Saturday, 5 February 2011
UCIrvine Muslim students protest Orange County DA Charges
Orange County, California District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced charges February 3rd against 11 Muslim students eight from UCIrvine, 3 from UC Riverside, who disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on the UCIrvine campus on February 8, 2010.
Here is the Orange County Register (OCR) report:
"This case is being filed because there was an organized attempt to squelch the speaker, who was invited to speak to a group at UCI," District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a statement. "These defendants meant to stop this speech and stop anyone else from hearing his ideas, and they did so by disrupting a lawful meeting. This is a clear violation of the law and failing to bring charges against this conduct would amount to a failure to uphold the Constitution."
Each defendant is charged with one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one misdemeanor count of the disturbance of a meeting, according to a news release from the District Attorney's Office. If convicted, each faces a sentence that could include probation with community service or fines or up to six months in jail.
They are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges March 11.
The defendants are: Mohamed Mohy-Eldeen Abdelgany, 23; Khalid Gahgat Akari, 19; Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, 23; Joseph Tamim Haider, 23; Taher Mutaz Herzallah, 21; Hakim Nasreddine Kebir, 20; Shaheen Waleed Nassar, 21; Mohammad Uns Qureashi, 19; Ali Mohammad Sayeed, 23; Osama Ahmen Shabaik, 22; and Asaad Mohamedidris Traina, 19.
While eight students charged are from UCI, Akari, Herzallah and Nassar were students at UC Riverside.
In our interview with Orange County, California Jewish Zionist activist, Dee Sterling in the January NER she noted what happened in the wake of the kerfuffle caused by the disruption of Amb. Oren’s presentation at UCIrvine:
Gordon: In the wake of the MSU students’ disruption of Ambassador Oren’s talk, several of them were arrested and the MSU Chapter was suspended by the University. How did the MSU evade the university suspension?
Sterling: The suspension of the MSU chapter was supposed to be for a year. It was actually taken down in December 2010. It effectively lasted less than six months. The MSU essentially circumvented the suspension by forming two new Muslim advocacy organizations on campus. Instead of the MSU we had an organization that took the name of their newspaper called Al Kalima. Under the aegis of Al Kalima and a parallel organization Students for Justice in Palestine they brought in the speakers they wanted. So there was no shutdown of Muslim hate speech on campus. They had the temerity to bring in Ben White a British "journalist," author of: Israeli apartheid, a beginner’s guide. So the MSU in its new guises simply kept on doing what it had done in the past with university permission and student activity funds. In essence, there was no break caused by the suspension over the Ambassador Oren affair. Things went on as before. We didn’t see any abatement in the MSU hate doctrine towards Jews and Israel.
Immediately following the handing down of conspiracy charges by the Orange County DA, protests were raised by CAIR and a coalition of leftist Jewish, Christian and human rights group in a letter published on the OCR website. Their defense for the 11 Muslim students was;
As District Attorney, it is within your discretion to determine society’s interests in seeking punishment of certain offenses. Over the years, there have been countless instances of non-violent protest activities during campus speeches, including at UCI, with no comparable criminal prosecution. By criminally prosecuting one set of protesters and not others, including the counter-protesters at the same event, who cursed, threatened and even assaulted the students, these indictments would be singular. Orange County citizens would understand from your office’s actions that minority or disfavored groups receive a disproportionate and selective application of the law, while the integrity of the office of the OCDA as well as the justice system would be profoundly undermined.
Most importantly, indicting these students would have a severe chilling effect on the exercise of free speech on campuses and elsewhere. Because the right to freely express oneself, particularly against government policies, is a cherished freedom protected by our Constitution, only in very narrow circumstances may these activities be subdued by state action.
Andy Whitehead of the blog Anti-CAIR had sent a link to the letter published in the OCR citing some disturbing language and asking for comments. He posted a comment to the defense coalition letter on the OCR website
I'm particularly interested in the threat contained in the second to last para; "At the same time, prosecuting these students may in fact lead to more disruptive and perhaps violent forms of political protests, since less non-violent and less disruptive protests would by this new
So, the ACLU, MPAC, and the MSA all signed on to CAIRs threat to react violently if the students are prosecuted?
This is the message of CAIR? Capitulation or violence? Is the OCDA investigating the wrong people? What about the signers of this open letter?
Americans are not so easily intimidated. Keep threatening us, it only makes us stronger.
Dee Sterling commented:
This is more than a "veiled" threat. Shocking that they threaten our legal institutions.
The CEO of [the Orange County Jewish] Federation was quick to say that, he did not request the DA to investigate--- he also said that the university had punished them enough.
The threat made, should force the university to counsel all students -- as to policy and procedure, and they should, limit hate and incitement on campus.
Free speech does not mean you threaten others, into behaving the way you want them to. Thereby trying to limit enforcement of criminal action.
This does not lead to safe, just society. It leads to oppression, and totalitarian state.
Unfortunately this is exactly how Islam plans to spread by using threats of violence --- we only have to look at Europe---- and the people who draw Mohammad. What other group would make a threat like this?
Kudos to Orange county DA Rackauckas for bringing charges against these MSU activists muzzling free speech. Andy Whitehead and Dee Sterling are correct that CAIR and its leftist human rights allies, Jewish and Christian, threaten basic Constitutional Rights of Free Speech using tactics equivalent to Hitler’s SA storm troopers from the 1930's. But then that’s why Hitler admired Islam, didn’t he? As to the UC Irvine Administration and the Orange County Jewish Federation leaders actions and comments, they abet intimidation through their moral cowardice.
Posted on 02/05/2011 5:23 PM by Jerry Gordon
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