Islamophobia is a very serious problem. Just ask UCLA’s Al-Talib.
The editorial board of Al-Talib, the Muslim Newsmagazine at UCLA, called on Jewish student Avinoam Baral to disassociate himself from the pro-Israel program Hasbara Fellowships due to the group’s alleged Islamophobia. Al-Talib alleged that the Jewish program “actively (contributes) to violence against Muslims” and asked that Baral, who is a candidate for Internal Vice President in upcoming UCLA student elections, separate himself from the program.
The newsmagazine asked that Baral “publicly distance himself from the organization Hasbara Fellowships because of its association with the production and dissemination of Islamophobic documentaries across the United States. Unless Baral distances himself from an organization that disseminates Islamophobia, ties to anti-Muslim networks will remain accepted in campus life and politics.”
In July 1999, Al-Talib featured a cover story titled “The Spirit of Jihad,” which said: “When we hear someone refer to the great mujahideen Osama bin Ladin [sic] as a ‘terrorist,’ we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter; someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah’s cause and speak out against oppressors.” The same piece characterized bin Laden as a “philanthropist.”
In November 2000, Al-Talib praised the ideas of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s spiritual mentor who believes that Islam must conquer the world by means of “jihad and the rifle alone.” “We pray that Sheik Azzam’s dream of a true Islamic state comes true,” said Al-Talib.
The November 2001 edition of Al-Talib featured three full-page, color advertisements soliciting donations for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), and the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). One month later, each of these pseudo-charities would be closed down by federal agents for funding al Qaeda and Hamas terrorists.
It might be more sensible to ask any Muslim student candidate at UCLA to disavow any ties to Al-Talib and the Muslim Students Association.