The hijabbed Saifuddin would be the first Muslim student regent. “My faith,” she explained, “is a big part of my life. What I love the most about Islam is that it preaches tolerance and love, which is the reason that I have close friends and networks outside of the Muslim community as well.”
Yet Saifuddin’s record at UC-Berkeley is hardly one of tolerance and love. She co-sponsored a BDS resolution in the Berkeley student Senate, calling on the entire University of California system to divest companies that do business with Israel, based on the spurious premise that Israel is “occupying” Palestinian territory.
Saifuddin, a member of both Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA), also spearheaded “A Resolution Condemning Islamophobic Hate Speech at the University of California,” which the student Senate passed unanimously. Saifuddin herself wrote the resolution, which claimed that “since September 11, 2001, Islamophobia has become the latest ‘hazing’ technique across the United States and has created a chilling effect for Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in their communities, work-environments, and campuses,” and that “according to a Gallup Study, 60% of of [sic] Muslim Americans say that Muslims face prejudice from Americans.”
In fact, the very concept of “Islamophobia” is a blunt instrument in the hands of Islamic supremacists, designed to intimidate non-Muslims into thinking that resisting jihad terror is “hateful.” And reality does not back up its existence: the British journalist Brendan O’Neill gave the truth behind such claims in the Telegraph last April, in the wake of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings:
In the years since 9/11, the American public has been admirably tolerant towards Muslim communities. According to federal crime stats collected by the FBI, in 2009 there were 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes; in a country of 300 million people that is a very low number. In 2010, a year of great terrorism panic following the attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in NYC, there were 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes. In 2011, there were 157. To see how imaginary the Islamophobic mob is, consider a state like Texas, fashionably mocked as a backward Hicksville full of Fox News-watching morons: there are 420,000 Muslims in Texas, yet in 2011 there were only six anti-Muslim hate crimes there. It simply isn’t true that mad racist Yanks are biting at the bit to attack Muslims.No actual hate crimes are ever justified. In light of her hysterical exaggeration of the supposed “climate of hate” against Muslims in America since 9/11, however, clearly Saifuddin is joining Islamic supremacist advocacy groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in using hate crimes to deflect attention from the reality of jihad activity and bully Americans into thinking that it is wrong and bigoted to oppose jihad terror and Islamic supremacism. Hamas-linked CAIR and other Muslims have not hesitated to fabricate “hate crimes.” CAIR and other groups like it want and need hate crimes against Muslims, because they can use them for political points and as weapons to intimidate people into remaining silent about the jihad threat.
Saifuddin’s resolution makes clear its objective to stymie counter-terror efforts when it complains that “Muslim students have been targeted for surveillance by the FBI in Orange County, who said that they are paying particular attention to Muslim students at UC Irvine and UCLA,” and that “this surveillance is occurring on the East Coast as well, with the New York Police Department surveillance of Muslim students at Yale, Columbia, Syracuse, Rutgers, New York University, and Brooklyn College.” It asserts that “these racist and selective surveillance procedures are justified by figures in mainstream media, such as David Horowitz, who defines the core mission of the MSA to ‘advance the Islamic Jihad against the Jews and Christians of the Middle East, and ultimately against the United States.’”
Saifuddin offers no evidence to counter Horowitz’s assertion or explain why surveillance of MSA members, who are Muslims of all races, is “racist.” In reality, Horowitz is correct. In an internal Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,” the MSA is listed as one of the Brotherhood’s allied organizations. And the memorandum explains that the Brotherhood’s agenda in the U.S. is subversive: the Muslim Brothers “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
In line with this, it is no surprise that several MSA members have been implicated in jihad terror activity. Tarek Mehanna, an MSA member at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, is now serving a seventeen-and-a-half year sentence for aiding al-Qaida. Omar Hammani, a former president of the MSA chapter at the University of South Alabama, is now waging jihad in Somalia and has a prominent place on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Hasan Akbar, who was a member of the MSA at UC Davis, joined the U.S. Army only to murder U.S. soldiers in a jihad terror attack in Kuwait; he is now awaiting execution.
Saifuddin’s resolution singled out UC Santa Cruz lecturer Tammi Rossman-Benjamin for particular opprobrium, claiming that she “has been responsible for inciting racist and Islamophobic rhetoric,” and demanding that Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) and UC President Mark Yudof condemn her “racist and bigoted language.”
Saifuddin was enraged by some remarks Benjamin in a June 2012 speech, in which she noted that many MSA and SJP students are “foreign students who come from cultures and countries where antisemitism is how they think about the world.” Benjamin added that
these student groups often have strong ties to international campaigns to demonize and delegitimize Israel, as well as to organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood — in fact the Muslim Brotherhood founded the Muslim Students Association, the MSA 40 years ago — and other terrorist organizations. Al Awda is one of the main sponsors of the Students for Justice in Palestine. Al Awda is an organization that has ties to both Hamas and Hezbollah. So these are not your ordinary student groups like the College Republicans or the Young Democrats. These are students who come with a serious agenda who have ties to terrorist organizations.It is noteworthy that in her resolution, Saifuddin quoted some other segments of Benjamin’s talk, but left out her specific observations about the MSA’s and SJP’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizballah, although she did note Benjamin’s assertion that both groups were “tied to terrorist groups.” This is likely because Benjamin’s information was accurate, and Saifuddin did not want to call attention to that.
Ironically, while Saifuddin claimed that Benjamin’s speech created “an uncomfortable and unsafe environment for Muslim students,” it was actually Saifuddin’s resolution and her anti-Israel activities that created an uncomfortable and unsafe environment for Benjamin and pro-Israel students on UC campuses. Benjamin wrote to Yudof in May 2013 that in their attacks on her, the MSA and SJP had “gone well beyond free expression to the point of intolerable and impermissible intimidation, harassment, and defamation.”
Benjamin noted that the UCSC CJP and affiliated SJP groups on other UC campuses, inspired by Saifuddin’s claims, have
waged a virulent and harmful campaign to assassinate my character that includes: posting and promoting a defamatory on-line petition accusing me of racism and censorship and calling on you to condemn me; widely posting defamatory flyers about me on the UCSC campus; launching over a dozen videos about me on YouTube that wrongfully accuse me of being “hateful,” “dangerous,” and “Islamophobic”; instructing SJP students UC-wide to fill out hate/bias reports against me on their respective campuses; passing libelous resolutions condemning me for my “inflammatory, hateful, and racist assumptions” in the UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, and UC Irvine student senates; and, perhaps most egregiously, appearing to collaborate with groups sympathetic to terrorists (e.g. the International Solidarity Movement) and associated on-line publications (e.g. Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss) to more widely circulate these defamatory materials about me.As a result, Benjamin told Yudof, “the CJP/SJP’s targeted and well-orchestrated campaign of intimidation, harassment, and defamation has caused me to feel real concern for my safety and my ability to carry out my responsibilities as a faculty member at UCSC.” Even worse, “the disturbing message these students are sending with their actions is that anyone who attempts to speak out against campus antisemitism, as I have, will be vilified, harassed, intimidated, and bullied into silence.” That harassment includes the fact that two student senators at Saifuddin’s UC Berkeley campus “who voted against the SJP-sponsored divestment resolution were allegedly subject to ‘death threats and vitriolic accusations.’”
This climate of harassment is in large part the responsibility of Sadia Saifuddin. That the UC Board of Regents would reward her and legitimize her vilification of Israel and all foes of jihad is unconscionable. But given the low state of American academia today, it is not at all surprising.