On the afternoon of May 31, a rally titled “Stand Together for Tolerance” was held in UC Irvine’s bucolic Aldrich Park, a 19-acre botanical garden in the center of the campus. Although the 200 students and faculty didn’t hum Kumbaya (they did sing the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”), their wishful thinking was evident when they joined hands in a circle to honor religious diversity. Academic Senate Chairwoman Martha Mecartney told the crowd, “We have a simple message – we, the faculty, staff and students of UC Irvine, believe in religious tolerance.” If only wishing made it so.
The unfortunate reality is that the anti-Semitic and pro-terrorism activities of UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union (MSU) have turned the southern California campus into a hotbed of radicalism. Whether it’s through calling for the destruction of Israel or wearing “Intifada” T-Shirts, MSU members have done their part to stand in the way of the campus harmony UCI administrators so desperately want to portray to the public.
On the same day as the rally, UCI Chancellor Michael Drake spoke to the Jewish Federation of Orange County about the anti-Semitism on campus. “The antidote to hate speech is not more hate speech,” he said. “It is speech of love and beauty.”
Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist and campus militant at Loop College in Chicago, couldn’t disagree more. Speaking at UC Irvine that night with two other ex-terrorists, Kamal Saleem and Zak Anani, he told the audience: “Do I promote hate speech? Sure. I hate terrorism. I will speak against terrorism my entire life.”
Shoebat’s desire to see the UCI administration display the same amount of fortitude was only one of the many wishes he expressed to me in the interview.