Friday, September 23, 2011

UC Muslim students guilty of disturbing speech (OC Register)
     A jury Thursday found 10 Muslim university students guilty of disrupting a speech by an Israeli diplomat at UC Irvine last year, in a case that focused on free speech.
UPDATE, SEPT. 23, 2:44 P.M.: sentencing:
     All 10 defendants have been sentenced to three years of informal probation, along with 56 hours of community service. If they complete the community service hours within one year, by Sept. 24, 2012, the probation period will be reduced to one year. Judge Peter Wilson told the court that since the students had clean records and the disruption was "motivated by beliefs" and "not for the sake of disruption," imprisonment was not warranted. (OC Weekly)


Anonymous said...

I have to say that I find this to be a satisfactory resolution. I found it despicable when these students disrupted the speech in the way that they did. Yet prison terms would have seemed draconian. It seems that some kind of wisdom prevailed. I like it.


Anonymous said...

I like it too. I hope this serves as a lesson in civility.

Anonymous said...

I noticed last night there were 3 yays, but this morning they were removed by dtb moderators. Why is that? I think its obvious.

Anonymous said...

Yes - I think it's obvious you're a poor observer. Three "yays' right where they've always been.

Anonymous said...

Gee, your troll really needs to get a life - or at least his own widdle blog. (It is a he, ain't it?) Counting the "yays"?

13 Stoploss said...

I'm one of the few who think that the university's punishment was not harsh enough. Even Chemerinsky said:

"Within the university, the punishment should be great enough to convey that the conduct was wrong and unacceptable..."

University punishment SHOULD BE great enough. But it wasn't. Their's club's punishment was reduced to effectively a one quarter suspension, whereby nothing changed anyway. In fact, community service to a religious organization is not punishment, it's OUTREACH.

Did any of the students learn that what they did was wrong? Did their "punishment" teach them a lesson? No, in fact, they're even more self-congratulatory and woe-is-me than they were before. They haven't learned a damned thing, other than thinking they are being singled out.

Whether or not they were singled out, I don't know. Whether or not the case should have went to jury, I don't know. I agree with MAH on the satisfactory resolution. Also, THIS is the punishment the University should have done in the first place. The students needed to learn that there are consequences for criminal actions. Adult life. Adult rules.

Now, it's up to the University and DA to ensure that they uphold a similar punishment to all people and not a religious minority.

Shripathi Kamath said...

"Motivated by beliefs" is a mitigating factor?

Anders Behrin Breivik, Mohammad Atta, Timothy McVeigh were all motivated by beliefs. It is time we look at the harm these beliefs cause when practised.

As to the sentence, I think disrupting someone who is in the midst of his speech (free speech) warrants *some* punishment.

Free speech cannot survive if someone drowns you out as you are trying to exercise it.

Anonymous said...

Nice points, 13 and Shripathi, above. Given that a University, even more than other spaces, should value authentic freedom of speech above almost all else, the University should have imposed a far more substantial penalty on the group, as well as some educational panels or other efforts on the meaning of freedom of speech. (Would the disgruntled guilty parties have disrupted such a panel?? One has to wonder.)

The ways in which the individuals involved shouted down the speaker seems akin to force: they simply drowned him out. (I'm reminded of Ghandi's comment that even hateful thought and words can be a kind of violence.) I'm not saying that shouting down a speaker should be treated just like physical assault, but the group and the University community (and all of us, really) need to realize how akin to force their disruptions really were.


Anonymous said...

10:49, where's the parenthetical citation at the end? Plagiarist!

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