Updated: June 22, 2004
Clarification: The Anti-Defamation League is respectful of the Shahada, the Muslim Declaration of Faith, which is expressed by millions of Muslims around the world.
ADL's statement referring to the Shahada addressed our concerns about the abuse of this religious expression by radical Islamic groups and individuals in connection with suicide bombings and other forms of terrorism. At UC-Irvine some members of the Muslim Student Union engage in this abuse by wearing the Shahada on armbands at the same time that they rationalize terrorism and express support for the terrorist groups, Hezbollah and Hamas.
It was never our intent to offend anyone and we apologize to those who took offense.
Orange County, CA, June 18, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is deeply troubled that members of the University of California, Irvine Muslim Students Union have chosen to wear a green graduation stole bearing the Shahada, a declaration of faith that has been closely identified with Palestinian terrorists.
"We are troubled that members of the Muslim Students Union have chosen to display symbolism that is closely identified with Palestinian terrorist groups and that can be especially offensive to Jewish students," said Kevin O'Grady, ADL Orange County Associate Director. "This is part of an ongoing pattern of vicious anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incidents on the UC-Irvine campus, many perpetuated by the Muslim Students Union.
"We again call on members of the administration to finally speak out against such expressions of hate on the campus," said Mr. O'Grady. "As long as the university chooses to ignore hate and bigotry on campus, instead of standing up to reject it, the community will continue to be torn by tension and mistrust."
Green is the color of Hamas, and its activists and prospective suicide bombers wear the Shahada, a declaration of faith, on green armbands and headbands. The Shahada has come to represent, in radical Muslim circles, support for martyrdom and terrorist groups.
Over the past several months, the UCI Muslim Student Union has invited speakers to campus who have made public declarations of support for Hamas, advocated suicide bombings and called for the destruction of Israel.