Wiesenthal Center Applauds UC Irvine Decision to Suspend Muslim Student Union for Free Speech Violations

June 14, 2010

The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the decision by the administration of the University of California Irvine to suspend the Muslim Student Union (MSU) for their disruption of a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, earlier this year. The decision came following an independent judicial report that found that the MSU had planned their action well in advance, a violation of UCI’s Principle of Community.

“This is victory against the haters who seek to stifle those who wish to voice their views and who aim to create an open dialogue to solve the ongoing Mideast crisis,” said Rabbi Aron Hier, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Campus Outreach, pictured right, meeting with UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake. “We hope that this action will begin to redress a climate of intimidation against Jewish students at UCI,” he added.

The Wiesenthal Center's Campus Outreach division has been in the forefront of fighting anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on UC campuses and other universities across North America and Europe. Following the Ambassador Oren speech, Rabbi Hier reached out to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and other officials to urge that Jewish students could voice their opinions without fear of threat and intimidation.

As a result of the Wiesenthal Center’s ongoing communication with the school, Chancellor Drake and other UCI senior officials will visit the Center’s Museum of Tolerance in the late summer and participate in the Tools for Tolerance® seminars designed for professionals. Earlier this year, officials from UC Davis, which has also seen an uptick of anti-Semitic incidents, visited the Museum and participated in a similar program.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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