Thursday, June 17, 2004

MSU statement on Green Shahada Graduation Stoles

Posted May 19, 2007 4:59 PM

Original link:


Headline: False allegations and slander against Muslim students at UC Irvine concerning the wearing of religious symbols during graduation ceremonies.

IRVINE, California -- June 17, 2004.

This Saturday, June 19th, will be the 39th commencement of the University of California Irvine.

Graduating students will walk while being adorned with various sashes, stoles, and emblems representing various honors, clubs, and religious symbols. However, there has been a tremendous amount of controversy in the local and national media concerning the stoles that some of the Muslim students will be wearing. Although the same stoles were worn a year ago at UC Irvine and various other schools without any concern, some ignorant and malicious individuals decided to make an issue out of them this year and spread lies and rumors about what the stoles stand for and say.

It was falsely reported to the media by some students at UC Irvine that Muslim students would be wearing stoles that advocate support for HAMAS. Furthermore, these students erroneously alleged to various aural media outlets that the stoles stated in Arabic the term "martyrdom", in an attempt to slander the Muslim Student Union and its members at UC Irvine by depicting them as war mongers

Due to the irresponsible action of these students, both the administration and students at UCI have been under extreme pressure and distress, in a time where graduation should bring about feelings of joy and happiness. The truth of the matter is that the graduation stoles that will be worn are simple expressions of religious freedom and unity amongst Muslim students. The stoles state on one side in Arabic "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His messenger" and "Say: God increase my knowledge" on the other side. This statement is the declaration of faith for Muslims, and its depiction on a stole is similar to a Jewish student wearing a Star of David or a Christian student wearing a cross on his respective stole or gown.

The administration has pledged its support for the Muslim students to wear their stoles and that this is an issue of free speech and they acknowledge that the accusations are false. In an effort to clarify that all such allegations are unequivocally false and blatant lies, the Muslim Student Union will be having a press conference on Friday at 3:30 pm at UCI.

Muslim Student Union of UC Irvine

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