- Post-9/11, America targeted Muslims ruthlessly for political
advantage. Law-abiding citizens discovered they're living here at the wrong
- Police state repression endangers growing millions, including
Muslims for their faith, ethnicity, and forthrightness to confront injustice
no one should tolerate.
- Many lawlessly prosecuted stand out, including the Irvine
11. They were wrongfully targeted for exercising their fundamental First
Amendment right without which all others are threatened.
- Charges against one were dismissed. The others stood
trial, accused of interrupting Israeli ambassador Michael Oren's February
8, 2010 University of California-Irvine speech, criticizing him and Israeli
- Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas filed
misdemeanor criminal charges, accusing them of disturbing a public meeting
and engaging in a conspiracy to do so.
- During Oren's UCI speech, students rose one at a time
to interrupt. It's everyone's constitutional right, except when Israeli
lawlessness is challenged, especially by American Muslims called criminals
for defending right over wrong.
- UCI suspended the Muslim Student Union, placing it on
disciplinary probation. Imagine the outcry if done to B'nai B'rith. University
officials would be fired. Prosecutors would be replaced. Jews and Christians
can get away with anything. Muslims are vilified for demanding justice.
- On September 24, Los Angeles Times writers Lauren Williams,
Nicole Santa Cruz and Mike Anton headlined, "Students guilty of disrupting
speech in 'Irvine 11' case," saying:
- "....(A)n Orange County jury has found 10 Muslim
students guilty of criminal charges for disrupting (Oren's) speech....on
the UC Irvine campus last year."
- Facing up to one year in jail on multiple misdemeanor
charges, they "were sentenced to three years of probation, 56 hours
of community service and fines. Each was convicted of one misdemeanor count
of conspiring to disrupt Oren's Feb. 8, 2010 speech and a second count
for disrupting it."
- Pro-Israeli District Attorney Rackauckas called their
behavior "thuggery." "In a civilized society, we cannot
allow lawful assemblies to be shut down by a small group of people using
the heckler's veto."
- It's OK, however, for Israel to occupy Palestine illegally,
persecute its people, attack them lawlessly, imprison them en masse for
demanding their rights, torture them to confess to crimes they didn't commit,
steal their land, and wage war against defenseless civilians.
- It's also OK for America to supply billions of dollars
in aid, the latest weapons and technology, and full support for Israel's
worst crimes. Only victims are held accountable for wanting to live free
in peace. Only supporters are vilified and prosecuted for courageously
supporting what's right.
- On September 24, a Los Angeles Times editorial headlined,
"Punishing the 'Irvine 11,' again," saying:
- The students were convicted "in a case that never
should have been filed...." As a result, they'll "forever have
to answer yes if they are asked by, say, potential employers whether they
were ever convicted of a crime."
- "The whole sad affair (should have been) handled
more appropriately by university officials" instead of letting it
end up a judicial lynching.
- Islamic Shura Council of Southern California Executive
Director Shakeel Syed reacted, calling the verdict "absolutely unbelievable.
I believe the heart of America has died today. This is clearly an indication
that Muslims are permanent foreigners, at least in Orange County."
- In fact, they've victimized in large and small communities
- Attorneys for the students vowed to appeal.
- Jewish leaders applauded the verdict. According to Shalom
Elcott, Jewish Federation & Family Services president:
- The student disruption "crossed the moral, social
and intellectual line of civility and tolerance. While we accept the right
and requirement of a public institution to provide an unfettered forum
for diverse points of view, we do not, nor will be ever, support 'hate
- In other words, free, honest, accurate comments are hateful
when Muslims state them. Jews and Christians can say what they please.
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Los Angeles
(CAIR/LA) headlined, "Muslim Groups Appalled by 'Irvine 11' Guilty
Verdict, Declare Travesty of Justice," saying:
- "Leaders of four prominent Muslim organizations"
expressed outrage over an appalling verdict, "convicting 10 of the
'Irvine 11' students on (unjust) misdemeanor counts...."
- Muslim Public Affairs Council President Salam Al-Marayati
called it a "sad day for democracy when nonviolent protestors are
criminalized by their government and are found guilty for exercising a
- "You can heckle the President. You can heckle high
ranking government officials, but it you heckle an Israeli diplomat you
will be prosecuted."
- Quoted above, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California
Executive Director Shakeel Syed also said:
- "Justice was jaundiced (for the) UCI-11 students
and America must worry for its democratic future."
- CAIR/LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
- "When history books are written, the 'Irvine 11'
will stand alongside other great American civil rights heros like Rosa
Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. They peacefully and courageously
stood up against injustice, and they defended our collective freedom of
- "No topic should be off limits and no public official
or country should be above criticism. They are true American heros."
- Muslim American Society, Greater Los Angeles President
Khaled Bahjri added:
- "It is with the deepest disappointment and sadness
that we heard the jury's verdict on the Irvine 11. The jury decided that
the 10 defendants are guilty on both counts. This is a huge step backward
for our American principles of freedom and justice."
- In fact, democracy in America always existed tenuously
at best. For Native Americans and people of color it never existed. Post-9/11,
it died! Ask persecuted Blacks and Latino immigrants.
- Ask American Muslims. They'll explain more eloquently
than our best and brightest!
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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