My Letter to UCI EEO Office
Cross posted from Fousesquak.com
This past Friday, I received correspondence from the UC-Irvine EEO Office. It had been brought to their attention that I had raised concerns about discrimination at UCI. Enclosed was a letter from the Director, Kirsten Quanbeck along with several forms if I wanted to initiate a formal discrimination complaint. (I have since learned from Ms Quanbeck that her source was Rusty Kennedy of the Orange County Human Rights Commission.)
Today, I spoke on the phone with Ms Quanbeck, at which time I told her of my concerns regarding the on-going Muslim Student Union activities, which I feel have featured anti-Semitic hate speech. Since I am not Jewish, I told her that I didn't feel that I had standing to initiate a discrimination complaint, rather I would prefer to put my thoughts in a letter to her. To this, she agreed.
I prepared the letter today and sent it to her via inter-office mail. The contents are below:
Asst Executive Vice Chancellor and Director
Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity
University of California at Irvine
Gary C Fouse
Anti-Semitism at UCI/Muslim Student Union
Dear Ms Quanbeck,
In response to your letter dated May 27, 2008, I am sending you the below letter. I have been teaching part-time at UCI (Ext) since 1998. For the past few years, I have observed the on-going activities of the Muslim Student Union (MSU) and their sponsored events. I have listened to many of their speakers who they have brought to campus. Aside from the fact that many of these speakers are anti-Israel and anti-US, in my opinion, they are also anti-Semitic. I would like to give you a few examples:
Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali is an Oakland-based imam who comes to talk at UCI virtually every quarter on behalf of the MSU. Aside from the fact that he is a supporter of two known terrorist organizations (Hezbollah and Hamas), Ali also has spoken out at UCI in favor of suicide bombings that have killed so many innocent Israeli men, women and children on busses and in pizza parlors. He has referred to bombers as martyrs and heroes. I have personally watched videotapes of these statements made by Ali at UCI. Ali generally masks his references to Jews by referring to them as “Zionist Jews”, but his tone is almost always contemptuous.
Mohammed Al-Asi is a former imam from Washington DC who has made more than one appearance at UCI, most recently this past month. Al-Asi is also an open supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, and , in past appearances at UCI, has referred to Jews as “low-life ghetto dwellers”. He has also stated (at UCI) that “You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of a Jew”. (I have not personally heard him make those comments. Others have.)
During his last appearance in May, while he was spouting his usual venom, I observed a group of about 20 school kids (middle-school or high school-I am not sure) standing yards away from the speaker near their bus. They were obviously on some sort of UCI tour . While UCI officials were moving Jewish protestors from one spot to another and keeping walkways clear for students, no one seemed to care that these kids were being exposed to the hate speech of Mr Al-Asi. I still wonder if there were any Jewish kids having to listen to this man’s words.
During the past MSU event, a mock wall was erected portraying the wall Israel has erected to keep out suicide bombers. Among other displays on that wall was a caricature of Ariel Sharon drawn in the old Nazi style of Julius Streicher’s Der Stuermer, a notorious anti-Semitic publication of the Third Reich. Like Der Stuermer, Sharon’s caricature was done with all the stereotyped images of Jews, oversized nose, lips and leering expression. This picture remained on that wall all week long. I am attaching a copy of this picture along with a sample of a drawing from Der Stuermer.
In addition, the Red County Blog has reported that on the Thursday evening of the MSU week, following a speech by Ali, a Jewish female who was filming the event was followed to a parking lot by about half a dozen MSU males who accosted her at her car. This incident was reportedly witnessed by a woman from off-campus who was attending the event. According to the witnesses account, which I have read, she was also harassed by the males , and when she complained to the Campus Police who responded, she was met with complete indifference. (I add that I have no personal knowledge of this incident, but I would encourage your office to make the appropriate inquiries with Campus Police.)
My position is very clear. I believe that the MSU is an organization that engages in anti-Jewish words and deeds though they will deny that. If they oppose the state of Israel, that is their business. If they bring in speakers who also condemn the US, that is their right of free speech (though I will draw the obvious conclusions). When they bring in speakers who denigrate Jews and advocate violence (albeit in Israel), I think the university has to rethink its position on free speech vs hate speech that incites. As you know, UCI has acquired a national reputation as a bastion of radical MSU activity and anti-Semitic speech. While I would be the first to state that 99% of our students have nothing to do with this ugliness, I can only be critical of an administration that, in my view, has abrogated its responsibility to provide a safe atmosphere on campus for its Jewish students by not standing up to the MSU. Issues of hate speech should not be limited to politically correct ideas of which group deserves protection. All groups deserve protection.
It is my request that your office check into the issues and incidents I have raised. As I stated earlier to you, I am not Jewish, and therefore, I don’t feel I have standing to make a complaint of discrimination involving myself. However, I do feel the need to speak out on this issue.
Thank you for your attention.
To Mark in Irvine: I sent the letter yesterday. If you check my blog (fousesquawk), you can read everything I have written on MSU, especially the past month.So far, there has been no response from the university other than they are protecting free speech. This has been going on for years. To my knowledge, I am the only teacher at UCI who is challenging the administration for its indifference. I am glad to see a member of the Irvine community is concerned.
A note from Radarsite: Bravo again Gary Fouse. He doesn't just report, he acts. How right you were to bring up Der Stuermer. A perfect analogy. This is what is happening right now under our noses. The same ruthless ideology. The same brutal tactics. The use of force and intimidation. The outright hooliganism. And if you do it convincingly enough and loud enough and consistently enough, and if you're willing to go the whole route, you will push back the civilized people. You will bully them all into submission.
But we must always remember this -- the Nazis thought they were right. The Nazis sincerely believed in what they were doing. Hitler sincerely believed in what he was doing. And the German people came to sincerely believe in the Nazis.
Silencing the Jews (hopefully forever) is just but one of the many goals shared between these self-righteous thugs of our present day fascists and those brutal brownshirts of the thirties. Disrupt the meetings! Shout down the opposition! Denigrate the fair-minded! Intimidate the authorities! The Triumph of the Will.
All that's lacking are the boots. - rg