A huge controversy erupted at the University of San Francisco over a student, “Rachel,” who has since graduated and moved out of the state, because of her “Snapchat shot of a young woman wearing a headscarf with an emoji of a bomb in her hand and the caption ‘Allah Akbar.’”
The law school dean’s office went so far as to contact Rachel, shaming her into a letter of apology, in which she stated her “heartfelt disappointment” in herself and “remorse” for the Snapchat emoji. This heavy-handedness from USF officials is redolent of Mao’s China during the Cultural Revolution.
The USF administration wildly overreacted. Its action comes against the backdrop of the serious and virulent anti-Semitism that is ubiquitous on campuses across America. Not far from USF, San Francisco State University recently partnered with a major Palestinian university, An-Najah National University in the West Bank, which is known for its support for and recruitment of jihadi terrorists.
Instead of reflecting on and taking action against that anti-Semitism, USF officials acted so harshly against Rachel as part of their bending over backwards to foster good relations with the Muslim community. “A national conference on Jesuit higher education’s relationship to Islam and Muslims” was held in 2015 at USF with the objective of “bringing together faculty and staff working on issues of Islam, Muslims, and Christian-Muslim relations at Jesuit colleges and universities across the country.”
“‘Allah Akbar’ and a bomb emoji prompt uproar at USF”, by Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, January 25, 2017:
A former student’s Snapchat shot of a young woman wearing a headscarf with an emoji of a bomb in her hand and the caption “Allah Akbar” prompted the University of San Francisco law school to schedule a community discussion on sensitivity Thursday night.
Under the school’s nonacademic student code, the image “is considered an ‘act of intolerance,’” USF law school officials said in an email to students. They said it had been brought to their attention by a group of students who considered it a negative depiction of Muslims and asked USF to respond.
Even though the former student — identified only as Rachel — has graduated and moved out of state, the USF law school dean’s office contacted her. And in short order, she issued a letter of apology, stating her “heartfelt disappointment” in herself and “remorse” for her actions.
In the letter, Rachel said she had posted the image “for four seconds.” When a friend alerted her of the “harm she could possibly cause,” she wrote, she tried to take it down — only to discover that a screen shot of the image had already been reposted on Facebook.
“I was blocked from the user(s) who posted the photo and I was unable to promptly issue a clarifying response and apology,” Rachel wrote.
The law school said Thursday night’s forum would be a chance for people to “share reflections” on how the image affected them. In the email, administrators told students that if they witness an act of intolerance, “please file a report”….