first_img A College Republicans representative didn’t return calls for comment. Bangee said Muslim students may hold a peaceful teach-in and protest next door to the event if they can’t stop it. Petrilla, a 22-year-old student at Glendale Community College, said he founded The United American Committee last year for people who “want to get involved in the War on Terror at a grass-roots level.” The group, which he said focuses on Islamic extremism in America, held a rally against what Petrilla called “Islamofascism” in Los Angeles earlier this month. About 30 people attended. The Muslim Student Union at UCI last drew national attention in 2004 when more than two dozen students wore green stoles to their graduation. They said the stoles symbolized their faith, but others said the clothing represented allegiance to the militant group Hamas and was meant to intimidate Jewish students. Thousands of Muslims worldwide have protested – sometimes violently – against the drawings of the Prophet Muhammed after they were first published in a Danish newspaper in September. The drawings are offensive to Muslims because Islamic tradition bans any depiction of Muhammed. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Organizers insist the panel is aimed at promoting dialogue about the cartoons, which have gone largely unpublished in the American media for fear of offending Muslims. The panel will also discuss Islamic extremism and provide examples of anti-Western, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic drawings that have appeared in some Middle Eastern newspapers, said Jesse Petrilla, founder of The United American Committee, an event organizer. “How can you confront an issue when people don’t even see what’s going on and what the bottom line is? We really need to get it out on the table,” he said. “This is the freest nation in the world and if we can’t discuss things openly without being afraid, then we’re losing sight of something important.” Bangee said the Muslim Student Union has asked The College Republicans, which joined with The United American Committee to sponsor the event, to pull its affiliation. Without the student Republicans, the committee couldn’t go forward because it’s not a registered student group at UC Irvine, which has about 2,000 to 3,000 Muslim-American students. The Muslim Student Union has already received hate mail related to the prophet drawings and has contacted campus police for additional security should the panel go forward, she said. IRVINE – The cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed that sparked mass demonstrations across the Middle East and Europe are causing unrest on a smaller scale here after a student group announced plans to “unveil” the drawings at a panel on Islamic extremism. The panel, which will take place Tuesday at the University of California, Irvine, has prompted angry reaction from several Muslim groups, including the school’s Muslim Student Union. Another group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was invited to participate in the panel but is boycotting it, said Sabiha Kahn, spokeswoman for CAIR. The debate surrounding the student panel follows incidents at other campuses, including Harvard University and the University of Illinois, where student newspapers published the Danish cartoons of the Muslim prophet with a bomb in his turban. “To have a negative portrayal of the Prophet Muhammed is a slap in the face and we have an obligation to defend our prophet against slurs on his reputation,” said Marya Bangee, a sophomore at UC Irvine and a member of the Muslim Student Union. “They’re trying to draw a link between Islam and terrorism and that’s what we’ve been trying all along to stop.” last_img

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