Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    The editorial page of your first issue this year (Volume 110, Issue 1) struck me as highly unprofessional. No serious newspaper would dedicate its entire “”Letters”” section to printing four letters from exactly the same demographic, female Muslim UCSD students, all of which expressed exactly the same sentiments. How many times do we have to read about “”lewd sexual acts”” shown in the “”Jizzlam”” issue before the editors think we get the idea? It is not my intention, however, to discuss the Guardian’s need for filler. I am also not going to address the issues in the letters. I want to illustrate to the student body, using the arguments brought up in the letters, that the authors and those that think like them are not bringing intelligent thoughts to this debate. The things they write make no sense at all and it’s time that this fact was brought into the open.

    Several of the authors describe themselves as feeling threatened. No one can bring forward evidence that any real threats have been made against Muslims in the wake of the “”Jizzlam”” issue. Their feelings of impending danger are products of paranoid imaginations. Certainly, after four police-documented incidents involving Muslims making death threats by phone, in writing and in person, destroying private and student property and attacking members of The Koala outside their homes in the middle of the night, no one would accuse the Koala members of imagining the threats posed to them by our Muslim community. The “”Jizzlam”” issue itself contains no hint of threatened violence against Muslim students by the writers or by other students. This is the first example of a view held by the authors with no basis in reality.

    The letters also discuss the roots of their offense in varying detail. One woman writes, “”[The hijab] was to help people look past the exteriorŠ that they be treated as dignified equals participating in society.”” Dignified equals!? Isn’t it true that in many Muslim areas, a Muslim woman, but not a Muslim man, would be in immediate danger for not covering her flesh? I guess equality means being forced to live and behave differently than others because of the way you were born. That sounds a lot more like the treatment of blacks before the civil rights movement. Just for the record, Ms. Purmul, could you define “”hateful,”” “”racism”” and “”discrimination”” for us, because it seems to me that as long as it’s Opposite Day, we should clear up the rest of your terminology, don’t you think? I note a second example of plain denial of a truth the rest of us hold to be self-evident.

    Some of the authors are generous enough to tell us what crimes we have committed. “”Malicious defamation,”” says one. Another says it was clearly a hate crime. Well, not according to the San Diego Police Department, UCSD or Associated Students, all of whom opened and closed investigations into the issue, all of whom found that no crime had occurred. Ladies, if even UCSD cannot find a pretense to prosecute the Koala, then believe me, we didn’t come close to criminal activity. The paper contained jokes, not hate. If they can’t handle a joke, it says a lot more about them than it does about us. That’s a third time where they demonstrate that it’s time to move along to Frontierland and leave Fantasyland.

    The other authors just make threatening suggestions about what they would consider adequate punishment. “”[A]pprehended and punished severely,”” recommends Cassandra Williams. No need for an investigation into whether any rules have been broken, just straight to the penalty phase. Interesting stuff they’re teaching over there at Pepperdine Law, but, hey, private school, huh?

    Ms. Williams, is being jumped by six Muslims at 12:30 a.m. severe enough? I’m just asking so I know if I should continue to put down my bean-and-cheese burrito before I answer the door. Do you want Muslim-style punishments of floggings, stonings or acid attacks? Be more specific about what you think is O.K. so that you can have your opinions judged in the same way you are judging ours.

    The key here is that the Muslim students are pretending to be so concerned about how they are portrayed by a joke newspaper, but they don’t consider how their own actions reflect upon them.

    They have not helped bring criminal elements within their community to justice. They think so little of themselves that they view the Koala as a real problem and then wonder why they can’t even stop us.

    It’s because they already defeated themselves by trying to fight something as insignificant as a college newspaper. I hope that someday they will try to combat the real problems. That will be the day they become productive members of our community.

    Right now, you’re just sad. Pull yourselves together and get with the program.

    ‹ Bryan Barton

    Principal member, The Koala

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