Bruin Alumni Association
UCLA's Fight Against the War on Terror

Chapter 1 - A Day for 'Solidarity'

Chapter 2 - Changing the Subject

Chapter 3 - The Students

Chapter 4 - The Professors

Chapter 5 - Resolutions All Around!

UCLA's Fight Against the War on Terror

Chapter 2
Changing the Subject

    A prime indicator of the long slide into lunacy was that UCLA’s only concern in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks was the possibility of “hate crimes” against Muslims.  Professors like Jerry Kang of the Asian-American Studies department darkly alluded to the possibility of Muslim internment camps because “wartime coupled with racism and intolerance create particular types of mistakes.”  And despite our government’s immediate and continued apprehensions of Muslims belonging to U.S.-based terror cells, Kang cautioned that “we overestimate the threat posed by racial 'others,' … Arab Americans, Muslims, Middle Easterners, immigrants and anyone who looks like ‘them.’”[i]

    The campus newspaper, the Daily Bruin, reaffirmed its radical bona fides by actively stoking false fears of anti-Muslim hate crimes.  Within hours of the attacks, the paper’s website displayed a headline blaring “To report a hate crime, e-mail”[ii]  A subsequent news story repeated the email address in case the website’s front page wasn’t properly alerting the legions of Muslim victims.[iii]  But the very nature of the “report” process revealed it to be a political tool with one intended outcome – helping Muslim radicals document an anticipated anti-Muslim crime wave.  If there was a concern with reporting actual crimes, the Bruin should have posted the UCPD’s phone number.  But that wasn’t the intention.  Rather, the email address was intended to report ticky-tacky instances of perceived harassment – muttered insults or angry glances – which is as good a definition as any of “hate crimes.”

    UCLA’s top administrator, Chancellor Albert Carnesale, did little to discourage the meritless preoccupation with possible anti-Muslim crimes, warning “there could be no greater victory for the terrorists than if we were to direct our anger toward each other.”[iv]  The hysteria over an impending anti-Muslim kristallnacht was certainly not borne out by the facts.  The Bruin covered the topic intensively, and in the end, was able to report – perhaps through the information gathered by the email address – that two Muslim UCLA students had “experienced mean glares” and that unnamed friends of the former Muslim Student Association president Mohammed Mertaban had been called terrorists by unnamed people.[v]  This was the totality of the backlash on which the Chancellor wasted so much breath and the Bruin so much ink.  The Bruin later aired the admission of Mertaban and Al Talib editor Mostafa Mahboob that “many Americans have showered the Muslim and Middle Eastern communities in kindness.”[vi]  The glowing testimony of his fellow Muslims notwithstanding, then-MSA president Bhilal Khan expressed regret “that after all this country has been through, like the camps for the Japanese during World War II, that this country is still harboring that kind of racism.”[vii]  Khan’s reference to “that kind of racism” is an allusion to the phantom anti-Muslim crime wave we were all warned about.  But even by the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee’s own count, “that kind of racism,” spawned only 250 crimes in the two weeks following 9/11.[viii]  That’s hardly more than one crime per million Americans, or, as any reasonable person would understand, less than a blip on the radar screen.

    Besides cautioning against “direct[ing] our anger toward each other,” the Chancellor’s September 13th memorial address on campus also warned that “We must avoid making the tragic error of assuming guilt by association.”[ix]  Carnesale’s words were evidence of a willful ignorance toward the presence of radical Islamofascism on the UCLA campus.  As reported in many venues, most prominently the online journal FrontPage Magazine, UCLA-MSA has “organize[d] events featuring militant speakers, co-sponsor[ed] events and conferences with radical Islamic groups, and co-sponsor[ed] fundraisers for killers and Islamic radicals.”[x]  Of particular note was an October 22, 2000 rally at the Israeli Consulate, during which the then-president of UCLA-MSA Ahmed Shama, was heard leading chants of “Victory to Islam! Death to the Jews,” and personally burned an Israeli flag while the crowd chanted “Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews, the army of Mohammed is coming for you,” and “Death to Israel, victory to Islam.”   The report continues in depressing detail over many pages, laying out the full record of extremism which occurred on Carnesale’s watch.  All of this leaves one to wonder whether Carnesale’s exhortations against closer scrutiny of campus Muslims was nothing more than self-protection.

    In addition to MSA’s radical activities, Carnesale also ignored the Islamofascist extremism spewed by the ASUCLA Muslim newsmagazine Al Talib (The Student).  In the July 1999 “The Spirit of Jihad” issue, Al Talib editorialized, “When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid Osama Bin-Ladin as a ‘terrorist’ we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter; someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah’s cause and speak out against oppressors. We take these stances only to please Allah.”  In a November 2000 issue, an Al Talib article praised Bin Laden’s spiritual leader Sheikh Abdullah Azzam and stated, “We pray that Sheik Azzam’s dream of a true Islamic state comes true.”  Other issues of Al Talib repeatedly praise the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hizbollah as social welfare organizations composed of freedom fighters.[xi]  All of the positions were matters of free speech – but as an official title of ASUCLA’s Student Media division, UCLA had inarguable cause – and authority – to control the title.  Their failure to do so speaks volumes.

      Al Talib’s extremism grew so blatant that, when in late 2001, the United States Treasury Department froze the assets of several Middle East-focused “charity” organizations, no less than three of them were Al Talib advertisers.[xii]  The November 2001 Al Talib issue in question carried ads from the terrorism-linked organizations Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Benevolence International Foundation and Global Relief Foundation.  Blithely dismissive despite revelations of terrorist advertisers, the Daily Bruin summarized Al Talib editor Mostafa Mahboob’s view that “If the listed organizations were still able to advertise, the magazine would consider reprinting the ads.”[xiii]  Al-Talib’s publisher, the peripatetic Mohammed Mertaban, defended the advertising organizations as purely humanitarian, and (hopefully squeezing a rubber nose for comic effect) protested, “I don't understand how people can label Palestinians terrorists.”[xiv]  The statement is a good summary of the radical UCLA Muslim community’s priorities – thin-skinned on hostile looks or verbal insults, while aiding and abetting real terrorist activities at home and abroad.

    Go to Chapter 3 - The Students


[ii] db/rcissues/01/09.13/recovery.html









[xi] Ibid.


[xiii] Ibid.