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The Irvine 11: Guilty of Being Muslims in America

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The Irvine 11: Guilty of Being Muslims in America - by Stephen Lendman

Ten Muslim students were convicted of exercising their First Amendment rights.

Post-9/11, America targeted Muslims ruthlessly for political advantage. Law-abiding citizens discovered they're living here at the wrong time. 

Police state repression endangers growing millions, including Muslims for their faith, ethnicity, and forthrightness to confront injustice no one should tolerate.

Many lawlessly prosecuted stand out, including the Irvine 11. They were wrongfully targeted for exercising their fundamental First Amendment right without which all others are threatened.

Charges against one were dismissed. The others stood trial, accused of interrupting Israeli ambassador Michael Oren's February 8, 2010 University of California-Irvine speech, criticizing him and Israeli injustice.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas filed misdemeanor criminal charges, accusing them of disturbing a public meeting and engaging in a conspiracy to do so.

During Oren's UCI speech, students rose one at a time to interrupt. It's everyone's constitutional right, except when Israeli lawlessness is challenged, especially by American Muslims called criminals for defending right over wrong.

UCI suspended the Muslim Student Union, placing it on disciplinary probation. Imagine the outcry if done to B'nai B'rith. University officials would be fired. Prosecutors would be replaced. Jews and Christians can get away with anything. Muslims are vilified for demanding justice.

On September 24, Los Angeles Times writers Lauren Williams, Nicole Santa Cruz and Mike Anton headlined, "Students guilty of disrupting speech in 'Irvine 11' case," saying:

"....(A)n Orange County jury has found 10 Muslim students guilty of criminal charges for disrupting (Oren's) speech....on the UC Irvine campus last year."

Facing up to one year in jail on multiple misdemeanor charges, they "were sentenced to three years of probation, 56 hours of community service and fines. Each was convicted of one misdemeanor count of conspiring to disrupt Oren's Feb. 8, 2010 speech and a second count for disrupting it."

Pro-Israeli District Attorney Rackauckas called their behavior "thuggery." "In a civilized society, we cannot allow lawful assemblies to be shut down by a small group of people using the heckler's veto."

It's OK, however, for Israel to occupy Palestine illegally, persecute its people, attack them lawlessly, imprison them en masse for demanding their rights, torture them to confess to crimes they didn't commit, steal their land, and wage war against defenseless civilians.

It's also OK for America to supply billions of dollars in aid, the latest weapons and technology, and full support for Israel's worst crimes. Only victims are held accountable for wanting to live free in peace. Only supporters are vilified and prosecuted for courageously supporting what's right.

On September 24, a Los Angeles Times editorial headlined, "Punishing the 'Irvine 11,' again," saying:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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First they came for the Muslims, and I said nothin... by Richard Girard on Saturday, Sep 24, 2011 at 3:40:27 PM