Muslim Student Union at UCI Stands Against the “Muslim Ban”

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Muslim Student Union at UCI Stands Against the “Muslim Ban”

 

As a student organization representing both Muslim and refugee students at UCI, we condemn President Trump’s recent executive orders to construct a wall and to ban legal immigration from several Muslim-majority countries.

Islamophobia is real and rampant in the United States. The Muslim ban is the manifestation of the US government’s xenophobia and has spurred hatred and violence towards the Muslim community. Most recently, the Islamic Center of Victoria in Texas was burned down and the Islamic Center of Davis in California was vandalized; these attacks are just a couple of many that have been incurred against the Muslim community. Despite the disturbing nature of these attacks, the violence does not end there.

Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim are enduring vitriolic, frightening levels of hate and violence throughout the country: being spit on, verbally harassed and abused, physically assaulted, and even shot. This hate and violence does not exist in a vacuum. It takes place in the context of ongoing and systemic Islamophobia and racism that are pervasive and deep within our society.

The Muslim Student Union stands against the many ways in which anti-Muslim and xenophobic hatred manifests itself, including hate speech and hate crimes; institutionalized racism and state-sanctioned violence; racial and religious profiling in all its forms; and prejudice that targets refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds.

Refugees have fled their home country to protect their families and escape violence, only to be confronted with more violence at the end of their journey. These refugees saw no other option besides abandoning their homes to move to another country. For Americans to build a wall between us and them, to say that they are not welcome here, and to refuse to offer them protection is beyond despicable.

Ever since Trump became the president of the United States of America, he has been inciting more hatred against many minority groups. However, the recent protests at airports nationwide serve as a reminder that there is still hope and unity amongst this division. While the Trump administration’s executive order was put on hold by a federal judge, it is important to not stop fighting.

We, the Muslim Student Union, urge the University of California, Irvine administration and University of California Regents to stand up for the rights of international students to study in the United States, to ensure the physical and mental safety of our Muslim students, and to defend the student visa program so that we can continue to provide opportunities and refuge to scholars and students around the world.

 

Respectfully,

The Muslim Student Union of the University of California, Irvine

#OurThreeBrothers

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In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Execution Style of both the lives and the deaths of Adam Mekki, Mohammed Omar, and Muhannad Tairab.

 

The Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine demands justice and accountability for the heinous murders of Adam Mekki (20), Mohamed Taha Omar (23), and Muhannad Tairab (17). As such, we mandate that the Fort Wayne Police Department conduct a full investigation by use of all available federal, state, and city resources of the inhumane murders of #ourthreebrothers.

 

On Wednesday, February 24th, our three Muslim brothers were found dead, “execution style” in an abandoned house in Fort Wayne with multiple gunshots in each body.

 

Only small, local media outlets gave coverage to the story. It was not until Sunday, 4 days after their murders, that any major news outlets picked up the story. It cannot be ignored that these 3 young men killed were Black and Muslim in a time of heightened Islamophobia and criminalization of young black men.

 

Major Muslim organizations did not give attention to the issue until 4 days after. Too often the lives of Arabs are prioritized over the lives of our black and brown Muslim brothers and sisters. In order to progress forward as a strong Muslim Ummah we must acknowledge our weaknesses and make conscious strides towards equality.

 

May Allah grant Jannah al Firdous for our three brothers, Adam Mekki, Mohamed Omar, Muhannad Tairab; and provide patience for their families. Ameen.

 

#‎SayTheirNames‬ #‎OurThreeBrothers‬ #‎IndianaShooting‬

 

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UCI Student Support Letter

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To the University of California, Irvine students, staff, administration, and community:

We, the Muslim Student Union of the University of California, Irvine condemn the administration’s response and scrutiny towards our fellow students on the ASUCI Legislative Council in regards to resolution R50-70. UCI administration has failed to address the larger issue at hand of the mistreatment of the six students who voted in favor of the legislation and instead condemned them and validated those mistreating them. Despite the legislation being overturned by the executive cabinet, representatives of the legislative council who passed it are still receiving significant backlash from the campus and broader community, much of which has gone beyond civil disagreement. Our representatives have received derogatory comments as well as threats of physical violence. Furthermore, we are afraid that Chancellor Gillman’s response has had the effect of licensing further harassment by targeting these six students. The university needs to respect these students’ actions and meet its obligation to protect and promote their safety.

We admire the courage of the resolution’s supporters amid this environment of political immaturity and threat, and support their right to safely voice their dissent unequivocally. We call on administration to take action in stopping the attacks on these six students. We, the Muslim Student Union, demand that the administration take swift action to ensure the safety of these six students and those otherwise marginalized and harmed by the atmosphere created by administration’s actions.

In solidarity,

The Muslim Student Union of the University of California, Irvine

MSU Letter of Support Endorsing BSU Demands

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To the University of California, Irvine students, staff, administration, and community:

 

We, the Muslim Student Union of the University of California, Irvine stand in full support with the Black Student Union’s demands to implement institutional resources for Black students. These demands are addressed to Chancellor Howard Gillman and call for campus-wide resources including, but not limited to, a sustainable Black Student Resource, Outreach, and Retention Center, a mental health team specifically for the Black undergraduate and graduate community, departmentalization of the African-American Studies Program, creation of a Black Scholars Resident Hall, and so on.

 

The implementation of the resources listed in BSU’s demands is long overdue and absolutely vital to the Black community of UC Irvine. Over the past decade, the Black community has faced several forms of violence, occurring in both intra-personal student to  student interactions, and larger institutional forms of violence stemming from campus policies and administrative actions. The administration has an embarrassing tendency to deal with anti-Black violence at UC Irvine with the language of isolated incidents or freedom of expression rather than acknowledging the deep rooted race-based violence that permeates the core of these issues. Furthermore, despite an influx of these so-called isolated incidents, there have been no formal steps taken by the University to repair or prevent the damage that those incidents have done. Instead, there has been a continuation of this race based hostility. Furthermore, the University administration also has a tendency to quell and demonize student activism that aims at combating these inequities.

 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had advised us that “whosoever of you sees an evil or wrong doing, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” As per our Islamic obligation to take a stance in the face of injustice, and our love and solidarity for the Black Student Union and Black students across campus, we, the Muslim Student Union of UCI, fully endorse the BSU’s demands to implement campus-wide institutional resources for Black students.

In solidarity,

The Muslim Student Union of the University of California, Irvine

Sign the petition here.

MSU UCI Calls for Investigation on Student Regent-Designate Nominee

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In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MSU UCI calls upon the UC Board of Regents to postpone the assignment of the Student Regent Delegate Nominee until further investigation by the UCSA.

July 6th,2014: We, the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine (MSU UCI), call upon the University of California Board of Regents to postpone the assignment of the Student Regent Delegate Nominee, Avi Oved, until a more thorough investigation is conducted by the University of California Student Association (UCSA).

As of June 28th 2014, the UCSA was presented with an email exchange between Avi Oved and Adam Milstein, co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation which supports Pro-Israel organizations. In the email, Oved thanks Milstein for his “generous donation” to his 2013 campaign for Internal Vice President of UCLA’s Undergraduate Students Association, and further assures that his political campaign slate, Bruins United, is “prepared to make sure that UCLA will maintain its allegiance to Israel.”

Duly noted that any University of California student, and subsequently Student Regent, has the right to their personal views and beliefs on any and all political and social matters, it is still a major point of concern when there are financial donations directly involved that imply political bias, and a threat to the diplomacy of a Student Regent. The Student Regent is responsible for representing over 200,000 undergraduate and graduate students

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within the UC system at large. Embarrassingly enough, the students are only represented by one voice on the UC Board of Regents, so it is a point of concern to ensure the legitimacy, transparency, and professionalism of our sole representative. The question is not surrounding Oved’s personal political leanings, which are wholly extraneous and insignificant, but rather if a student who is akin to such suspect donations and has a history of non-transparent actions and questionable ethics, is the best fit for a position as lofty as the Student Regent Designate on the UC Board of Regents.

Another problematic factor of the aforementioned email is the hostile

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language and negative implications surrounding Oved’s then opponent, Lana Habib El-Farra. The email discusses El-Farra’s involvements in the Muslim Student Association, and Students for Justice in Palestine, as a factor that insinuates anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions ultimately “silencing the Jewish voice.” This gross extrapolation based on her student organization involvements is not only violent, but especially slanderous. This brings up whether these types of assumptions will disadvantage students also affiliated with said student organizations. These groups are already marginalized in the grand scheme of the UC system, and having a Student Regent that also adheres to these views is chilling and threatening.

Thusly, the MSU at UCI calls upon the University of California Board of Regents to postpone the confirmation of the Student Regent Designate Nominee, and allow access and time for the UCSA to conduct a thorough investigation of the aforementioned allegations in order to provide their constituents with the honest information they are entitled to.

The Muslim Student Union strives to bring to life the Islamic teachings to “enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong” through the pursuit of social justice for those suffering oppression and exploitation both domestically and internationally. As a vocal and firm advocate for victims of injustice, the Muslim Student

Union aims to make strides towards creating awareness of issues regarding social injustice, paving a path for changing attitudes, perspectives, and support.

Respectfully,

The Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine

www.msuuci.com