Exposing the Anti-Semitic Values of the Muslim Students Association
04 May, 2009
- All of us are done a disservice by depictions of Islam as a "religion of peace" akin to church-on-the-corner Christianity. For while there are peaceful Muslims and while some schools of Islam , like various Sufi groups, fit the image that the press and TV want us to believe is true for all of Islam, normative Islam is very different. It is anti-Semitic , that is, anti-Jewish, in its core values, in addition to considering followers of most of the great religions of the world as beneath contempt, deserving ridicule, insult, and death.
In so many words, the core teachings of the core document of Islam, the Qur'an, as expressed through the centuries across just about all Islamic nations, are virulently anti-Semitic. As well these teachings are biased in extremis against Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Taoists, Sikhs, Confucians, Baha'is, and local traditional faiths All the while as Muslims almost universally tell everyone else how tolerant and broad minded their religion supposedly is.
While it is true enough that most Muslims are even less well informed about their faith than Christians are about theirs. a fact that allows various Muslim populations to develop ad hoc versions of their religion that reflect the humane values of their non-Muslim neighbors, the issue we need to deal with directly is what happens when Muslims become informed about the basic teachings of their religion. And this is what Wahhabi Muslims seek to do, calling the "faithful" to internalize and act upon the values insisted upon in Muhammad's book, the Qur'an, said to embody the exact words of God.
The official website of the Muslim Students Association proclaims that what it means by promotion of Muslim interests is advocacy of the teachings of the Que'an as fundamental to the "practice of Islam as a complete way of life."
This means, among other things, emphasis on particular verses in the Qur'an, most notably Surah 5:64-65. To be certain, there are many other verses which have special significance for the MSA, but this is central to the discussion and problems elsewhere are epitomized by this passage. By the way, 5:64-65 may or may not be in the exact same place in a translation which you may make use of. Unlike the Bible, where all verses in all versions are in the identical same place in the text, Qur'an verses may occur in one place in one translation and somewhere else in other versions. This understood, here is what Surah 5:64-65 says, in words addressed to the Jews: "do not disavow us.. They whom God has cursed [the Jews], and with whom he has been angry, some of them he changed into apes and pigs."
This is not a distortion of the Qur'an, it is not a false attribution. It is a direct quotation. It is similar in spirit to many other verses, as well, and exemplifies an attitude that can only be characterized as bigoted and motivated by irrational hatred. And far from being little, known or seldom cited, 5:64-65 is a popular Qur'an verse which has been given prominence among Muslim militants all over the world, including by MSA members in the United States. Which is just the start of the story.
The official website of the organization, current as of May 2009, tells us that the MSA acts in co-operation with ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America. This connection is not concealed in any way. The MSA takes pride in the fact.
Alas for the MSA, the ACLU. which defended ISNA in a Dallas court on the matter of its support for HAMAS, admitted (because it was unwilling to commit perjury) that ISNA had, in past years, supported HAMAS financially, along with support for the Holy Land Foundation, determined to be a terrorist front organization in the guise of a charity. The amounts transferred were not huge, $10,000 here, $30,000 there, but added up came to real money.
Also notable is that ISNA continued to openly support HAMAS until 1997, more than two years after it had been officially declared a terrorist organization by the Clinton Administration And the MSA has never disavowed either ISNA or HAMAS.
About HAMAS, its charter is absolutely clear that it seeks to fight against "the Jews" and destroy the state of Israel. As its charter plainly states, "there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad."
It was with good reason that the Clinton White House placed HAMAS on the official US Government list of terrorist organizations, and no accident that the following Republican administration continued the same policy.
Nor is it hard to fathom the fact that a completely justified way to think about HAMAS is as a "hate group." What else do you call an organization that takes the view that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is somehow an authentic document outlining a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world? The Protocols have long been known to have been created by Czarist secret police early in the 20th century to foment hate crimes against Jews.
The MSA was founded by a group of Muslim students at the University of Illinois in 1963. Each of the founders were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood started in 1928 strictly as a Muslim organization with an outlook hardly distinguishable from Wahhabism. It was extremely militant from the outset and was dedicated to use of violence to achieve its aims. As late as 1936 total membership of the organization stood at about 800, almost all of whom lived in Egypt. Two years later, with support from the Nazis, membership had increased to about 200,000. Support from neo-Nazis continues to today, with Swiss convert and neo-Nazi, a banker now calling himself Ahmed Huber, financing various Brotherhood activities.
Among its leaders of past years was Sayyid Qutb, whose virulent writings advocating violence as the optimal means to spread Islam and prepare the way for Shariah Law , was an admitted major influence on Bin Laden.
About which much more could be said, the point being that the Muslim Students Association is a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood, shares its values and goals, and by every reasonable definition, is a hate group.
The MSA is active on the campus of the University of Oregon. Exactly what its history is at the U of O is less than clear, but references to its existence are frequent enough in the Daily Emerald, as are short mentions that occur in Google entries when you search for the group under a rubric like "Muslim Students Association" "University of Oregon."
The group remains active in 2009, as Barry Sommer learned a few weeks ago when he returned home after video-taping his show on CTV 29, "Islam Today," a straight news program about questionable actions by Muslims around the world, including beheadings, suicide bombings, persecution of Christians, anti Jewish demonstrations, killings of Hindus, mistreatment of women, examples of Qur'an sanctioned slavery, and so forth.
A man with a thick Mid East accent had left a message on Barry's answering machine which said, in part, that unless he stopped his show there would be "serious consequences." An investigation by a Eugene police officer was able to locate the caller, a member of the Muslim Students Association at the University of Oregon. Yes, the MSA operates at the school, it has a faculty sponsor, and, until now anyway, has gone about its business as a hate group with no opposition from anyone.
The MSA is a "mixed" organization, it has formal chapters such as the group at Oregon State University, one of about 150 similar chapters scattered across the USA, but it also has approximately 400 affiliated groups, presumably with small memberships, and these groups can be almost anything prior to achieving full fledged chapter status, including fairly peaceful local groups. But any serious research quickly turns up examples of overt anti-Semitism and hate for most if not all non-Muslim religious groups. A few characteristic cases:
Speeches by Abdul Malik Ali, sponsored by the MSA groups at UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz, which falsely claimed that Israel was responsible for 9/11, that praised HAMAS and Hezbollah, and that demanded the destruction of Israel. These speeches date to 2004–2006.
In March of 2001 a senior adviser to Mullah Omar of the Taliban, a certain Syed Hashimi, was invited to USC to speak and raise funds for Al Qaeda. Who did the inviting? The Muslim Students Association at the school.
In 2007 the MSA at Brown University staged a Palestinian Awareness Week during which Israel was blamed for 9/11, praising HAMAS and Hezbollah and otherwise spewing anti-Semitic opinions.
Then there was the "tour" taken by Khalid Yasin, speaking at various times in 2007–2008 at several schools, among them the University of Minnesota and Washington State University. Yasin takes the view that the AIDS virus was created by the US Government as a means to kill Black people, he believes that the terrorist bombings in Bali and elsewhere were justified, regards Christianity and Judaism as "filth," justifies wife beating since it is approved in the Qur'an, and utterly despises Jews in particular. At all the universities where Yasin spoke he was invited by the local MSA.
So it has gone at scores of other institutions, including the University of Idaho, UCLA, the University of Virginia, UC Riverside and still others.
We have been lucky, so far, at the University of Oregon. To the best of my knowledge the school has not hosted MSA sponsored speakers like those just cited, all of them virulent anti-Semites--and supporters of terrorist groups as part of the bargain. But it is clear beyond all reasonable doubt what the MSA is a hate group of the worst odor.
The Muslim Students Association should be banned from the University of Oregon and the contract of its faculty sponsor revoked. Hate Groups have no legitimate place at this or any other university and the MSA should be publicly identified for what it is whether or not the Register-Guard likes it, or Dan Bryant likes it, or anyone else.
It is time for truth in the city of Eugene.
Billy Rojas is a former lecturer of history and Comparative Religion at a number of colleges in Arizona, Massachusetts and Chicago. In recent years, he has been active at Centroids@RadicalCentrism.com, contributing many articles on Islam.