Last week I wrote about the deplorable deeds of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of California, Irvine. Radical elements do not exist only on the Irvine campus of the California university system. Their disease is much more pervasive than that.
Campus Watch reported that in February of 2004, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes gave a lecture at the University of California at Berkeley, that great bastion of free thought. Over fifty MSA members showed up to the event. They protested outside the event with signs touting slogans such as "Israel Wants You to Die for Her" and others making moral equivalence between Nazism and Zionism.
Berkeley police patrolled the event and guarded the entrance to the lecture hall. Everyone entering the lecture hall was frisked and their bags searched. Members of MSA entered and sat in the crowd chanting "racist" and "Zionist" at Mr. Pipes as he tried to speak. When he stated the need to support moderate Muslims, or any other reasonable Middle East policy in opposition to radical Islamist ideas including the arrest of terrorist-supporting professors, he was booed. Many of the MSA members who did not walk out chanting "racist" at some point during the speech had to be forcibly removed by police for disruptive behavior.
Just last February a similar incident took place at UC-Irvine where similar savages interrupted Daniel Pipes' speech with a walkout as they chanted "anti-Israel, anti-occupation" and "Allah akbar." The leader of the group gave a rousing speech outside the lecture hall where Pipes was speaking. He called for the day when "the state of Israel will be wiped off the face of the earth" to which the listening Muslim students respond with chants of "Allah akbar."
Accuracy in Academia reports that in February, 2003, the FBI arrested Sami Omar al-Hussayen, a student at the University of Idaho at Moscow and president of the university's MSA. Apparently this fellow had transferred a significant amount of money from Iraq to the Islamic Assembly of North America (ISNA), a spawn of MSA. Mr. al-Hussayen registered a terrorist website a year prior to the 9/11 attacks. In June 2001 a Saudi sheikh posted an explanation of suicide operations. He advocates the use of modern technology such as "bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses." Does that ring any bells? ISNA still denied Bin Laden's role in the 9/11 attacks at its national conference in September 2002.
MSA often invites speakers from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), founded by Abdullah bin Laden, Osama's nephew, and Kamal Helwabi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its national headquarters is located in Saudi Arabia. WAMY received its official incorporated status in the United States in 1992. The American chapter was closed down after it was raided by anti-terrorism agents in May 2004 for links to terrorist organizations. According to a Saudi opposition group, WAMY publications include such items as an interview with a Saudi Muslim cleric encouraging students to fight U.S. forces in Iraq.
Prior to 9/11 MSA was involved with three Muslim charities: Holy Land Foundation (HLF), al-Aqsa Islamic Bank, and Beit el-Mal Holdings. Following the attacks the Treasury Department froze the bank accounts of these three organizations for ties to Hamas. Al-Talib, the Muslim newsmagazine at the University of California, Los Angeles, claimed that eight national organizations announced in a joint statement that the effort was simply a "politically-motivated smear campaign by those who would perpetuate Israel's brutal occupation." They suggested that the organizations were shut down to hurt Islamic poor and not to hinder Islamic radicals.
Yet there seems not to be any wonder about what kind of organization the MSA itself is. According to Middle East Quarterly, "There is overwhelming evidence that the MSA, far from being a benign student society, is an overtly political organization seeking to create a single Muslim voice on U.S. campuses—a voice espousing Wahhabism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism, agitating aggressively against U.S. Middle East policy, and expressing solidarity with militant Islamist ideologies, sometimes with criminal results."
This is a sobering glimpse of what the MSA is up to on college campuses. More frightening is that according to the MSA itself, there are 600 MSA chapters in universities in America and Canada, 150 of which are affiliated with the national MSA. The College Democrats of America reportedly at their height have had 500 active chapters. It is disturbing that a group with political and financial ties to hostile foreign governments has a sufficiently significant number of chapters on college campuses to rival one of our major political parties. If it were simply a religious group promoting Islam, I wouldn't be so worried. But as you can see, MSA associates with all the wrong folks.