web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » News & Views

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.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

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

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.
Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears
Latest News Stories
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.

Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah, July 1, 2014.

PA leader Abbas demands UN force Israel back to 1949 Armistice Line by Nov. 2016.

The car of the acting rabbi of an Atlantic City synagogue mysteriously burst into flames during the three-day Rosh HaShanah-Shabbat period.

Car fires are car fires,” said the Atlantic City fire chief. But the car was parked!

U.S. President Barack Obama, Sept. 8, 2014.

US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.

Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building.

A 14-year-old Dutch Muslim high school student is suspended after posting a video saying he is “from ISIS” and wants to “behead Jews.”

PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met Wednesday evening for 75 minutes at the White House in Washington DC.

Israel talks with building blocks. The Palestinian Authority throws them.

The Palestinian Authority continues to remove its mask and show it is Hamas in sheep’s clothing.

How do some of the other issues Obama discussed in his 2013 U.N. General Assembly speech look through today’s lens?

“I think there’s no question that support for Israel will, I think, increase dramatically with the Republican leadership in the Senate,” Matthew Brooks, executive director of the RJC and the Jewish Policy Center think tank, told JNS.

As expected, one of the biggest themes throughout the week long UN gathering was a focus on the threat posed by Islamic State to the international world order, with nearly every major world leader mentioning the U.S.-led international efforts underway to combat the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

For diehard Jewish fans of “The Simpsons,” a Mourner’s Kaddish will be in order at this weekend’s Yom Kippur services.

A recent Jerusalem municipal decision regarding a virgin, angered ultra-Orthodox representatives.

B’Tselem is once again able to use Israel’s national service volunteers to attack Israel’s efforts at self-defense and sovereignty.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.

Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Sept. 8, 2014.

US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.

B’Tselem is once again able to use Israel’s national service volunteers to attack Israel’s efforts at self-defense and sovereignty.

‘Jews Against Genocide’ pervert the Ice Bucket Challenge into a “blood bucket” attack on the IDF.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted murderer of a Philly cop, was chosen as college commencement speaker.

The blatantly hostile state department press corps belittled and mischaracterized Netanyahu’s UN speech.

PLO member and PA spokesperson Saeb Erekat ridiculed state dept. spokesperson for Abbas criticism

Suicide bombing reported as new president of Afghanistan sworn in.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/convictions-upheld-of-muslim-students-who-harrassed-oren-at-irvine/2014/03/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: