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4 Bumps

Should they face charges?

A Muslim group Sunday criticized Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas for filing misdemeanor charges against 11 Muslim students who disrupted a speech by an Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine.

The students -- eight from UCI and three from UC Riverside -- disrupted a speech Feb. 8, 2010, at UCI by Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States.

The District Attorney's Office filed charges of misdemeanor conspiracy to disturb a meeting and misdemeanor disturbance of a meeting, said Susan Kang Schroeder, the office's chief of staff.

"This case is being filed because there was an organized attempt to squelch the speaker, who was invited to speak to a group at UCI," Rackauckas said.

"These defendants meant to stop this speech and stop anyone else from hearing his ideas, and they did so by disrupting a lawful meeting. This is a clear violation of the law and failing to bring charges against this conduct would amount to a failure to uphold the Constitution."

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement today saying, "We are appalled that the office of District Attorney Rackauckas is bringing criminal charges against the `Irvine 11' students, who nonviolently and verbally protested a university-invited speaker. The students left the event peacefully and willingly, and Ambassador Oren was able to complete his speech.

....Prosecutors say Mohamad Mohy-Eldeen Abdelgany, 23, who was president of the MSU at UCI, met with other members of the organization on Feb. 2, 2010, to discuss how to respond to Oren's speech.

The full group met the next day after Abdelgany sent members an e-mail saying, "We will be staging a University of Chicago-style disruption of the ambassador's speech," according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also allege Abdelgany sent an e-mail to the group's governing board and three other defendants saying "to the outside," the protest should be viewed as one done by individual students, not the MSU, to stymie UCI officials in case they "come after MSU."

Each defendant allegedly stood up one after the other to shout, "Michael Oren, propagating murder is not free speech," and other declarations such as "Michael Oren you are a war criminal."

Rackauckas in his statement, "We cannot tolerate having a group deciding to prevent a speaker from speaking, an audience from listening, and the speaker and the audience from engaging in an exchange of ideas in the form of questions and answers."


Asked by grlygrlz2 at 1:27 PM on Feb. 15, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (43)
  • Yes, charges should be brought and I would say the same thing if this was the Jesus & Java group. They made a group plan and KNEW it could cause them trouble. It is also my understanding they were given the opportunity to walk away and chose not to.


    Answer by yourspecialkid at 1:32 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Not only should they be charged, but I think Homeland Security should be looking into their affiliations.

    Answer by brandyj at 1:48 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Does anyone remember when Osama bin Laden said the next attack on America would come from within? This is how it happens. Radical groups use our own freedoms against us, and then watch us tear each other apart over the legal bullcrap.

    Answer by brandyj at 2:06 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I am a firm believer in free speech, but even speech is limited. You can not yell fire in a crowded room, and you can not use your freedoms to override others freedoms. As much as I hate the group I would even stand up for Westboro's and their right to protest because that is free speech, but if they went inside the churches where the funerals where than they are now trying to take the rights away from others. This group should have kept the protest outside.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 2:11 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I think they should have kept the protest out side. Once they went into the meeting they where imposing on other peoples rights.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 1:41 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I think that's cool and thy should do it all the time. No one should be immune. You do not have to disrupt a speaker to be noticed. Why not have your own meetings, speeches and protests? Didyour mother never teach you its not polite to speak when someone else is talking?

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 2:52 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • They should have picketed outside if they needed to voice their opposition.


    Answer by mustbeGRACE at 3:25 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • They planned in advance to go in and interrupt a speaker. This is NOT the same as a town hall meeting where everyone there is generally expected to speak up and participate. This was a situation where someone was invited to speak and others were there to listen. Whether or not some people here at CM can understand the difference doesn't matter. The fact that all they can do when it comes to discussing the matter is call people names only shows that they likely don't know how to act like an adult ~ or don't care.

    Muslims don't have to like Jewish people (or any other people), but if they want to spew their hatred in the US college students can expect to deal with the law, terrorists will deal with the military, and haters will deal with fed up Americans.

    CAIR needs to take a flying leap ... and stop bouncing their reality check. In America, Muslims are no more special than ANY other religious group.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 7:32 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Did anyone ever file charges against crazy tea partiers screaming and making fools of themselves at town hall meetings? kettle.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 4:44 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Sounds like the tea baggers

    Sounds like the new (old) civility PBO has called for. Why the name calling, sweet? Oh, someone disagreed with you. 

    If there is a statute on the books, and they broke that statute, they should be charged.


    Answer by jesse123456 at 6:16 PM on Feb. 15, 2011