UC-San Diego student Jumanah Imad Albahri last week, under questioning from David Horowitz, refused to condemn Hamas and Hizballah and endorsed a genocidal statement by Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah. My article about this incident, and how Albahri was merely reflecting mainstream Islamic teachings, is here. Now the UCSD chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood entity known the Muslim Students Association has issued a clever and deceptive pseudo-condemnation of Albahri’s endorsement of genocide. (Thanks to Stephen.)
MSA Press Release
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Muslim Student Association
University of California, San Diego
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(La Jolla, CA 5/14/2010) The Muslim Students Association of UCSD would like to clearly define its stance on the issue of which organizations and groups it condemns and condones, to ensure that no one else attempts to define our stance for us. The MSA at UCSD condemns all groups or organizations, whether state or non-state actors, who target civilians or target a civilian population to impose collective punishment.
Jihadists have said “There are no civilians in Israel.” So is the MSA condemning the killing of Israeli civilians or not?
We are instructed with a valuable truth enshrined in the Qur’an – that ‘if anyone kills a human being unjustly, it is as though he or she has killed all humanity, and if anyone saves (even) one life, it is as though he or she has saved all humanity’ (Holy Qur’an 5:32).
The key word in that passage is, of course, “unjustly.” And the next verse, Qur’an 5:33, calls for those who make war against Allah and Muhammad to be crucified or have their hand and foot amputated on opposite sides. Does the MSA endorse these barbaric punishments?
It is for this very reason that MSA has organized events such as our annual Justice in Palestine Week.
That sentence makes it clear that the MSA is here condemning alleged Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians. They’re not condemning Hamas or Hizballah, any more than did Albahri.
No single member of our student organization can speak exclusively on behalf of our MSA or other MSAs across the United States.
Fine. But to imply (not state explicitly) that Jumanah Imad Albahri does not speak for the UCSD MSA or for all the MSA chapters is not the same as saying that the UCSD MSA or the MSA as a whole condemns her endorsement of genocide. There is no such condemnation in this entire document.
The mission of the UCSD MSA is clear: to provide an environment of understanding that would foster the principles of community between Muslims and non-Muslims through education. We strive towards creating a community that promotes justice and equality for all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, or ethnicity.
This week the MSA has hosted Justice in Palestine Week 2010 at UC San Diego, dedicated to raising awareness about the apartheid crisis in Palestine. The crisis is at its core a humanitarian issue, and as such we, the Muslim Students Association, condemn the labeling of this human rights effort as a “Hitler Youth Week” in the words of a recently invited speaker. We will forever uphold the Qur’anic commandment to ‘stand out firmly for justice as God’s witnesses, even if it be against our own selves’ (Holy Qur’an 4:135). We thus condemn the loss of all innocent lives, as well as all groups, whether state or non-state actors, that advocate and perpetuate the killing of innocent civilians. Specifically, we condemn all Palestinian factions that have rejoiced in the killing of innocent Israeli civilians just as much as we condemn the indiscriminate murder of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians during Israeli military aggression. We reject the current apartheid system in Palestine-Israel that discriminates against people based on their ethnicity and race.
The key word here is “innocent.” Many Muslims consider no non-Muslim to be innocent, and certainly no Israeli to be innocent. Thus to condemn the killing of innocent civilians in Israel is quite possibly to condemn no killing at all.
We believe that Israel has a due right to be in accordance with international law, which demands an end to occupation in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, ensures the complete security and full equal rights of all Israel’s citizens, whether Jewish or Arab, and guarantees a just settlement concerning the return of displaced Palestinian refugees.
Note that this apparent endorsement of Israel’s right to exist is actually just a demand for concessions on the part of Israel that, if made, would ultimately destroy the Jewish State altogether.
As the civil rights activist Malcolm X once said, “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
In that case, if Malcolm X were alive today and consistent, he would not be for the UCSD MSA.