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Fighting Anti-American Hatred on Campus By: Oubai Mohammad Shahbandar
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, March 10, 2003

As a high-profile American-Arab conservative activist on the Arizona State campus (many of whose anti-leftist antics are documented in FrontpageMag archives), I have come to expect a fair amount of exceptionally cruel personal attacks. Left-wingers opposed my efforts on behalf of the American flag and the conservative movement.  Almost inevitably members of the various campus leftist groups deride me as a “race traitor.” Yet, I was still taken aback at the pure seething viciousness in which the Muslim Students’ Association reacted to a counter protest I helped organize Wednesday March 5 in response to the nation-wide student protests led by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition.   

Members of the ASU Muslim Students’ Association threw a collective tizzy after finding that I, a Muslim Arab, would dare
stand up to their totalitarian leadership and declare my love for liberty and country. The MSA’s subsequent actions embody the hate filled and racist overtone of the so-called “peace” protestors on the Arizona State campus and are yet another example of the hypocrisy of the anti-war crowd when it comes to practicing what they preach, namely tolerance.

I along with a handful of conservative students decided to
counter-protest these losers in hopes of opening our fellow students’ eyes to an alternative to the daily hate-America rabble that has become the norm in a campus political environment dominated by an ever-looming left-wing political orthodoxy.

By noon, a
pathetically small gathering of leftist students had gathered in front of the Student Union. Our group had preempted them by arriving early. As a result, we were instantly confronted by a handful of very angry and disturbed members of the protest groups incensed that we were “stealing their show.”

Immediately, members of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) Taliban-in-Training accosted me as “not being a real Arab” or a “real Muslim.” A handful of MSA miscreants grew hysterical as I held up a sign that read, “ Saddam: Let My People Go!” on the front and “ I am an Arab, and I Support President Bush!” on the back. Right there and then one MSA member even issued a “fatwa” against me, declaring that I should be condemned to Hell for standing up for my principles. Ironically this vile “Uncle Tom” race-baiting came from MSA member Nure Elatari, a woman who otherwise would not have had the liberty of speaking her mind if she was living in the repressive Iraqi regime that she so seems to adore. One thing is for sure; the people living in Hell are the Iraqi people under the cruel cold grasp of Saddam Hussein's tyranny.

The militant nature of the MSA is not isolated to my campus alone either. A recent Washington Times article describes in chilling detail how the MSA is steadily garnering a growing influence among the nationwide anti-American movement. This is truly cause for concern. While the MSA may not share the Marxist features of most of the nationally organized anti-American groups, let alone their social views on homosexuality and gender relations, the MSA trumps all these groups in the sheer drive of its members. MSA members are fueled by a religious extremism parallel to that of their medieval spiritual counterpart: Saudi Wahabbism. Just like Saudi Whabbism, the MSA shows no more tolerance or understanding of those that dare to openly dissent from its ranks, as I had done. 

Yet while the MSA is busily playing out their role as bridgeheads for Bin-Laden-like zealotry, at least this Muslim Arab has the backbone to stand up for the freedom of the poor Iraqi people. MSA members should be ashamed of themselves. At the very least, they owe all Americans—especially American Arabs and Muslims— an apology for their shortsighted hypocrisy. Until then, any hope for patriotic American Arabs and Muslims to better the standings of their communities in this country will face irrevocable harm. Indeed, the hateful nature of the MSA can only continue to contribute to the festering divide that threatens to alienate all American Arabs and Muslims from their fellow countrymen.

For now, there can be now question that the Muslim Students’ Association and its national chapter are anything but a vitriolic hate group—and should be treated as such by American campuses everywhere.

NOTE: Readers are encouraged to contact the Arizona State MSA chapter (
msaasu@asu.edu) and ask them to stop the hate.

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