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December 11, 2009  |  Dhu'l-Hijja 23, 1430

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MSA West expresses concern of Muslim student harassment at University of California- Irvine

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


(Los Angeles, United States, 10/15/2009) Muslim Students Association West(MSA West), a grassroots organization representing Muslim student groupsfrom across the West coast, is deeply concerned regarding the recentharassment and false allegations against the Muslim Student Union (MSU) atthe University of California-Irvine (UCI) regarding humanitarian and socialjustice efforts on Palestine. Efforts of external non-student organizationsaim to impede students rights of speech, religion and association.

SEE: A Letter from the Muslim Student Union to the UCI Administration (Muslim Student Union of UCI)

External groups toUCIaim to deter social justice awareness of Palestinianissues with false allegations reported to law enforcement thatstudent-raised funds support terrorist organizations. It is widely knownthat Muslim student efforts were for the Viva Palestina USA convoy, ahumanitarian-relief group organized by UK Member of Parliament George Galloway.Recently, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated thepriority of ending "impunity" in Occupied Palestinian Territory.

SEE: Viva Palestina Organization (Viva Palestina)

MSA West denounces terrorism and all forms of violence. Islamic tenetsdictate that it is forbidden to kill in an unjust cause, "...if anyone killed a person not in retaliation ofmurder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if hekilled all mankind" (The Holy Quran 5:32). Muslim organizations, includingMSA West have repeatedly condemned terrorism.

MSA West also expresses concern of the ongoing vigilante and smear tacticsemployed by non-student organizations against Muslim students atUCI. Muslimstudents atUCIhave reported regular hate email and death threats. TheUCIcampus administration has neglected to protect students right of academicfreedom. Such negligence perpetuates Muslim students perception thatdiscrimination is prevalent.

SEE: Muslims Widely Seen As Facing Discrimination (The PEW Forum on Religion & Public Life)

Lastly, the involvement of federal authorities due to allegations of Muslimstudents supporting terrorist organizations is the continuation of lawenforcement to abuse power and intimidate Muslims.

SEE: (MSA West)

MSA West stands being behindMSUs mission of being a student advocate oncampus in an environment entitled to academic freedom in an institution ofhigher learning where ideas should be voiced in an open-minded forum with nofear or threat of retaliation. We urge all students to rally around thecause of injustice to our constitutional rights.

FBI's Coercive Tactics Endanger Muslim Community


MSA West Calls for an Immediate Suspension of Relationships with the Federal Bureau of Investigation

(Los Angeles, United States, 3/18/2009) Muslim Students Association West (MSA West), a grassroots umbrella organization representing Muslim student groups from across the West coast, expressed concern today byrecent FBI tactics to harass and entrap members of the American Muslim community.

SEE: The Informer: Behind the Scenes, or Setting the Stage? (Washington Post)

SEE ALSO: Is Big Brother At Your Mosque? (Infocus News)

American Muslims have worked to increase understanding and ensure the rights of all Americans, and have supported efforts to preserve national security and ensure civil rights. However, in recent weeks, incidents have come to light about the FBI's use of agent provocateurs in the Muslim community. These agents go beyond monitoring Muslims in local Islamic centers, which in itself is religious profiling, to provoke and entrap community members by setting up situations to incriminate innocent community members. Recently, Americans from all faiths and ethnicities opposed ill conceived efforts by LAPD to "map Muslims living in Los Angeles" as it violated the communities civil rights.

MSA West Statement: MSA West Condemns LAPD's Muslim Community Mapping Project

The trail of Ahmed Niazi, who refused to become an FBI informant and was threatened by FBI Agents that his "life would be made into a living hell," has further frustrated and intimidated Americans from practicing their Islamic faith. The agent provocateur that worked to put Niazi behind bars was a convicted felon who the FBI hired to impersonate a Muslim convert.

SEE: Man Says He Was Informant For FBI In Orange County (LA Times)

SEE: Man With Alleged Terror Ties Aided Police In 2007 (CBS 2 News)

The FBI's coercive tactics have raised doubts about its ability be an effective law enforcement agency. Such a breach of trust calls for the immediate suspension of relationships with the FBI, until the Federal Bureau issues a public apology and stops its use of illegal, endangering tactics.

MSA West reminds the community that the FBI has a long history of coercive tactics against minority communities and that Martin Luther King Jr. was himself under surveillance by the FBI. Muslim community leaders and organizations must stand united to ensure our rights as American citizens. We remind the community that to be Americans, we must stand up for our rights and hold federal agencies responsible for their activities.

All Americans should be aware of their individual rights.

WATCH: Got Rights? (Muslim Advocates)

MSA West applauds the work of the U.S. Muslim Coalition, led by the American Muslim Taskforce, which released a statement questioning the relationship between the Muslim community and the FBI. MSA West is a signator of the statement, below.

SEE: U.S. Muslim Coalition Considers Suspending Relations With FBI (American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT))

Moreover, MSA West calls on all students to raise awareness and organize both on campus and in their local communities by:

  1. Ask that your MSA/MSU be a signatory of this statement, contact .
  2. Asking that Islamic Centers, Imams, and organizations to work proactively in protecting the Muslim community's rights, dispelling fear, and ensuring the sanctity of the Islamic Centers by standing against FBI tactics to marginalize and intimidate the Muslim community.
  3. Contacting Muslim leadership to request that they cut off any relationship efforts with FBI until substantive changes takes effect and thank those organizations that have stopped meeting with the FBI;
  4. Contact your local Islamic Center to request that they raise community awareness through "Know Your Rights" workshops which can be organized through MSA West;
  5. Educate relatives, family friends and associates on their rights;
  6. Contact your local Islamic Center administration about any suspicious behavior;
  7. Contact your local member of Congress to raise awareness about concerns regarding FBI's coercive tactics;
  8. And make du`a' (supplication) for those that are falsely accused and imprisoned.

Contact: Suhaib Alzubi, President

MSA West Condemns Atrocities in Gaza and Calls for Student Action

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves... follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do" (Qur'an 4:135).

(Los Angeles, United States, 12/31/2008) Muslim Students Association West (MSA West), a grassroots umbrella organization representing Muslim student groups from across the West coast, condemns the recent Israeli air strikes in Gaza, which is a continuation of a humanitarian crisis following months of a crippling blockade. Recent attacks on Gaza have been described as one of Israel's bloodiest attacks on Palestinians since 1948. The death toll has reached over 390. Recently, the Gaza Strip, with a population of 1.5 million, was subjected to a collective punishment of brutal killing of innocent civilians, food deprivation and military force that is counter-productive and disproportionate. The civilians of Gaza now face a humanitarian crisis where basic food supplies in Gaza are running low, and hospitals are struggling to cope with the rising casualties. According to Oxfam, only 137 trucks of food were allowed into Gaza last month to feed the whole Gazan population. The United Nations reports that poverty has reached an "unprecedented level."

MSA West urges Muslim students to stay informed about the current crisis in Palestine. We also encourage Muslim students to take part in an active effort to raise awareness of this ongoing humanitarian crisis and to educate about its political motives and humanitarian effects in their respective communities. Furthermore, we encourage students to engage in public disapproval of the United State's aid to Israel, as well as to contact local government officials with a plea to bring an end to this atrocity. To become a part of a coalition that actively works for the Palestinian cause, contact MSA West at: .

MSA West is a cohesive coalition of Muslim students united for the sake of Allah, who aim to embody the concepts of unity, strength and activism.

Contact: Suhaib Alzubi, President

New Structure Update

MSA West has undergone a structural change this year, which include Southern California Region & Northern California Region. We have some new board positions that will focus on helping MSA's develop their programming, leadership, and communication. The positions include:

  • Vice President: The Vice President is in charge of their local region. They will make sure that the region is running smoothly and that MSA West is meeting the needs of local MSA's. Any issues regarding a specific region can be addressed by the Vice President of that region.
  • Events Director: The Events Director is in charge of helping MSA's plan events & to help coordinate events between different MSA's.
  • Development Director: The Development Director is in charge of helping MSA's develop their leadership, strengthen their communication, & just about anything else that will help the MSA develop and become stronger.
  • Communications Director: The Communications Director will help MSA's advertise any programs, events, or announcements.

For full board contact information please visit the Contact page.

MSA West Condemns LAPD's Muslim Community Mapping Project

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Muslim Students Stand United with All People of Conscience Against Community Profiling

(Los Angeles, CA, 11/13/07) Muslim Student Association West (MSA West), a grassroots umbrella organization representing Muslim student groups from across the West coast, condemns the Los Angeles Police Department's proposed initiative to map Muslim communities in an effort to identify "extremist" influences. MSA West stands united with the ACLU, CAIR, Shura Council and Muslim Advocates in an open letter addressing the concerns of the Muslim community regarding the program. MSA West believes that the program does nothing to counter criminal and terrorist activity in the United States; rather, it targets groups and individuals based on their religious affiliation and creates unwarranted suspicion and demonization of the Muslim community. To have a systematic program of racial and religious profiling in any community goes against the very ideals of the Constitution, and attacks the civil rights and liberties of all American citizens.

Michael P. Downing, Deputy Chief of the LAPD's Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau in a testimony to the US Senate on October 30 suggests that law enforcement's job is not "one of religious scholar or social worker " and yet states that there are those "political jihadist" who are "attempting to create division, alienation, and a sense of persecution in Muslim communities" and that they "are the nemesis of community engagement..." facilitating "the radicalization process" and law enforcement must "elavate the moderate Muslim voice". The prevailing fear of homegrown terrorism has no concrete basis and cannot be used as justification for destroying protected freedoms. MSA West recognizes the obligation of the LAPD to secure Los Angeles, but vehemently stands against this initiative, which does nothing to further security but rather puts law enforcement in the precarious position of social worker, religious judge and jury, and analyst of political and social sentiments by utilizing a vague "moderate Muslim" litmus test. This is a gross violation of civil liberties that has been affecting minority communities.

The Qur'an says: "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves...So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you be not just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed God is ever, with what you do, well Acquainted." (Qur'an 4:135).

Suwila Habib, MSA West Vice President, states that "All people of conscience must stand firmly against the LAPD proposal to map the Muslim community and we request them to sign the petition in order to show their opposition. We ask Chief Bratton to immediately withdraw the Mapping Program, which is an ill concieved plan that places suspicion on the Muslim community of Los Angeles. We fear that students will be unfairly targeted for expressing views outside of mainstream media- such as our complete opposition to the war in Iraq, continued denial of Human Rights to the Palestinian people under the brutal occupation, and our outspoken stance against the violation of civil rights of the Muslim community under the Patriot Act."

MSA West urges Muslim students and community members to stay informed about developments concerning LAPD's Muslim Community Mapping project. We also encourage Muslim students to engage their campuses in open dialogue about this issue.

MSA West is a cohesive coalition of Muslim students united for the sake of God, who aim to embody the concepts of unity, strength and activism. This statement is endorsed by Muslim Student Associations across the West Coast including, but not limited to: MSA Cypress College, MSA UC Berkeley, MSA Chaffey College, MSA CSU Northridge, MSA CSU Long Beach, MSA San Jose City College, MSU UC Irvine, MSA SJSU, MSA USC, MSA UC Los Angeles, MSA Mount San Antonio College, MSA Arizona State University, MSA UC San Diego, MSA CSU Fullerton, MSA UC Davis.