campus that welcomes inclusion and opinion, not the promotion of exclusion and the silencing of critics.

Free speech, huh ?.......as long as it's pro-Israel, pro-Zionism.

Most of you would have no problem of a Muslim, pro-Palestinian event being disturbed. That's the irony. That's the hypocrisy. Whoooo Orange County ! It truly puts the SOUTH in Southern Cali.

So the president of the United States can be heckled ("You Lie!") and it's okay, that person is still serving their post. But if a few students say something against a foreign prime minister, they want to shut down that whole club! So you are saying that Israelis have more value than your commander in chief? Just goes to show the strangle-hold the Israeli country has on this country.

maybe they should have thrown a shoe instead

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