The Psychology of UCI's Muslim Student Union

No modern phenomenon has impacted college campuses today more than the Muslim Student Association/Union. Founded in 1963 by the Muslim Brotherhood — the same radical Sunni organization that spawned the terror group Hamas — the MSU has since made headlines around the country due to its militant and controversial rhetoric. The MSU, especially that of University of California at Irvine, is infamous for attracting charges of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, as well as for sparking the 2007 investigation of UCI for anti-Semitism. The MSU is no stranger to the First Amendment. Come May every year, the organizations hides behind it so its members can spout anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic remarks on college campuses. And just last February, MSU members at UCI attempted to use their right to free speech in order to deny Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren his own free speech, as Pajamas Media's Roger L. Simon documented when he interviewed Oren for PJTV.

Despite all this, the MSU continues to grow unhindered on college campuses around the world. The questions that I and many others ask is: why?

In order to understand someone, we must explore how that person thinks.

The following is based on three years (and counting) of experiencing firsthand and researching the MSU’s actions at UC Irvine. In fact, the following can also be applied to members of other MSUs and most anti-Israel activists as well; I’ve noticed little difference between how the two parties act.

Psychologically speaking, the MSU is a radical student organization before anything else, even before Islam. Its members have totally and completely fallen in love with the image of the rebel, of collecting the general populace to rise up and strike down an oppressor. Not necessarily all the causes they protest for are wrong, but there is certainly a pattern among them all. If there is a power to rebel against, if there is an authoritative figure to fight, if there is an oppressor to struggle against, you can count on the MSU to be there. For example, the MSU has passionately organized against the UC system budget cuts as well as the arrests of the 11 students who attempted to silence Ambassador Michael Oren.

Both situations involve a higher power (the UC Regents, the police) negatively impacting a lower one (UC students, the MSU). The MSU's primary focus, though, is rallying against Israel, and it usually goes about it in the most controversial of ways. From tearing up, burning, and throwing red paint on an Israeli flag to putting a kaffiyeh on an image of Anne Frank (suggesting that, if alive today, she would be anti-Israel), the MSU has made it plain that they enjoy pushing and transgressing boundaries. This again falls in line with MSU members' intense love of the rebel’s image, something which has warped their view of law and order. Since rebels break the rules in order to be heard, they act with no regard for university rules. Since rebels do not back down from anyone, they have fostered an enjoyment in disrespecting anyone who disagrees with them. It evidently makes them feel big to stand up and look down on people who disagree with them.

Speaking from personal experience, I have seen MSU members shout “F**k you,” “Go back to Israel,” and “We will wipe you off the map” to pro-Israel and Jewish people. A few of my female friends have told me that when they got into discussions with male MSU members, they were told their opinions didn’t matter “because they were girls.” And on March 2, one MSU member at an anti-Israel rally took it upon himself to inform me I was a “faggot homo” for holding an Israeli flag. He remarked: “I didn’t know Israel was full of homos.” That same day, I saw at least two pro-Israel girls crying because they didn’t understand why the MSU was acting so hateful to them.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

We must consider what drives these students to such egregious acts of disrespect and hostility. What causes a person to get up in front of the school and rail against Jews?