The Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California, Irvine faces suspension for one year following an investigation of the organization’s participation in protests that disrupted a lecture by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. If the Office of Student Conduct’s recommendation to suspend the MSU is fulfilled, Muslims across campus will find it difficult to organize or fully integrate into the university’s cultural and religious sphere.
On February 8, Oren spoke to a crowd of 500 about the future of the peace process in the Middle East. He was interrupted at least ten times by different individuals, eleven of which were arrested and cited with disorderly conduct. Immediately following the event, Jewish groups called on the university administration to punish the arrested students for their wanton disregard of free speech. After investigating the students’ backgrounds and their possible affiliation to the MSU, the university found it within bounds to ban the entire Muslim organization for an entire year. According to the Office of Student Conduct, the MSU is guilty of obstructing peaceful university activities, fabricating information, ad violating state or federal laws not outlined by the university’s standards of conduct.
Although the MSU has formally declined any involvement in the series of disruptions, investigators claim to have found a series of emails that indicate otherwise. The organization did indeed condemn Oren’s visit but states that any “disorderly” action taken by the students was of their own choice. The MSU is currently appealing the decision.
To read the press release by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, click here.