Letters to the Editor
Lambda Fraternity Shamelessly Continues
I wept for Kenny Luong when I learned of his death in the fall of 2005. I felt sickened to the core for the rest of that year knowing that, in spite of the tragedy, Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity continued to recruit and initiate new classes. And I wept once again when I read the New University’s March 5 article, ‘Pledge Death Witnesses Break Silence,’ and learned of what little positive change has happened since that summer.
Shame on you, Lambdas. Shame on all of you for getting off on sickening power trips such as this little football game, taking advantage of those who long for nothing more than to be one of you. Shame on your ‘honorable’ brotherhood for cowering from the public, neglecting to release any semblance of a statement for your gross crime. But perhaps most of all, shame on your organization for persisting as if nothing in the world happened, for continuing to be prideful of those letters that represent acceptance of barbarity and for refusing to this day to publicly come to terms with the fact that you all single-handedly shattered the lives of one family.
Just as the rest of us will never understand your ‘true brotherhood’ (how can we possibly begin to understand when your group never speaks for itself?), we likewise will never understand how your organization can live with itself, hiding behind expensive lawyers, evading justice like cowards while a mother falls chronically ill from sorrow and a family struggles day after day to attain some sort of recompense for their tragedy. May God grant each and every one of you justice, even if no one on Earth will.
New U Doesn’t See True Threat
[In response to ‘UCI Anti-Semitism Distorted,’ March 5]
I agree that the hatred of Jews is not a primary problem at UCI. I agree that UCI does a fantastic job of protecting free speech and does so for all groups. I also believe that the freedom of expression is absolute; I agree that everyone has a right to express what they want as long as they don’t threaten anyone. I also agree that the university truly doesn’t need to condemn certain expressions, even if certain expressions are absolutely false and evil.
It seems to me that the New U has exerted a lot more than a little control over what they put in print. They have put a quote from me in print twice while providing a very limited context: ‘They should welcome the destruction of Iran even if it could mean their own death.’ With Daniel Pipes and the Muslim Student Union’s quote, it was in the context of a verbal speech in which each speaker had absolute control over what was said. In my situation, the New U interviewed me over e-mail and asked a couple hard-hitting questions that would produce unpleasant answers. The New U edited my statements in a way that didn’t really distort my position, but produced such a statement that can be easily misunderstood or judged as wrong without my further explanation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really blame the New U for what they did; it made a controversial article that increased readership and made the essence of my position known.
But it is improper for the New U to say that what I said was indecent, when it is they themselves who helped create the statement that they condemn.
The three quotes that were printed from myself, Daniel Pipes and a representative of the MSU are not threats. To my knowledge, there are no groups at UCI that have recently wanted to ‘silence further speech in the future.’ But, some have disrupted expressions, like the MSU at Pipes’ talk, and there have been groups and/or members of groups in the past that desired to prevent some expressions. For instance, I was told that the MSU tried to ban Yaron Brook from campus years ago, and Jewish students tried to get the university to stop the MSU from putting on their anti-Israel events in the past. I disagree with both of these examples.
Most importantly, it is monstrously evil to put the irrational hatred of Jews on the same level as the belief that the West must be defended from people who initiate the use of brutal force to spread Islamic law. To equate the Islamic totalitarian desire to destroy the West with the desire for Palestinian terrorists to be destroyed for their actions is immoral. Equating these ideas is helping to sanction and promote Islamism.
I agree that it is irrational to debate anything on religious grounds. The New U and the whole campus should know that some leaders of organizations, such as myself, try to defend Western civilization, including Israel, solely on rational grounds. It is not a Jewish vs. Muslim problem, but a blind faith vs. reason problem.
I strongly disagree with the New U’s smear on students who pay attention to ideas. It doesn’t matter who comes to what lectures