Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Fouse Report: 28 Jun 08

Is UCI Becoming America's "Brown University"?

In 2005, I published a book entitled: Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town. It was a history of the German university town of Erlangen, near Nuremberg. I had spent almost three years in Erlangen as a young US Army MP (1966-1968). Since that time, I have returned several times, most recently this month, due to my love for the city where I spent a formative time of my youth.

During my research, I learned a lot about Erlangen in the years leading up to and during the Third Reich. In the years prior to Hitler taking power, Erlangen University acquired a reputation as a bastion of Nazi support and anti-Semitic feeling. Though there were not that many Jewish students or professors there, those that were found themselves subjected to a lot of abuse from students who were Nazi sympathizers. Indeed, the university was the first in Germany whose student government was dominated by Nazis. Hitler himself paid tribute to the university which gave him the most support in his early years of rising to power in Germany. As a result, Erlangen University boasted the moniker of "The Brown University".

I offer that as a backdrop because the university where I teach part-time, the University of California at Irvine (with the improbable mascot name "Anteaters"), has acquired a reputation in recent years as a bastion of radical Islamic activity (on the part of the Muslim Student Union), as well as anti-Israel-and anti-Jewish expression. It has reached the point where several Jewish students have opted to go elsewhere to study because of the perception. While not equating UCI with anything that existed in Nazi Germany, it is undeniable that words and deeds are on-going at UCI that can only be troubling to Jewish students and their families.

First of all, I have written extensively about this issue for over a year now, and I won't try to recount everything I have written in detail. I have also made the point that 99% of our students have nothing to do with anything that could be called anti-America or anti-Jew. Most of our students are Asian-American, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with the problems on our campus.

The problem, as I see it, is two-fold: First, we have an MSU that is virulently anti-Israel. The problem is that this has included much expression of Anti-American sentiment-and anti-Jewish sentiment on the part of MSU's sponsored speakers who come to UCI every quarter to speak. Many of MSU's speakers are radical Muslims who advocate the destruction of Israel, glorify suicide bombers, defend Hizbollah and Hamas and damn America in the process for its support of Israel and other offenses, real or imagined. Often, some of these speakers use anti-Semitic statements, usually careful to say, "Zionist Jews" to avoid the charge of anti-Semitism. For example, Mohammed Al-Asi, an Imam from Washington DC, has referred to Jews (on the UCI campus) as "low-life ghetto dwellers." He has also stated on the UCI campus that, "You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you cannot take the ghetto out of the Jew". He is also a defender of the Government of Iran, as well as Hizbollah and Hamas.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali, (formerly Derek Gilliam) a black convert to Islam, who is an imam in Oakland, comes to UCI every quarter and rails against Israel, America, and Zionist Jews as he defends Hamas and Hizbollah. He has appeared on tape glorifying suicide bombers in Israel.Then there is Abdul Alim Musa (formerly Clarence Reams), from Washington DC, who echoes all of Ali's above sentiments, calls for Islam to take over the world and maintains that 9-11 was an inside job. This former drug dealer turned imam has also appeared at UCI spouting his nonsense. This past quarter, the MSU week of "Holocaust in Palestine" featured a mock wall depicting the wall Israel has established to keep out suicide bombers. On the wall were various photos, drawings and slogans. I personally observed (and have posted) a caricature of Ariel Sharon drawn in the classic style of Julius Streicher's Der Stuermer, a vicious anti-Semitic weekly newspaper of the Third Reich. (Streicher was hanged after the war as one of the major war criminals.) Sharon was depicted with an over sized nose, thick lips and leering gaze.In addition, there have been occasional incidents where Jewish students who monitor and film these events have been harassed, threatened and shoved by MSU members.

During last quarter's events, one Jewish female student who was filming Ali's evening speech, was reportedly followed back to her car by about 6 MSU males, who surrounded her car. This incident was reportedly witnessed by a South African woman who had come to hear the speech. According to her account, when the police arrived, they treated the incident with complete indifference. (This alleged incident was reported in the Red County blog.)

This leads me to the second problem. The response of the university administration over the past several years has been negligible. Their position is that this is all a matter of free speech and free expression. Jewish students who have complained about the MSU have met with similar indifference. Certain university officials have been quoted as having called complaining Jewish students "hysterical Jews", "troublemakers" or "outside groups". Another faculty member just this week stated in an email (which I have read)that complaining Jewish students were misrepresenting the facts. He also took a shot at certain blogs like Pajamas Media and Little Green Footballs for reporting on the issue. The professor opined that whatever was being said by the MSU, no matter how offensive, was protected speech.

UCI Chancellor Michael Drake recently met in Washington DC with representatives of Hillel (a national Jewish student organization). He assured them that there was no room for hate speech at UCI. No room for hate speech at UCI? No room for imams calling Jews "low-life ghetto dwellers"? No room for Nazi-like caricatures of Ariel Sharon? No room for glorifying those who blow up innocent men, women and children on buses and in pizza parlors?

This past quarter, David Horowitz appeared at UCI and characterized it as the "worst in the country" when it came to this problem. There were at least two deans in the audience who listened to Horowitz's remarks. In the question and answer session that followed, none of these individuals took the opportunity to speak up and defend the university. It appears that the Jewish students at UCI are on their own as far as the school is concerned. Yes, there are a few professors who are alarmed at the MSU. Yet, few if any have spoken out publicly to criticize the MSU and the administration. Some choose to lend their influence quietly in working with the administration to make changes. I have chosen to hold the university's feet to the fire in a public manner. I have written to the campus newspaper, the UCI EEO Office and the Orange County Human Relations Commission outlining my concerns. This last endeavor was a waste of time. All I got was a nasty email from the OCHRC director, a certain empty suit hack named "Rusty" Kennedy, who called my letter a "diatribe" against the university (which was doing a great job along with his office to combat racism, blah, blah, blah.) He then had the cojones to sign his nasty-gram, "Rusty"."Rusty".

Fortunately, the US Department of Education (Office of Civil Rights) has agreed to re-open an investigation into anti-Semitic allegations from 2007, which they had previously determined to be "unfounded". Where this will go is anybody's guess. What is needed here is public exposure of the activities of the MSU that have brought so much discredit to what should be otherwise a fine university.

As I stated above, I am not suggesting that anyone at UCI harbors pro-Nazi sympathies, but I personally believe from my own observations that anti-Jewish feeling exists among at least some of the MSU members and especially many of their sponsored speakers. If the university administration cannot or will not meet its responsibility to provide a safe and hate-free environment for its Jewish students, then they should be held up to public exposure as well. While they fiddle and preach about "free speech", UCI is gradually becoming a version of America's own "Brown University". (And that has nothing to do with the one in Rhode Island.)

posted by Gary Fouse


  1. I'm waiting for the first lawsuit to be filed. It will be an eyeopener. Especially if the lawyer is really smart and includes the Governor of the State (it is a state school).

    Until then, nothing will come of the US Department of Education investigation. Unless there is an actual attack that can also be called a "hate crime", they will find nothing.

    That is a shame. For each day nothing is done about this problem, those who revel in their anti-Semitism grow stronger. They have a goal of removing all Jews from the UCI campus. Then turning their attentions to every other school in America. It wouldn't be too hard to do if they can succeed at UCI.

    The strange thing is that I have never heard about this in the MSM. I have only heard about this in the Israeli press. I guess Jews are open season now.

  2. "I guess Jews are open season now."

    Not around here they're not, Findalis.

    Your original idea about the financial boycott of Jewish UCI alumni is a really good one. That would definitely get their attention.

  3. To Findalis,

    Don't hold your breath waiting to see this covered in the msm. It doesn't fit their agenda.

    To Roger,

    Your suggestion of a financial boycott is a good one. I have been invited to participate in Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, a local group mostly made up of Jewish UCI retired professors etc. They are a somewhat moderate group that tries to work with the school to improve things. I have made it clear to the head of the group that I take a more militant line, which he seems to be ok with. I plan to attend a steering committee meeting July 24, and I will raise this issue with them (financial boycott). I don't know how this will be received since they are looking for ways to increase Jewish enrollment at UCI.
    Anyway, I view this as a trial relationship.

  4. Good for you Gary. Please keep us informed of your progress.
    That great idea of a Jewish UCI alumni financial boycott came from Findalis' though, not me.
    Good luck!

  5. A financial boycott would work if you could convince the alumni on what is happening. But sadly most American Jews have their heads in the sand. They will not believe that anti-Semitism such as what is happening at UCI exists.