The suspension of a Muslim student group at UC Irvine was upheld by university officials, but the recommended yearlong ban was reduced to one academic quarter, a move that could allow the group to begin participating in campus activities in January.
The Muslim Student Union was appealing the campus ban that was handed down earlier this summer after a protest by several students during a February speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.
Maintaining denials in the face of evidence (funny how that keeps happening):
The group has maintained that it did not organize the protest, though several of its officers and members participated in the protest, in which Oren was repeatedly interrupted as he spoke.
In maintaining the suspension, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Manuel Gomez focused mostly on the participation of members of the organization in the protest rather than a lengthy set of e-mails that was used as evidence in the initial investigation by the university’s director of student housing.
The e-mails, which the school said it obtained anonymously, showed that the Muslim Student Union “planned, orchestrated and coordinated” the protest, school administrators had said in the previous suspension letter.
“The public actions of [blacked out] give the appearance of MSU sponsorship to these serious violations of campus policies and First Amendment protections,” Gomez wrote this week in his letter to the group. “And because the violations occurred on campus … the perception of MSU endorsement is especially difficult to overcome.”
The group must complete 100 hours of community service before it can apply for reinstatement late this year. Once that has been granted, the union will be on probation for two years.
No situation is ever too absurd to play the victim card:
During a news conference Friday, representatives of the organization continued to maintain that the suspension amounts to collective punishment. Incoming union Vice President Hadeer Soliman said members have received hate mail and endured personal attacks during this time.
Given what she described as a rising tide of anti-Muslim hate in the country, Soliman said the suspension sends “the wrong message at the wrong time.”…
What, to demand civil (and indeed, civilized) behavior according to a consistent standard to which all students are subject? Yeah, totally the wrong message.
And it couldn’t possibly be motivated by anything but sheer, seething, bilious hate, could it?
Of course, this is another case of a Muslim group demanding a pass on its bad behavior because it feels somehow less well liked due to that same behavior (see, for example: CAIR’s Hamas links, and the funding of the Ground Zero mosque).