AMP joins coalition in condemning proposed suspension of Muslim student group

(CHICAGO 07/28/2010) – The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) has joined a coalition of civil rights and professional bar associations in condemning the proposed suspension of the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine.

University officials have recommended the suspension after 10 students raised objections and disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on Feb. 8, 2010. The students left the hall peacefully and of their own accord.

The MSU rejects UCI’s factual determinations of its involvement with the protest, and is currently appealing the proposed ban; nonetheless, AMP is urging its supports to contact UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and Vice Chancellor Manual Gomez and demand the institution abandon all efforts to suspend the MSU.

It is the position of the coalition that the suspension violates the students’ fundamental First Amendment Right to Association.

To read the coalition’s letter to UCI’s chancellor and vice chancellor, click here.

TAKE ACTION

Call or email Chancellor Michael Drake and Vice Chancellor to demand the university rescind the suspension recommendation.

TALKING POINTS

  • The MSU has been in existence for more than 20 years and organizes hundreds of interfaith and diverse programs every year.
  • Singling out the only organization on campus dedicated to the issues and concerns of Muslim students not only devalues the Muslim community as a whole, but also implies political and religious discrimination on the part of UCI administrators.
  • Banning the MSU will marginalize this vulnerable community and will brand it as perpetual outsiders
  • The recommended Ban Is unparalleled In Its severity and constitutes selective enforcement because other student groups, such as the College Republicans and Students for Peace and Justice, have not only protested and disrupted speeches, but have prevented those speakers from finishing their remarks. Yet no students were disciplined nor were their groups sanctioned in any way.
  • The ban sets a dangerous precedent that threatens other student groups.

CONTACTS

Michael Drake, Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
E-mail: chancellor@uci.edu
Phone: (949) 824-5111
Fax: (949) 824-2087

Manuel N. Gómez, Vice-Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
Email: mngomez@uci.edu
Phone: (949) 824-4804
Fax: (949) 824-2763

The American Muslims for Palestine is a national, grassroots organization, whose mission is to educate the American public about issues pertaining to Palestine and its rich, cultural heritage. For more information, contact Kristin Szremski, director of media and communications, at 708.598.4267, ext. 22 or at media@ampalestine.org . To learn more, go to http://www.ampalestine.org.

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1 Comment

Filed under Activism, Current events, News

One response to “AMP joins coalition in condemning proposed suspension of Muslim student group

  1. el chasqui

    If the coalition petitioning for the overturning of the ban on the MSU wants to have success, they need to reconsider their position. Unfortunately, students (particularly when they are on campus and attending university sponsored events) have only very limited constitutional protections. In fact, most student handbooks contain clauses specifically warning students that they can be punished for speech or action that tarnishes the university’s image. As such, you will be far more successful if you can find something in the university’s charter that guarentee’s due proccess for these types of actions (most schools require the conveening of an “honor council” and holding some sort of trial before students can be punished). You also probably would be more successful if you can substanciate that the protesters were not part of MSU or that the protest wasn’t sactioned by MSU. Don’t try to make the argument that it is not fair that these students are getting punished and others, such as the young republicans, are not, cause the university admin won’t care.

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