Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Brandeis University, America’s most well known liberal Jewish university, claims MSA signs were torn down, a suite was trashed, and the imam’s qur’an was stolen. The words “Enter here in peace and security” were removed. (False advertising, no doubt)
The Brandeis Hoot The Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Brandeis has dealt with isolated incidents of vandalism in recent years, though no individual person has ever been held responsible for the incidents.
The most recent problem occurred a few weeks ago, when someone precisely cut out the words “Enter here in peace and security,” written in English under the words in Arabic, from a sign on the door leading to the MSA Suite in Usdan.
The Brandeis community has dealt with each incident well. But even with an appropriate response, students in the MSA remain concerned about the event. Dr. Imam Talal Eid was the first to notice the sign missing, and he brought it up during Friday prayers. When no one claimed responsibility for the missing part of the sign, the matter was directed to Jamele Adams, dean of student life.
“We don’t know what were their intentions; it could have not been malicious,” said Alina Cheema ’15, co-president of the MSA. “We’re not offended, but we would like to know why they did it,” Ayesha Malik ’14, also co-president of the MSA, added.
The evidence points to a planned theft, as the plexiglass around the sign was unscrewed, the sign was cut with an Exacto knife and the plexiglass was then screwed back into place.
This isn’t the first incident the MSA has dealt with. In the 2009-2010 school year, the MSA suite itself was vandalized, as the door was always unlocked for any student who wanted a space to relax or pray in, similar to other religious groups.
“A student, or students, came in and vandalized the suite, threw around everything, broke things, from Imam Talal’s office. They took his Qur’an. On top of it being a sacred book, it had a lot of his notes in it,” Zoha Hussain ’14, a current member of the club, said. The notes were very important for the Imam, as he used them in speaking before Friday prayers each week.
“It was difficult to come into an MSA that felt like it already had an image on campus that felt maybe threatening, or as if people could vandalize the space. We are just like other students on campus. It made me more inclined to help show what Islam is on campus. As students, we should be respected as the other religious groups on campus,” Hussain said.
In a less severe, yet still significant, act, signs for Islam Awareness Week were removed overnight in both Spring 2012 and Spring 2013. Students had taped paper signs in the shape of “IAW” on the brick wall of Usdan overnight, and by morning they were removed.
“No one would talk to me directly. The rest of those signs were up there but nothing happened to them,” Hussain said.
Although by themselves the incidents may not seem particularly horrifying, the students worry about what they might mean. They wonder how the MSA is perceived on campus and why other community members would choose to target their organization. “For us it’s hard because we don’t know if people are actually targeting us. There is that confusion, and we’re unsure how comfortable we can be on campus,” Cheema said. (Maybe it’s because of who you are)
MSA stating that its mission is “to serve the best interest of Islam and Muslims in the United States and Canada so as to enable them to practice Islam as a complete way of life,” MSA presents itself as an apolitical, religious and cultural organization. In reality it is a radical political force and a key lobbying organization for the Wahhabi sect of Islam, telling students that America is an imperialist power and Israel an oppressor nation. MSA speakers routinely spew anti-Semitic libels and justify the genocide against the Jews which is promoted by Islamic terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and by the government of Iran. The Center for Security Policy’s Alex Alexiev states:
“The majority of Muslim Student Associations at U.S. colleges are dominated by Islamist and anti-American agendas, as are most of the numerous Islamic centers and schools financed by the Saudis. Intolerance and outright rejection of American values and democratic ideals are often taught also in the growing number of Deobandi schools that are frequently subsidized by the Saudis.”
“It should be the long-term goal of every MSA to Islamicize the politics of their respective university … the politicization of the MSA means to make the MSA more of a force on internal campus politics. The MSA needs to be a more ‘In-your-face’ association … For example, the student body must be convinced that there is such a thing as a Muslim-bloc.” TheGuide further advises: “Aim to rise within the ranks of the Union [student government] and to get on selected executive committees … I cannot stress this enough, the Union has vast powers that Muslims need to control.”
Hussain and the other members of the MSA want to make sure students feel comfortable joining the MSA. “I hope people realize the importance of having an MSA. I would love if anyone would come to Khutbah one day and listen to what Imam Talal lectures on, it usually has to do with equality or social justice and tolerance. We are all human beings and we should live happily together. We are a very peaceful organization, very accepting and very open to have dialogue,” Hussain said.
Brandeis University severs ties with Palestinian Al Quds University following Nazi-style protest:
Free Beacon Comes following anti-Israel rally Al Quds held on its campus Brandeis University has ended its long-standing partnership with the Palestinian Al Quds University after the latter school was caught holding an anti-Israel rally on its campus.
Brandeis, initially declined to distance itself from the Nov. 5 Al Quds rally, which featured students dressed in black military gear and automatic weapons marching on the school’s campus while raising the traditional Nazi salute. The Jewish university’s refusal to condemn the rally when approached last week by the Washington Free Beacon sparked a furious reaction from students, teachers, and pro-Israel activists on campus.
After news of the rally spread through the Jewish and Israeli media, Al Quds publicly lashed out at the Free Beacon and other outlets, labeling them “Jewish extremists.”
The university is often subjected to vilification campaigns by Jewish extremists with the purpose of discrediting its reputation as a prestigious academic institution with a unique, humane calling,” read a statement issued Sunday night and addressed to Al Quds students.
Al Quds’ statement prompted Brandeis on Monday to officially suspend its partnership with the Palestinian university.