Letters to the Editor

OCR Investigation
Exonerates Free Speech
I am relieved that the Office of Civil Rights investigation cleared the UC Irvine administration of anti-Semitism allegations. It is a comforting reiteration of the fact that UCI is not hostile to any group. More importantly, it is a welcome exoneration of free speech on our campus.
Our constitutionally-protected freedom of expression is the primary component of a democracy. We cannot be deprived of this right under any circumstances. All university students interested in making informed decisions should appreciate the freedom to express opinions that differ from those of the mainstream media.
Historically, colleges have been institutions where the free exchange of ideas thrived. It is up to students to ensure that this tradition continues. After all, beliefs that are never exposed to other perspectives are prone to stagnation, and their values and/or fallacies are never recognized. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can comprehend this Millsian logic.
Groups in and around UCI that are trying to suppress the flow of free thought on our campus should understand that we live in a country that would cease to function democratically if such suppression was legitimized. They need to realize that despite their best efforts, our country will never allow itself to be governed by Big Brother. Here’s to free speech and the free exchange of ideas.
Sheba Ali
literary journalism and political science double-major
OCR Investigation Ignores On-Campus Anti-Semitism
The UC Irvine administration and the Council on American-Islamic Relations should not be so quick to congratulate themselves on the findings of the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office that no anti-Semitism exists on this campus. As long as the Muslim Student Union continues to invite hate mongers like Amir Abdel Malik Ali and Alim Musa as speakers, anti-Semitism will continue to be a real problem.
Yes, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is the basis for the controversy. However, does that justify the aforementioned speakers calling suicide bombers ‘heroes’? Does that justify those speakers advocating hate and violence in driving the Jews from the region?
I have listened to the words of both of these men. When Malik Ali rants about ‘Zionist Jews,’ he spits the word ‘Jews’ in the same manner that German Nazis spat the word ‘Jude.’ Adding the word ‘Zionist’ in front of it doesn’t necessarily negate the hateful message.
To this day, ‘Jude’ is an emotionally charged word in the German language. If spoken in a certain tone, no racist epithet is necessary; the Nazis used only the word ‘Jude’ in their lexicon. It is also true (to a somewhat lesser extent) in English. I think Malik Ali knows that. Yet he and his defenders insist that it is only ‘Zionist’ Jews with whom they have a problem. That is disingenuous.
UCI’s concept of hate speech is centered on political correctness. In other words, certain groups can say what they want about certain other groups, and the university will stick its collective head in the sand and ignore it in the name of free speech.
But if certain other groups are the targets, then that is a different story. Hate speech against any group of people is hate speech