Friday, September 5, 2008

Los Angeles, California - University Of Southern California Deletes Anti-Jewish Rhetoric On Muslim Students' Website

Los Angeles, California -- University of Southern California Provost C. L. Max Nikias has approved the deletion of part of a Muslim student group website that hosted religious documents urging Muslims to kill Jewish people. The material was removed from a collection of scriptures known as hadiths, historical sayings attibuted by Muslims to the founder of their religion, Muhammad, that had been posted on the website of the school's Muslim Student Association.

Nikias first heard of the hadiths' phrasing when R' Aron Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, approached USC trustee Alan Casden with his concerns. R' Hier was troubled by five hadiths advocating Muslim violence against Jews to hasten the coming of the "final hour."

Nikias reviewed the site, and responded that "the passage cited is truly despicable. … We did some investigations and have ordered the passage to be removed."

Members of the Muslim Student Union, which is the dominant Muslim student organization on campus but which is not associated with the MSA, called Nikias' actions "unprecedented and unconscionable" and said they amounted to unwarranted censorship. Nikias did not consult the group before he took down the hadith, they said. "We are outraged at the censorship of a complete religious and classic text without consulting us or any religious authority first," they added.

David Horowitz, head of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said that similar hadiths exist on Muslim Student Association websites across that country. This was one of the first times the "hadith of hate" was taken down due to his advocacy, he said.

"My staff goes through Muslim Student Association websites, and one of the things we're critical of is that they have statements to incite violence," Horowitz said. "For this particular hadith, this is the first time we've gotten a response from administration."
Horowitz called the MSA a radical group. "The MSA pretends to be a religious organization but it is nothing of the kind," he said. "It's an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood."

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