The above picture of the "infamous" Apartheid Wall is truly representative of the week of events fostered upon the UC Irvine campus this week by the Muslim Student Union, with added sponsorship by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Black Student Union, and MECHA. The newly refurbished wall wound up needing more refurbishing after rain washed out the noon event at the flagpoles and forced the event indoors. In addition, Monday and Thursday's noon slots couldn't be filled with outside speakers. Not even Amir Abdel Malik Ali was available this year.
As it was, the events couldn't draw flies aside from the MSU kids themselves, most of whom appeared bored from listening to the same old lines they have been hearing for years from boring speakers that nobody ever heard of. It was clearly the scrubs filling in this year. Most of the events drew about 35 people- at the most 50-60. The biggest drawing event was on Wednesday night when their enemy Daniel Pipes appeared with a panel in a separate hall. As I noted in my early reports, the MSU spent the first couple of days trying to keep me from videotaping. Finally, it took the Dean of Students to advise them that we have something in this country called the First Amendment. They seem to think it only applies to them-certainly not to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren or Gary Fouse.
What we heard this week was the same old drivel from a bunch of angry misfits who continue to preach victimhood to their bored and exhausted listeners. I say exhausted because hate week is certainly labor intensive for the MSU. Every morning, they have to pick up that "wall" from some storage place, truck it to UCI, assemble it, then sit through the events, take it down at 5 o'clock, then truck it back to the storage place before being on time for the 7:30 event, which apparently they never were because the two events I went to started late.
Of course, as always, the MSU insists on giving their recitation from the Koran and reading a preamble that insists they are not anti-Jewish and reject any form of bias or hate, be it ethnic or religious. Yet, I noted one interesting fact this year. Virtually every recitation from the Koran, when translated by the speaker into English, was focused on God's punishment for the disbelievers. How interesting. (I did not capture these on tape because, as a teacher at UCI, I do not feel it is appropriate for me to take pictures of students or film them.)
So that is pretty much what we heard. You know what we didn't hear?
Not a word about the flames burning throughout the Middle East, which Israel has nothing to do with.
Not a word about the violence, hate and persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt.
Not a word about the murder of our diplomats in Benghazi and the craziness on-going in Libya.
Not a word about Syria, the 70,000+ killed, and the flight of the Syrian Christians.
Not a word about the mad mullahs in Iran, their developing nuclear bomb, and persecution of gays and Baha'i.
Not a word about the on-going massacres of Christians in Nigeria at the hands of Islamic Boko Haram.
Not a word about the Sudanese genocide against black Christians and animists and the refugees in Darfur.
Not a word about the killings between Sunnis and Shia in Iraq nor of the anti-Christian persecution in that country.
Not a word about the Sunni persecution of Christians in Pakistan as well as the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims by the Sunni.
Not a word about the last remaining Jews trying to get out of Yemen.
Not a word about the forced migration of some 700,000 Jews from Arab nations in 1948-49.
Not a word about the vicious anti-Jewish rhetoric across the Middle East.
Not a word about the daily harassment of Jews across Europe by young Muslim male immigrants.
And, of course, not a word about that most recent of events-the Boston marathon massacre.
No, folks. The problem, you see, is Israel.
I would like to make another point, which I made during a previous year; If non-verbal communication means anything, I think the MSU is sending a wrong message to the rest of the student body. Aside from the angry rhetoric and some speakers with their anti-American rhetoric (a wave to my friend Sohail Daulatzai), what kind of message is the MSU trying to send with their militant-looking black and red t-shirts with the word "Struggle" emblazoned across, the red bandannas and armbands? Are they trying to intimidate people? If so, it is not working. All you have to do is watch the UCI students passing by on their way to lunch or class. With rare exceptions, they do not stop. They do not look. They just keep going. If non-verbal communication means anything (and I pay attention to non-verbal communication), they are either oblivious to it or annoyed.
Because that is what the MSU is on our campus-an annoyance. It is because of the MSU activities over the years (need I mention Michael Oren?) that UCI has suffered a black eye in the view of the nation when the other 99% of students have made it an otherwise great university. The only thing the MSU is accomplishing is lending credence to the notion that they are radical and threatening. After all, when you routinely bring in radical speakers, you do take ownership of them.
But that is what I told the MSU last May when Amir Abdel Malik Ali called UC President Mark Yudof a "Zionist Jew".
Final verdict? The MSU flopped this year.