Jewish Groups Move To Ban Islamic Stoles @ UC Irvine

A group of Muslim students at UC Irvine who are seeking to wear green stoles bearing Quranic passages reading “And say, My Lord, advance me in knowledge,” and “There is no god but the One God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of the One God” during graduation have come under fire from the ADL and other Jewish organizations who are implying that the second quote, known as “the shahada” (the central statement of faith within Islam) is in turn a statement in support of “shihadis,” otherwise known as suicide bombers.

Muslim WakeUp! writes,

Over a billion Muslims in the world see this testimony of faith as the core statement of their faith. And now some irresponsible ignorant bigots in the Jewish community are trying to re-define it as a symbol of terror and suicide bombing.

Disingenuous right-wingers like the staff at World Net Daily, for example, are upholding this idiocy, neglecting in their reportage the fact that the word “shahada” does not appear on the sash, but rather a quote known as “the shahada.” They are thus perpetuating a lie in order to advance their anti-Islamic agenda, relying upon the hearsay of character’s like Frontpage contributor Arnold Steinberg who, without providing any evidence whatsoever, insists that at a recent on-campus event, these same students wore green armbands in solidarity with Hamas, and that, therefore, these sashes too are meant to be a show of solidarity with terrorists. Though the school refuses to ban the stoles on the grounds of freedom of speech, the implication, of course, makes Muslim students at UCI very nervous (bypass reg), and rightly so.

Contact the ADL and let ‘em know where they can stick it. (c/o Laura)

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29 Responses to “Jewish Groups Move To Ban Islamic Stoles @ UC Irvine”

  1. The question to ask is if these green stoles have ever been worn in a context that wasnt in support of hamas (or some other militant/terrorist group).

    If muslims wear these type stoles on many different occasions its one thing, but if they are primarily used to show support for terrorists, then the adl is correct in not wanting it.


    Jimbo · June 22nd, 2004 at 1:55 pm
  2. In a time when Arab Americans are being persecuted around this country for the actions of people whom they are not responsible for, there should be no assumptions made about the intentions of a group of Muslims expressing pride in their culture and heritage. Imagine what the reaction would be if CAIR attempted to ban say, sashes worn by Jewish students that look like Israeli flags.

    I mean, no one who’s written on this subject has any facts. No one’s spoken to students in the MSU. No one’s demonstrated any precedence. No one has any evidence which shows that the group identifies with Hamas. These are baseless assertions.


    Mobius · June 22nd, 2004 at 2:46 pm
  3. Mo,

    I’m not in favor of banning these stoles (unless these schools typically ban any and all extra academic accoutrements), and I sympathize with your concern for objectivity on this specific issue.

    That said, however, the big difference between your examples is that there are significant and unambiguous peace movements in the Jewish community and within Israel; while I haven’t seen many similarly significant and unambiguous condemnations of terror by groups like CAIR, nor expressions of tolerance toward Israel by the Arab-Muslim establishment at large.


    Zionista · June 22nd, 2004 at 3:25 pm
  4. Mobi-

    I think youre being over dramatic.

    Because muslims are discriminated against, should we not question or complain about anything they do?

    What we know is that a group of muslims want to wear a piece of clothing that most in our country associate with hamas and terrorist organizations.

    I think its our job to complain that muslims are wearing stoles that are so closely associated with hamas.

    It could be muslims may also wear this who are not supporting or associating with terror groups, but most people are not aware of this, and the muslims can respond by citing examples where it is worn in events that are not connected to terrorists.

    Did they actually think that they would wear stoles that everybody associates with hamas, and think people wouldnt complain?

    To my knowledge (and i could be wrong) this story did not cause any violence or threats to muslims and the complaint was done in a proper fashion. Nothing wrong with that.


    Jimbo · June 22nd, 2004 at 4:49 pm
  5. “stoles that everybody associates with hamas”

    who is everybody? what a grand assumption.


    Mobius · June 22nd, 2004 at 4:54 pm
  6. have you seen it used in any other context? What else do you associate it with?

    and either way, even if was “some people associate with hamas”, i still think its right to at least complain.


    Jimbo · June 22nd, 2004 at 4:59 pm
  7. jimbo, i wonder–what’s your take on the confederate flag?


    Mobius · June 22nd, 2004 at 5:17 pm
  8. Hey, i just stumbled upon this site and found it very interesting. I agree with a lot of what is written on this site because im a very liberal jew and im really disgusted with how the jewish community is becoming so conservative.

    Anyway, i just wanted to put my two cents in on this topic. First of all, i found a response from the chancellor of the school at www.chancellor.uci.edu/from/commencement.html. It pretty much clears up what happened.

    I say that if students are being allowed to wear other articles of clothing than these students have the same right. i can understand not allowing it if they had rules saying that students had to wear a certain outfit. But since they didnt, the students have every right to wear them, regardless of what it means. Its their right to choose who they support. As Jews we must remmember that the most important things we must protect in this country are our freedoms. This is one of the things that ticks me off about Jews these days. We have closed our minds. We used to be strong advocates of individual freedoms, standing up for the downtrodden. We fought for civil rights and womens rights. After experiencing the holocaust, we knew the most important thing was our freedom. But since then, we have forgot all about it. Conservative Jews are not rising to the aid of people who need it. We should all be helping the gay community as we did the blacks. We should be defending those muslims who are living in this country, dont hate the jews, yet are being persecuted. A few weeks ago i talked to a family friend, who is jewish, and he honestly believed that all muslims are evil and he wouldnt mind getting rid of them all. this kinda thing is very very sad. The jews of today are throwing away their dignity because they are so inflammed about the israeli-palestinian conflict.

    Back to the stoles, even if they were in support of Hamas, saying that they should be banned is hypocritical. If you wanted to wear some Zionist apparel and they banned it then you would feel differently. Like it or not, many consider zionists to be terrorists. Remove yourself from your point of view. Personal beliefs distort reality.


    LiberalJew · June 22nd, 2004 at 5:34 pm
  9. Hey, i just stumbled upon this site and found it very interesting. I agree with a lot of what is written on this site because im a very liberal jew and im really disgusted with how the jewish community is becoming so conservative.

    Anyway, i just wanted to put my two cents in on this topic. First of all, i found a response from the chancellor of the school at www.chancellor.uci.edu/from/commencement.html. It pretty much clears up what happened.

    I say that if students are being allowed to wear other articles of clothing than these students have the same right. i can understand not allowing it if they had rules saying that students had to wear a certain outfit. But since they didnt, the students have every right to wear them, regardless of what it means. Its their right to choose who they support. As Jews we must remmember that the most important things we must protect in this country are our freedoms. This is one of the things that ticks me off about Jews these days. We have closed our minds. We used to be strong advocates of individual freedoms, standing up for the downtrodden. We fought for civil rights and womens rights. After experiencing the holocaust, we knew the most important thing was our freedom. But since then, we have forgot all about it. Conservative Jews are not rising to the aid of people who need it. We should all be helping the gay community as we did the blacks. We should be defending those muslims who are living in this country, dont hate the jews, yet are being persecuted. A few weeks ago i talked to a family friend, who is jewish, and he honestly believed that all muslims are evil and he wouldnt mind getting rid of them all. this kinda thing is very very sad. The jews of today are throwing away their dignity because they are so inflammed about the israeli-palestinian conflict.

    Back to the stoles, even if they were in support of Hamas, saying that they should be banned is hypocritical. If you wanted to wear some Zionist apparel and they banned it then you would feel differently. Like it or not, many consider zionists to be terrorists. Remove yourself from your point of view. Personal beliefs distort reality.


    LiberalJew · June 22nd, 2004 at 5:35 pm
  10. my take on the confederate flag is that if some white students wanted to wear it during graduation, they shouldnt be surprised if black students protest.
    And there would be nothing wrong if the black students decided to protest.

    After all, they should be aware that it means more than just “pride of the south.” Much like these muslims should be aware that these green stoles have more than just a religious meaning.


    Jimbo · June 22nd, 2004 at 6:13 pm
  11. Liberal jew-

    I wasnt saying that the stoles should be banned, im saying, much like there is nothing wrong with blacks protesting the confederate flag, there is nothing wrong with jews protesting green stoles.

    Also, you write:

    “We should all be helping the gay community as we did the blacks.”

    Im not so sure helping the blacks turned out to be such a good idea. Since helping them receive their liberties, blacks have gone on to become the most anti-Semitic group in the country, by a wide margin (according to every report and poll I have read).

    Of course im not saying that it isnt a good thing that they have civil liberties, im simply saying that i dont see how it has benefited the jews in any way.


    Jimbo · June 22nd, 2004 at 6:23 pm
  12. The article wasnt about protesting the stoles, it was about a move to ban it, hence the title, “Jewish Groups Move To Ban Islamic Stoles @ UC Irvine.” Everyone always has the right to protest, but moving to ban it is totally different.

    While statistics may show anti-semitism to be higher among blacks, other factors must be taken into account. As an ADL poll shows, education level has a significant impact on anti-semitism of blacks. Because blacks overal have a lower level of education than whites, the polls are mostly likely suggesting that anti-semitism in the black community has more to do with how educated they are. The polls do not show that us helping them during the civil rights movement backfired.

    And even so, even if blacks didnt appreciate what we did, we still did the right thing.

    “i dont see how it has benefited the jews in any way”

    Why are we always looking for things to benifit us? are we that shelfish. We have been blessed because our ancestors servived the holocaust. It seems to be that we have a duty to stop this from happening again, not just to us, but to anyone. Only by fighting the hate, like the homophobia that has overtaken our country, shall we prevent discrimination in the future and another holocaust.


    LiberalJew · June 22nd, 2004 at 6:42 pm
  13. I don’t believe that religion has any place at a graduation.

    Should we allow Christians to wear an arm band that say Jesus is your savior? I don’t think so. I don’t see how one can allowed and the other cannot.

    Polls show that Jews are still basically liberal and will vote for the Democrats this fall. Although, I have to admit that I am very disappointed in the far left. I was very ambigous over whether to support or oppose the Iraqui war. I did not seem as simple to me as it did to most of the left. I finally decided that I would have to be a masochist to join the peace demonstrations.

    I have heard surprisingly anti-Semitic statements from supposedly moderate muslim. Jews would have to stones not let all this hatred directed did not affect us at all. I’m not using this to excuse prejudice, but it is hard not to hate back when it seems that one is surrounded by unremitting hatred.


    Susan Stein · June 22nd, 2004 at 9:07 pm
  14. Armbands with the “core statement of fthe Islamic faith should be banned to protect the separation of church/mosqu/synagogue and state. It is a First Amendment issue. It could lead to “Jesus Saves” armbands.

    Yes, I would ban an armband that would be a Jewish proclamation of faith as well. Although, I’m not exactly what that would say in 2004.


    Susan Stein · June 22nd, 2004 at 9:18 pm
  15. The ADL dropped the ball on this one. Lets do a lil backpedaling, eh?


    Canuck Jew · June 22nd, 2004 at 10:26 pm
  16. “I don’t believe that religion has any place at a graduation.

    Should we allow Christians to wear an arm band that say Jesus is your savior? I don’t think so. I don’t see how one can allowed and the other cannot. ”

    Susan, this should be allowed if the rules do not restrict what they can wear. The school has every right to tell them what they can wear, but they cant pick and choose. so if they are letting other students wear certain garmets, they must let them wear the green stoles.

    “I’m not using this to excuse prejudice, but it is hard not to hate back when it seems that one is surrounded by unremitting hatred.”

    While it may be hard, the only way we can ever defeat terrorism is to stop the hate first and foremost. Hating them only makes things worse. A representitve from Texas recently proposed a very insightful plan. He suggested fighting terrorism by funding schools in arab nations run by the US or its allies. That is the smartest plan ive heard so far. The only way to end this war on terror is to stop it at its ruits. We must stop the teaching of hate in the schools. This is the only way to beat the terrorists. Killing them one at a time is doing nothing at all. They just keep popping up. So, if we cannot learn to tolerate the muslims (even if they hate us) then we will never be able to win the war on terrorism.


    LiberalJew · June 22nd, 2004 at 11:17 pm
  17. From the story of exodus from Egypt, we learn that all Egyptians were collectively punished because not one raised their left pinkie to help us.

    While this is not the case now, and there are some fine Muslims and/or Arabs on the fringe that are supportive of Jews, we can accurately say that the vast majority are happy to remain silent to the attrocities and war crimes that are commited by Palestinians in the name of Allah. OR maybe they support this?

    So why is anyone surprised when Jews don’t support Muslim ‘freedom of expression’? Would I support Jews wearing a blue and white sash? No. Would I support Jews wearing their tzitzit on top of their gown? No. Would I allow gays to wear a rainbow stole? No. Would I support people wearing a hijab? Yes.

    Graduation or convocation shouldn’t be the place for every tom, dick, and harry to out himself with his/her cultural beliefs. For once during the whole year, it should be okay to unite in one standard dress code and not complain about ‘freedom of expression’.


    josh · June 23rd, 2004 at 12:09 am
  18. To Muslims the Sahhada (hh=the letter heth) is similar to what the Shema is to us. The root Sh-Hh-D (Sahhada) is different from Sh-H-D (shaheed), but I wouldn’t expect monolingual wingnuts like those at Worldnet or Frontpage to grasp (or even care about) such nuances..

    I find public flaunting of religiosity to be of poor taste and even exhibitionism (I cringe every time I hear a politco talk about G-d), but either disallow such flaunting to all religious groups (my personal preference) or allow them for all.

    I also find Islam to be a much more virulent religion than the two other semitc monotheisms, which have been more mellowed by modernisation and secularisation, yet that doesn’t justify discrimination or unfairness.


    R. Shalom Shabazzy · June 23rd, 2004 at 2:32 am
  19. I think it has more to do with iconography and context that with the actual words being written. If I saw any student with a green and white armband with arabic calligraphyy around their necks I wouldn’t stop them from wearing it. I’d strap on my tefillin with 300 Jews, read tehillim on the quad and remember the shema, hasbara, and haganah. Revise them.

    www.terra.es/personal7/vivavoz/numero3/actu/img/hamas.jpg


    eli · June 23rd, 2004 at 4:22 am
  20. …and I don’t know one progressive, like minded muslim brother or sister that would dare wear a piece of clothing that actively symbolized any political organization that advocated and committed the murder of individuals and entire nations.

    I don’t know any progressive, like minded Jew that rocks Irgun or Temple Mount Faithful regalia to show their solidarity with the Shema alone. They wear it for other, more textured reasons.

    I really have to say I don’t blame to ADL for speaking up about it. Its not like they can just stop it. That takes an equal and opposite reaction.


    eli · June 23rd, 2004 at 4:29 am
  21. mwu!: hug a jew


    Mobius · June 23rd, 2004 at 6:06 am
  22. Liberal Jew: “The jews of today are throwing away their dignity because they are so inflammed about the israeli-palestinian conflict.”

    Exactly the same can be said about Muslims, Arabs, many progressives, and conservatives. The Israeli-Palestinian thing has developed into a weird proxie war by too many third-party interests.

    We should also remember that there is still a popular divestment movement among universities in the US and UK that includes a ban on Israeli academics and their research. I don’t see nearly enough progressive opposition against that.

    Jimbo: “Of course im not saying that it isnt a good thing that they have civil liberties, im simply saying that i dont see how it has benefited the jews in any way.”

    Thanks to the civil rights movement, you don’t see very many restricted “Judenrein” American communities anymore.


    Zionista · June 23rd, 2004 at 6:23 am
  23. yeah, fuckin’ a…now i can play golf anywhere i want!


    Mobius · June 23rd, 2004 at 6:46 am
  24. Why cant they just put funny things on their mortar boards lilke everyone else.


    j · June 23rd, 2004 at 7:30 am
  25. Boo-yeah, Mo! Whatever it takes!


    Zionista · June 23rd, 2004 at 7:35 am
  26. “Susan, this should be allowed if the rules do not restrict what they can wear. The school has every right to tell them what they can wear, but they cant pick and choose. so if they are letting other students wear certain garmets, they must let them wear the green stoles.:

    That is just my point. I think all religious displays should be banned at a public institution.

    Liberal Jew, you seem to forget that Jews are human beings with the foibles and follies as anyone else. Jews and non-Jews alike fall into the trap of holding Jews up to impossibly high standards and then knocking them off violently when Jews prove to be human.


    Susan Stein · June 23rd, 2004 at 10:02 am
  27. “Exactly the same can be said about Muslims, Arabs, many progressives, and conservatives. The Israeli-Palestinian thing has developed into a weird proxie war by too many third-party interests. ”

    Of course the same can be said about them but my whole point is that we cannot blame the muslims and arabs for things we do ourselves. so, if we want anything to happen, we must be responsible and stop acting like they do.

    “That is just my point. I think all religious displays should be banned at a public institution. ”

    That isnt very fair. While the debate has raged here about seperation of church and state, there is no doubt to anyone that the constitution protects individuals right to practice their religion. Do you suppose jews should not be allowed to wear kippahs?

    “Liberal Jew, you seem to forget that Jews are human beings with the foibles and follies as anyone else. Jews and non-Jews alike fall into the trap of holding Jews up to impossibly high standards and then knocking them off violently when Jews prove to be human.”

    Im not exactly sure what your refering to, Susan. If you are talking about my call for jews to end hate, then you are misunderstanding me. Of course Jews arnt perfect, no one is, but theres no reason to stop striving to be. We must stop the hate. Hate is why there is terrorism. They are taught to hate and cant help it. We, on the other hand, can control it. I dont hate muslims. But many of my fellow jews do. and i find that sick. We are being so damn hyporcirtical.


    LiberalJew · June 23rd, 2004 at 3:17 pm
  28. Nice to see some sense here. The whole issue is based on ignorance and malicious intent on the part of the Right Wing Media. Great work Mobius!


    ZenUntoNirvana · July 15th, 2004 at 5:25 pm
  29. I THINK THAT JEWS SHOULD MIND THERE OWN BUISSNESSES AND FUCK OFF OR JUST JEALOUSE DONT WORRIE ITS OK EVERY1 WANTS TO BE MUSLIMS THESE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHA HEHEHEHEEHE


    najma · May 2nd, 2005 at 2:42 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik