Hamas has "done a lot of good" in Palestine, students at a University of California, Irvine program were told last week.

At a speech sponsored by the Muslim Student Union called "What Israeli Going On," Amir Mertaban repeatedly refused to answer when audience members asked if he condemned the terrorist group which now controls Gaza. He called it "a loaded question." Instead, he praised the group's social and political program while rationalizing the issue of its violence.

"Any unjust killing of Israeli civilians I absolutely abhor and Islam does not allow," he said. "However, Hamas has also done a lot of freedom fighting missions for that matter. And I am absolutely one who defends anyone's right, whether you be American, whether you be Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian, to defend your rights. If you feel that you've been attacked wrongfully, and you defend you rights, I will never call you a terrorist."

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