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Convictions Upheld of Muslim Students Who Harrassed Oren at Irvine

Convictions of Muslim students who repeatedly interrupted a speech (see VIDEO, below) given by then-Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine were upheld by an appellate court
Michael Oren, Dec. 16, 2013.

Michael Oren, Dec. 16, 2013.
Photo Credit: Gideon Markowicz / Flash 90

On February 8, 2010, Muslim students interrupted a speech being given at the University of California at Irvine by Michael Oren who was then the Israeli ambassador to the United States. The students didn’t just shout out their message once. They repeatedly derailed the talk Oren was trying to give so that what was supposed to have been a one hour speech ended up being only twelve minutes long.

The students shouted ugly abuse at the Israeli ambassador, accusing him of being an accomplice to genocide and propagating murder.

The situation was so extreme that criminal charges were brought against eleven students, who became known as the “Irvine 11.”

Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas, who was in the courtroom when the verdict was read, said the students’ behavior amounted to censorship and “thuggery.”

“In a civilized society,” he said, “we cannot allow lawful assemblies to be shut down by a small group of people using the heckler’s veto.”

When the verdict was entered by the jury, on September 23, 2011, 10 of the students were sentenced to three years of probation, 56 hours of community service and fines. Each was convicted of one misdemeanor count of conspiring to disrupt Oren’s Feb. 8, 2010, speech and a second count for disrupting it. The charges against the 11th student were dropped, pending his completing a term of community service.

The response from the community was swift and harsh, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Absolutely unbelievable,” Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, said of the verdict. “I believe the heart of America has died today.

“This is clearly an indication that Muslims are permanent foreigners, at least in Orange County.”

The students and their supporters claimed the students free speech “rights” were violated. Apparently the irony was lost on them that the charges were brought against them for refusing to allow an invited guest to speak.

In a ruling dated last Wednesday but delivered Monday, March 3 to attorneys, a California appellate court panel ruled Ali Mohammad Sayeed, Mohamed Mohy-Eldeeen Abdelgany, Khalid Akari, Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, Joseph Tamim Haider, Taher Herzallah, Shaheen Nassar, Mohammad Anas Qureashi, Osama Shabaik and Asaad Traina were convicted Sept. 23, 2011, because the intent of the law they broke was clear. (Hakim Nasreddine Kebir accepted a plea deal from the court and had charges against him dismissed in exchange for performing 40 hours of community service.)

The judges said the defendants’ intent was proven by the exchange amongst them of email messages, as each student stood, in turn, to shout out and interfere with Oren’s speech.

An attorney for the students, Jacqueline Goodman, said she planned to appeal this ruling to the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Santa Ana, according to a local blog.

When the convictions were first announced following the trial, a Muslim advocate claimed the decision to bring charges against the students would immortalize them.

“When history books are written and this case comes to its final conclusion … the Irvine 11 will stand alongside other civil rights heroes,” said Ameena Qazi, deputy executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

Some content for this article was provided by JTA.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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51 Responses to “Convictions Upheld of Muslim Students Who Harrassed Oren at Irvine”

  1. Raine Balite says:

    Amazing these muzzie twats have the nerve to bring up genocide, which only Muslims are conducting worldwide, and historically. They cry when u hit them back.

  2. Thank God we are waking up? I hope this continues to open eyes! If they are exchange students they should be deported

  3. Seems the scales are not balanced in this particular area under our current administration….kkc

  4. send them all back

  5. Tamara Milner Moser says:

    Ya, right. I'll shout you down because ONLY I have the right to free speech. "When history books are written and this case comes to its final conclusion … the Irvine 11 will stand alongside other civil rights heroes,”

  6. Gil Gilman says:

    My, aren't we filled with grandiose self-importance. When the history books are written? This won't be even a ping on the sonar…and the bit about them being civil rights heroes was such precious bombast as to be ludicrous like the tantrum of a spoiled child…

  7. The Irvine 11? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

  8. Leo Erwin says:

    WELL…..ONLY LOGICAL….PRECURSERS TO THE THIRD WORLD WAVE OF ISLAM ………..

  9. Cody Flecker says:

    These criminal will hrdly be in any history book of note. I wonder what yo as a Jew will say if the tables were turned and the hecklers were Jewish and the speaker was a Muslim. You would be crying crocodile tears all day and night.

  10. Exactly right.
    And more
    When the history books are written, all of these islamists will be recognized for what they are. Thugs at best and murderous terrorists at worst.

  11. THe Irvine 11 will be put next to the Bull Connors of the world.

  12. Just be sure it goes on the transcripts of these dumb miscreants.

  13. Buthayna Hammad says:

    Civil disobedience is a right given to us in the free world. They spoke out about injustice and committed no REAL crime. They are American and are entitled to their freedom of speech especially when they are drowning the noise and lies of Israeli propagandists.

  14. Gil Gilman says:

    Andrzej Lozowski, except for the implied threat of course, that they will continue their march through D. C., New Jersey, Michigan, Iowa, Texas and points west, overthrow the western empires including the U.S. and write the "histories" themselves…

  15. Gil Gilman says:

    what? they committed a FAKE crime? civil disobedience, when disruptive to the rights of others has been met historically with misdemeanor charges, even felony charges, in this country, when the rights of others are impinged upon. To label them as civil rights heroes demeans the true heroes of the civil rights movements in this country.

  16. Alex Shapiro says:

    The principle of civil disobedience cannot be applied to people whose recent ancestors were allies of the Nazis during the WWII, whose so-called holy books call to murder of people who disagree with their religion (Quran, Surah 2:191, 9:123, 9:5, 3:85, 5:33, 22:19, 8:12, 47:4), including the open call to kill Jews (Hadith, Sahih Bukhari, 4.52.177), who sent score of missiles to Israeli towns, killed many civilians, including children, while celebrating each such murder – and then blaming the Jews in all these atrocities.

  17. So their supporters are under the impression that the person who speaks or yells the loudest is the only who deserves the right to express themselves? This must explain why so many Muslims around the world use even louder means to express themselves as a way to drown out civilized discourse. The goal here is to silence opposing arguments through shouting and if that does not work, explosions become the preferred method of "expression". That's not freedom of expression; it's freedome to be a total prick.

    Since Muslims are in favor of this concept that whoever's the loudest should be the only voice heard, this concept should be applied to them. In cities where the call to prayer is broadcast over loudspeakers, somebody should use louder speakers to drown it out. When a cleric is giving a sermon in a mosque, people from the streets should be allowed to enter and shout overtop of him, as it's all of our rights to disrupt and drown out opposing voices.

    Civil rights? Civility and the dominant form of Islam don't mix. To them, if you're not Muslim, the only civil rights you have is the right to be enslaved and the right to be beheaded. To them, it's silly to let a future slave speak and it's even sillier for a beheaded man to speak against them.

  18. Alex Shapiro says:

    Buthayna Hammad: the Palestinian behavior has a lot to do with the religion they follow. I'm sure that if they were Christians we could have piece in the Middle East a long time ago. Not only peace, but prosperity. Human rights abuses? 20 years ago the Palestinians could freely come to the Israeli proper, work there, do business, with practically no checkpoints. It all ended when your people started to blow up the Jews in masses. And don't tell me about the 'resistance'. It's a murder, plain and simple!. Then Israel had to drastically increase the amount of checkpoints and to build the wall, to protect its citizens from the murders. So if you feel that you have your civil rights violated, you brought it upon yourself! You still should consider yourself to be lucky that you deal with the Jews, and not with Russians or Americans. They would have leveled the Gaza for all these rocket attacks.

  19. Gil Gilman says:

    Buthayna Hammad They should have created their own platform for their rant. As a result of their approach to their issue they were charged and convicted of misdemeanors. Actually, I have not even seen it mentioned anywhere that these were native born or naturalized citizens. The countries that they come from are no respecters of the civil rights of anyone, especially women. Let them rant against that!

  20. Gil Gilman . LOL, they will be works of fiction, then, not history books…

  21. Alex Shapiro says:

    Buthayna Hammad: Really? The Israelis have Palestinian members of Knesset (Parliament) who can openly deliver anti-Israeli speeches from its podium and nobody arrests them or disrupts them (heckling is another matter; it is common for many Parliaments in the world). But any Knesset member has a right to say what he or she wants. I wonder how long a Jew would have lasted if he or she dared to speak among the Muslims.

  22. DON'T TRUST THOSE LYING MUSALAMAS

  23. Alex Shapiro says:

    Buthayna Hammad: I'm not vilifying all the Muslims, only those who observe the precepts I mentioned earlier. Indeed, there are many Muslims for whom Islam is just a nice tradition, who are not particularly religious and in fact wish to keep away from the murderous and hateful things mentioned in Quran and Hadith. Alas, these people are the minority. As for the Zionism – it is a national movement of the Jewish people to return to their homeland, Zion (which is Jerusalem). And, by the way, according to the Quran, the Jews are entitled to return to their ancient homeland (Sura 17:104). Now, if you as a Palestinian don't think that the Jews deserve to have their homeland, you also don't deserve your own country. As simple as that. And no slogans, screams, disrupts and false propaganda can change this simple fact.

  24. Phyllis Kosen says:

    Cody Flecker So give an example of when the hecklers were Jewish? Opps, don't you mean Israeli? Can't can you? But here's another example where thugs wouldn't let Israelis talk: http://www.thepolypost.com/news/palestinians-protest-event-turns-chaotic/article_e765d30a-a365-11e3-be73-001a4bcf6878.html

  25. Alex Shapiro says:

    Buthayna Hammad: Yeah, it's getting really funny. You offer me to check the facts whereas the facts are far from being your strongest point. You say that there was a "peace and co-existence in Palestine before the establishment of Israel." You're very conveniently 'forgot' the murder of Jewish men, including older men, women and children in Hebron in the 1920s and 1930s, the incessant attacks of Arab fedains on Jews back from the 19th century. The only difference is that after Israel was established it could fight back, which you, of course, don't like.

    As for Gaza- Israel vacated it completely, leaving behind the sophisticated hothouses, where you could give jobs to about 20,000 people and grow vegetables for export, You destroyed them in 2 days, completely. Instead of building second Dubai, you chose the extremist Hamas to the power who started to rain missiles on Israeli towns, which led to Gaza blockade and eventual Israeli retaliatory strikes. There is a big difference in these attacks: while Israel tries to strike to missile launchers and the terrorist infrastructure, the Palestinian strikes were to kill innocent civilians and make a big celebration, passing candies around, after each murder.

    So gimme a break, will you? Keep with your rants and lies somewhere else!

  26. Alex Shapiro says:

    Buthayna Hammad Writing in capital letters that I'm wrong does not make your point correct.

    I'm quite familiar with the 'tale' that claims that the European (Ashkenazi) Jews have no relation to our ancient land and are just a religion. Yet, during the Holocaust, in which your people under the leadership of Mufti, took an active part and which you now deny as never happened, the Jews were killed because of their race. Even 1/8 of the Jewish blood was enough to send a person to gas chambers. In my internal passport, in the former Soviet Union, there were written in the 5th paragraph 'Jew' even though religion was officially banned at that time.

    As for your claim that the Palestinians are descendants of the Biblical Jews who converted to Islam, I suggest you to listen to speech of your fellow Palestinian, a minister from Hamas, who, in the slip of the tongue, clearly said who you really are – the Arabs, from the Saudi and Egypt:

  27. Alex Shapiro says:

    Buthayna Hammad

    Buthayna,

    Even we have agreed to make peace and friendship during our exchange, it, unfortunately, would not bring peace to the Middle East. But we had a chance to understand each other position. I have to admit, basing on your replies, that that is still a very slight chance for peace in that land, as long as the Palestinians keep sticking to their false perceptions of reality. You cannot claim a country for yourself without recognizing rights of other people. Israel is ready to recognize the rights of the Palestinians for their own country, but the Palestinians are still stuck with their denials for the Jews to have their own country. Hopefully the new generations will be more successful in that. With that I have to conclude our conversation.

  28. Du Val Jax says:

    Disruption of school function and interference with the administration is a misdemeanor. The agitator/s students must be trespassed from the property and expulsed from the school for a minimum term of (1) one year. The trespassed will lose all students privileges and tuitions’ rights already paid. That’s the law!

  29. Du Val Jax says:

    The University must apply PENAL CODE
    SECTION 626-626.11 to the agitators students or not!

  30. You mean the 850,000 Jews from Arab countries that had to flee after 1948?
    Pre-1967, Jordan was called Transjordan. Why didn't the Palestinians had their state there? Perhaps because the majority of Jordanians are Palestinians as well?

  31. Genocide is the systematic killing of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group. Palestinian population has grown much faster than most other Arabs. Life expectancy is also higher than most: 72.3.
    The plural of anecdote is not Data.

  32. Irfan Sheikh Typical answer Irfart.

  33. Alex Shapiro says:

    1967 borders? There were no borders, but ceasefire lines, between Israel and the occupying Arab armies. The Arabs never agreed to the division of the land, that only Israel accepted. So the UN imposed on the warring parties these lines without any peace treaty signed. Therefore, there are not state borders and there's absolutely no reason to return to them.

  34. Alex Shapiro says:

    "Israel controls US and buys our politicians"? That was a funny statement. Israel is no match to billions of Arab petrodollars that I suspect do buy some American politicians and mass media.

  35. Alex Shapiro says:

    Irfan Sheikh: Don't make fun of yourself by writing blatant lies. The Palestinians refuse recognize Israel as a Jewish state. It is the only Jewish state in the world, while the Palestinians strive to create one more Arab state on the ancient Jewish land, by using blatant lies and falsification of facts. True, the most of the world is against Israel as it was before. Besides, the billions of Arab petrodollars also play a major role in it. Even though the Palestinian Arabs have settled on the ancient Jewish land, the Israel has agreed, again and again, to share this territory with them. But you always disagreed because you cannot accept the idea of a non-Muslim, Jewish state in your midst.

  36. Buthayna Hammad
    It has everything to do with religion.
    Islam wants to convert the world to Sharia law.
    Heaven forbid anyone who stands in their way.
    This is not something I have just made up. You know it, we all know it. Islam has said time and time again, Islam will take over the world and convert the world to it's ways.

  37. Wow Dawood.

    You post shows how stupid you are.
    You cannot answer ANYTHING PRODUCTIVELY, EXCEPT TO MAKE STUPID, CHILDISH COMMENTS.

    yOU ARE BREALLY A FOOL.

  38. lIKE YOUR CO RELIONIST. yOU TOO ARE SO STUPID.

    SURE. aLL WE HAVE TO DO, IS TAKE IN 5 MILLION mUSLIMS AND THAT WOULD BE THE END OF iSRAEL AS A jEWISH STATE. i AM SURE THAT UPSETS YOU THAT ISRAEL AS A jEWISH STATE, WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.

  39. Stephen Tannenbaum says:

    Irfan Sheikh Not seen independent agency publish that data? Try https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
    As for your "Palestinian" kids being subject to your list of tortures, prove it with just one link to just one photograph of a "Palestinian" child with a distended belly as a result of malnutrition. Just one. Go on.

  40. Buthayna Hammad, so you're saying that the majority of Muslims do not believe in the prophecies of the PROPHET Muhammad? 1.5 billion people following a religion they don't believe? That sounds a bit sillier than the fact that Islam's end game is world domination by any means necessary, according to the honorable prophet, that is. Or are you saying he was not a prophet?

  41. Buthayna Hammad, don't lecture me on what's in the Quran. If it truly is a peaceful book, why don't you spend more time lecturing people who are out there killing women and children? I'm not the one trying to figure out how to blow up the world while fantasizing about my virgins of paradise. If it's been taken out of context like you say, you might accomplish more by explaining it to the ones who take it out of context as an excuse to kill. It's been a good excuse for murder and conquest since its inception, and maybe someone like you can straighten out all the confusion that must have happened between the time the prophet died and the time his followers put it on paper. If you have the guts, tell the Islamic world what you've told us – that Islam does not condone violence against innocent civilians. If you manage that, you deserve a Nobel peace prize for real…you could be the first Palestinian to actually earn one.

  42. Buthayna Hammad, a "Heeb troll" appears to be shortened for "Hebrew troll", which is a racial slur if I ever saw one. Not surprisingly, you took the side of the bully and attacked the abused at the same time. Now that I know you, I know I don't like you.

  43. Irfan Sheikh, what do you mean when you say, "It's time for a change in the 21st century or we'll have a repeat of the 20th century"? Are you referring to the formation of the Judaic state? The triumph of the Judaic state over racially motivated enemies from all over the Arab world? Or are you talking about darker times? WW2? The holocaust? Oh, I see what you meant now. You were making a vague threat, and you thought it would go unnoticed. This is probably why israelis don't trust palestinians — you guys are always making threats of violence and genocide against them.

    Truthfully, I don't know why any sane person would want to live in Israel. Even if the land was the most fertile, it's not worth it when the neighbors are always plotting to cut your throat. But if the Israelis choose to live where their ancestors lived and died, it's their call. But if they ever face eviction by force or another massacre again, may each grain of sand in the region rise up in defense of creation against you and your kin. To curse them is to curse yourself.

  44. Jake Lee says:

    Arabs can live, work, own property, work in Government and serve in the military in Israel. Jews cannot even step foot in Gaza or in certain parts of the West Bank. So WHO is committing the "Apartheid"?

  45. Irfan Sheikh says:

    Jake after reading your posts earlier there's not much to say to you. Arabs don't live freely in Israel and are considered 2nd rate citizens, not allowed to own property, and when they get into govt they are kicked out once they voice their opinion.

  46. Moishe Pupik says:

    Irfan Sheikh How pathetic that you actually believe anything you wrote above has any connection to reality on this planet.

  47. Buthayna Hammad says:

    Moishe Pupik what is pathetic is your delusions and inability to see what is in front of you. Hate has a way of blinding people. It is sad.

  48. Jake Lee says:

    Question: Most Arabs living in the wasteland known as Palestine WILLINGLY left on the advice of neighboring Arab Countries when it was promised that the Jews in the newly formed COUNTRY of Israel would be annihilated. Would the millions of Jews that UNWILLINGLY left Europe be afforded a "Right of Return" to all the businesses and property that they lost? Hmmmmmm

  49. Avry Mizrahi says:

    no Jake, only Arabs have that privilege. because if we Jews did return we would have built up Europe even more then what it is. That's not allowed, only if we bombed then we would be allowed to go back

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