For years, conservative students at the University of California, Irvine, have labored mightily to get the country to consider their campus a haven for Jew-bashing. Most of their criticism has been lobbied at the Muslim Student Union, which has done everything from host seminars called "Holocaust in the Holy Land" to invite controversial speakers they claim are merely anti-Zionist, not anti-Jewish. Conservative students, in turn, have fired back by displaying those Danish Mohammad cartoons that stirred riots, amongst other insults, and have implored government officials to investigate their claims. For a comprehensive overview of the Right's fight against the MSU, click here.
The Left has largely stayed silent on this controversy. Now, a powerful anti-discrimination group has weighed in on the affair: the Southern Poverty Law Center, the nation's most-respected hate-watch organization, one loathed by the Right for calling Know Nothings Know Nothings, amongst other infiltrations. In this quarter's issue of their award-winning Intelligence Report, reporter Sonia Schurr profiles the MSU's continued invitation of flat-out whackjobs Amir Abdel Malik Ali and Imam Mohammad al-Asi. "Although pro-Israel advocates sometimes questionably accuse critics of Israeli policy, especially Muslim critics, of being anti-Semitic," writes Scherr, "both Al-Asi and Ali seem to have repeatedly crossed the line from lambasting Israeli policy to promoting bizarre anti-Jewish conspiracy theories of the sort typically favored by neo-Nazis, as well as by giving voice to loathing for all Jews as a people."
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Classes start tomorrow, and students can expect another round of fights between pro- and anti-MSU folks. Our advice: brush aside differences with a big meal of falafels and hummus, you Semites, you.