The University of California students charged with shouting down a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren last year will face an arraignment on Friday. But the criminal prosecution against them has only cemented their status on campus as alleged “victims” of state-sponsored Islamophobia.
The plight of these students — who have been predictably dubbed the “Irvine 11” by the campus PC cognoscenti — has sparked letters of sympathy from dozens of professors, support from a university Jewish group, and protests on their behalf. Last weekend, Islamic leaders led a rally calling for the district attorney to drop all charges:
Orange County Islamic leaders gathered in Anaheim over the weekend to show support for a group of college students facing criminal charges for interrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States.
The so-called Irvine 11, who protested a Feb. 10, 2010, appearance by Ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine, are set to be arraigned Friday in Santa Ana on misdemeanor charges that they conspired to disrupt Oren’s speech and then did so. Eight of the students attend UCI, and three attend UC Riverside.
According to the OC Register, several of the supporters “questioned whether the students would have been prosecuted if they weren’t Muslim, but said the case raises questions regardless of religion.”
The lack of self-awareness among the protesters is remarkable. While there’s absolutely no evidence that the DA is prosecuting the “Irvine 11” based on religion, it’s apparent that the students shouted down Ambassador Oren because of the fact that he’s an Israeli.
The supporters of the students facing charges will reportedly be protesting at the arraignment Friday, and at the moment, there’s no news of any counter-rallies being held.