UC Irvine Muslim Group Suspended for Protesting Israeli Ambassador

IRVINE, Calif.—A disciplinary committee at the University of California, Irvine has recommended a year’s suspension for the Muslim Student Union (MSU) because of a protest that disrupted a talk by Israel’s ambassador.

A 14-page letter from a student affairs disciplinary committee to leaders of the MSU said the group was guilty of disorderly conduct, obstructing university activities, furnishing false information and other violations of campus policy, according to the Associated Press.

Eleven students were arrested for the disrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s February speech about U.S.-Israeli relations, reports the Daily Pilot. Members of the MSU believe Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians are inhumane.

An attorney for the student group said the committee’s recommendation would leave Muslim students without an organization representing their interests.

MSU members denied organizing the protests against the ambassador’s appearance; however, the disciplinary committee said a review of online message group conversations and minutes from an MSU meeting showed that the group did engineer the protest and told participants to lie about its involvement.

If the recommendation is upheld, the MSU will be suspended for the 2010-11 school year. The committee also ruled that the group should be placed on a year’s disciplinary probation following its suspension, and that members collectively complete 50 hours of community service.

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