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'Irvine 11': Islamic group calls verdict 'death of democracy'

September 23, 2011 |  1:28 pm

Muslim students stare at jury after verdict
Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council, called the "Irvine 11" guilty verdict the "death of democracy in our country."

He said the verdict reflects a "growing malaise of Islamophobia" in the United States.

PHOTOS: 'Irvine 11' trial

Ten Muslim students were found guilty Friday of disrupting a speech at UC Irvine by the Israeli ambassador to the United States. The 11th student's case has already been resolved.

Ameena Qazi of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, "When history books are written and this case comes to its final conclusion ... the Irvine 11 will stand alongside other civil rights heroes.

"We were remaining optimistic and hopeful that justice would prevail, which at this point it hasn't," she continued. "I hope that this case goes forward and that free speech prevails at the end of the day. At this point we're all losing -- we're all losing our rights."

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-- Lauren Williams in Santa Ana

Photo: Muslim students stare at the jury after being found guilty of conspiring to disrupt and then disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times.

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