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The Muslim Student Association at UCLA

The MSA at UCLA  
By FrontPage Magazine
April 01, 2008

Over the next several days, Frontpage will publish profiles of individual chapters of the Muslim Students Association on a variety of campuses around the country, showing how they work to advance the cause of radical Islam and lead the effort to stigmatize Israel. These profiles are compiled in our new booklet, "The Muslim Students Association and the Jihad Network." To read the introduction, click here, "The MSA at Berkeley, click here, "The MSU at UC Irvine," click here, "The MSA at Brown," click here, "The MSA at Columbia," click here, "The MSA at Michigan State," click here, and "The MSA at Ohio State," click here, and “The MSA at Penn State,” click here. – The Editors

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) chapter of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) operates both on campus and off – organizing events that feature militant guest speakers, co-sponsoring events and conferences with radical Islamic groups, and co-sponsoring fundraisers on behalf of the same. In addition, the organization uses its publication, Al-Talib, to disseminate its anti-Jewish, anti-American views.


On October 22, 2000 at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, MSA-UCLA members Arif Shaikh and Ahmed Shama (who was then president of the organization) led a demonstration protesting “Israeli aggression” against Palestinians. At this rally, chants of “Death to Israel!” and “Death to Jews!” repeatedly emanated from the crowd. After himself shouting, “Victory to Islam! Death to the Jews!” Shama told the audience, “Our solution is simple. .… Our solution is the establishment of justice by Islamic means. That is the only solution to this Israeli apartheid.”22

Criticizing Israeli/Palestinian peace talks at Camp David, Shama added: “When we see negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who is a racist Zionist, and on the other side is Yasser Arafat, who used to be a so-called ‘Arab activist,’ but is now a racist Zionist, being mediated by Bill Clinton, who is a racist Zionist. And Hosni Mubarak … the President of Egypt, who is a racist Zionist. And King Hussein II of Jordan, who is a racist Zionist. When we see that a peace process is being negotiated between Zionists, mediated by Zionists, controlled by Zionists, and being portrayed in the media by Zionists, we come and we condemn all of you. ... Because you are racist Zionists. And we will not accept their definition of peace. I will not accept their definition of Islam. We will define Islam the way that the Prophet, peace be upon him, defined it.”23

Shama also burned an Israeli flag while a jubilant crowd chanted “Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews, the army of Mohammed is coming for you,” and “Death to Israel, victory to Islam.”24

Guest speaker Sohail Shakry, President of MSA West, stepped to the podium and quoted the following words of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah: “If we look at the situation the past 52 years, the biggest impediment to peace has been the existence of the Zionist State of Israel. Since the existence of this state, we have had wars, conflicts, killings, massacres. If we really want true peace then we must see that it goes with the elimination of the Zionist entity in the middle of the Muslim world.”25

On January 21, 2001, MSA-UCLA sponsored an event titled “Shaping Our Perspective: Our Role in a Changing World.” Guest speaker Abdul-Alim Musa (Imam of Masjid al-Islam in Washington, D.C.) told the crowd: “If you were to say that the Soviet Union was wiped off the face of the earth . . . people would have thought you were crazy, right? The people of Afghanistan didn’t have the intellect or historical knowledge to know that they wasn’t supposed to wipe out the Soviet Union, is that right? . . . We saw the fall of one so-called superpower, Old Uncle Sam is next.”26

In April 2001, MSA-UCLA hosted the MSA West annual conference, which featured guest speaker Imam Muhammad al-Asi, an anti-Semitic Shiite cleric who supports the Iranian regime and the militant Islamic movement in general. Al-Asi’s speech included the following remarks: “Discrimination, if it is against a gentile, is not objectionable; but anything that happens against a Jew becomes a Holocaust…Where is the courageous Jew who can come out and say Israel is as fascist as the most fascist of Europe? Israel is as racist as Apartheid could ever be…. In the meantime, the Zionist-Israeli lobby ... is taking the United States government and the United States people to the abyss. We have a psychosis in the Jewish community that is unable to co-exist equally and brotherly sic with other human beings. You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you cannot take the ghetto out of the Jew.”27

In May 2006, MSA UCLA and Students for Justice in Palestine co-sponsored a week of events called “Israel and Palestine: Obstacles to Peace.” They invited the Holocaust-denying, Hezbollah-supporting academic Norman Finkelstein to lecture on this topic. 28 Attacking Israel for its characterization of Palestinian suicide bombers as terrorists, he said the real terrorists were the Israeli soldiers who kill Arab militants.

Al-Talib is the news magazine of the Muslim Students Association of UCLA . Founded in 1990 and staffed entirely by unpaid students, it is the largest Muslim student publication in the United States. The press run for each issue is approximately 20,000 copies, which are distributed to more than 150 locations (mostly mosques, community centers, and college campuses) in 37 states. All told, Al-Talib’s estimated national readership is about 56,000.29

In July 1999 Al-Talib featured a cover story on Osama bin Laden, titled “The Spirit of Jihad.” In November 2000, Al-Talib examined the ideas of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden’s spiritual leader who has called for “jihad and the rifle alone” as a means to the formation of an Islamic empire. “We pray that Sheik Azzam’s dream of a true Islamic state comes true,” said Al-Talib.30

Along with Alkalima (the newspaper of UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union), Al-Talib published a special report titled “Zionism: The Forgotten Apartheid.” This report featured a section devoted to “the resistance movements against Zionist aggression,” glorifying Hamas and Hezbollah not only as noble warriors fighting Israeli oppressors, but also as providers of social welfare services for the Palestinian people. Said the report: “As the Zionists continue to colonize, torture and ethnically-cleanse in the name of the ‘peace process’ and the Americans continue to fund them, the respective staffs of Al-Talib and Alkalima feel it to be their basic duty to expose Zionism, its evils and its effects … Zionist-controlled world media has been purposefully distorting and misconstruing world events too long.”31

Two days before 9/11, Al-Talib co-sponsored a dinner at UC-Irvine to honor Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a.k.a. H. Rap Brown, former Minister of Justice for the Black Panthers.32   A featured guest speaker at this event was a Black Muslim named Abdul-Alim Musa, Imam of Masjid al-Islam in Washington, D.C.33  Said Musa: “We’re telling you about apartheid right here in America. Not an apartheid of the 1960s, but an apartheid right now today. When you fight Old Uncle Sam, you are fighting someone that is superior in criminality and Nazism. … The American criminalizer sic is the most skillful oppressor that the world has ever known. …”34

The November 2001 edition of Al-Talib featured three full-page, color advertisements soliciting donations for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), and the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF).35 One month later, each of these pseudo-charities would be shut down by federal agents for funding al-Qaeda and Hamas terrorists.

To read part two on "The MSA at Berkeley," click here.

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