Friday, February 09, 2007

More Muslim Censorship On a College Campus: San Francisco State University

Via Eminent Domain, the story of how an anti-terrorism demonstration at San Francisco State University angered Muslim students.

The incident had echos of a case at Pace University where activist Muslim students objected to, and got the administration to censor, a documentary film about terrorism.

At San Francisco State, the College Republicans produced large copies of the flags of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah and walked on this.

The upshot: they got into trouble with the univesity, and face disciplinary hearings. From the The Volokh Conspiracy, quoting the San Francisco Chronicle:
This story starts with an “anti-terrorism rally” held last October on campus by the College Republicans. To emphasize their point, students stomped on Hezbollah and Hamas flags. According to the college paper, the Golden Gate (X)Press, members of Students Against War and the International Socialist Organization showed up to call the Republicans “racists,” while the president of the General Union of Palestinian Students accused the Repubs of spreading false information about Muslims.

In November, the Associated Students board passed a unanimous resolution, which the (X)Press reported, denounced the California Republicans for “hateful religious intolerance” and criticized those who “pre-meditated the stomping of the flags knowing it would offend some people and possibly incite violence.”

Now you know that there are students who are opposed to desecrating flags on campus -- that is, if the flags represent terrorist organizations.

But wait -- there’s more. A student filed a complaint with the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development. OSPLD Director Joey Greenwell wrote to the College Republicans informing them that his office had completed an investigation of the complaint and forwarded the report to the Student Organization Hearing Panel, which will adjudicate the charge. At issue is the charge that College Republicans had walked on “a banner with the world ‘Allah’ written in Arabic script” -- it turns out Allah’s name is incorporated into Hamas and Hezbollah flags -- and “allegations of attempts to incite violence and create a hostile environment,” as well as “actions of incivility.”

At an unnamed date, the student panel could decide to issue a warning to, suspend or expel the GOP club from campus.

Maybe SFSU should just put up a sign that reads: Conservatives need not apply.
Volokh notes:
Sounds to me like SFSU is acknowledging that under SFSU rules, desecrating Allah — or, to be precise, desecrating religious symbols — is indeed prohibited. Everything old (here, blasphemy bans) is new again.
What is new, of coure, is that Islam is protected against blasphemy, and Christianity is not.

And flag desecration is bad, unless it’s the American flag.

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