It really is amazing how some things never change. Before I got my bachelor’s degree in 2005, I spent a lot of time working for the Daily Forty-Niner, where I wrote a weekly column intended to make people think critically about pressing issues.
Back then, I wrote a few columns about the Muslim Student Association’s antics and after I graduated I thought maybe, just maybe, they took some of my constructive criticism to heart. It is clear to me now, however, that they have learned nothing as once again they are up to their same old tricks.
The first week of school the MSA decided it was time to hold its “Die In” protest, where students of the group pretended they were dead and defended the actions of terrorist group Hamas in defending Palestine against the recent violence in Israel. Does the MSA really not understand by now that defending Hamas makes them look bad?
The MSA also found it appropriate to display signs comparing Israelis to Nazis and, according to other campus organizations, wants Cal State Long Beach to boycott any business relations with Israel. The MSA, as usual, claims it is a “progressive” group, but fails to admit what it really is — a group of terrorist sympathizers. The MSA may fool some people with their thinly-veiled progressive protests, but it doesn’t fool me.
This is the same MSA that in September 2006 welcomed vehemently anti-Semitic hate-speech orator Amir Imam Abdul Malik Ali to speak on campus. Campus MSA groups, to help shape young and impressionable minds into jumping on the “Down With Israel” bandwagon, often call upon Ali, who has given speeches at many schools nationwide.
Ali loves to compare Israel to an “apartheid state,” repeat the same tired argument that Hamas “are freedom fighters, not terrorists” and constantly claims that the “Western Zionist controlled media” are covering up the truth about, well, everything. The MSA clearly doesn’t understand how aligning itself with this kind of guy doesn’t scream “Progression!”
Even one former president of the MSA has made statements sympathizing with suicide bombers. In a May 2007 article in the Jewish Journal concerning Muslim support for suicide bombers, Ahmed Billoo stated “Blowing yourself up is not something everyone can do or something that everyone has the courage to do … I just think [terrorism] is something that Islam justifies.”
And that is exactly the problem, Ahmed — your religion justifies killing people and committing terrorist acts and you are OK with that.
One would think that in this day and age, with terrorism in the news practically daily, young followers of Islam like those in the MSA would finally realize that there are parts to their religion that justify doing horrific things to others and would disassociate themselves from those parts entirely. But that isn’t so.
Calling on an unapologetic anti-Semite like Malik Ali to speak on behalf of the MSA, staging protests on campus while toting deceptive signs rife with lies and mistruths, and urging an end to business deals with Israel make it easy to see what the MSA’s true intentions are.
The MSA is not a “progressive” group, like it claims it is. It’s just another group of terrorist sympathizers propagating the same anti-Semitic rhetoric so many of its sister groups across the United States already have.
Gerry Wachovsky is a computer science graduate student and a columnist for the Daily Forty-Niner.