US Muslim Students Guilty in Free-Speech Case
10 at UC Irvine convicted of disrupting Israeli ambassador's talk
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2011 6:05 PM CDT
Four students, from left, Taher Herzallah, Mohammad Qureashi, Aslam Traina, and Mohamad Abdelgany pray outside court after being convicted.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Ten Muslim students at UC Irvine have been convicted of misdemeanor counts of disrupting a speech on campus by the Israeli ambassador to the US, reports the Los Angeles Times. They will get probation and community service in the case, which featured freedom-of-speech arguments by both prosecutors and the defense. They also were convicted of conspiring to disrupt the speech ahead of time in emails and meetings. The students took turns standing and shouting things like, "Propagating murder is not an expression of free speech," as Michael Oren tried to speak last year, notes the Huffington Post.

The defense argued that the so-called "Irvine 11"—charges against one student were later dismissed—had a right to protest and that a guilty verdict would stifle free speech on US campuses. But prosecutors said it was the students who were blocking Oren's freedom of speech. "Absolutely unbelievable," says a local Islamic leader. "I believe the heart of America has died today. This is clearly an indication that Muslims are permanent foreigners, at least in Orange County." A leader of a Jewish group countered that the protest "crossed the moral, social and intellectual line of civility and tolerance." Click for more.

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Sep 24, 2011 6:46 PM CDT
All muslims may not be terrorists- But it seems all the terrorists are muslims.
Sep 24, 2011 5:02 PM CDT
The right to free speech doesn't give you the right to abridge another's right to free speech. When you interrupt someone, that's exactly what you are trying to do. If the students wanted to speak freely, they could have scheduled a talk of their own. But there should be nothing on these students' official records. That's just ridiculous.
Sep 24, 2011 12:35 PM CDT
So let me get this straight. TeaPublicans can do the same crap at town hall meetings and the Republicans shout Freedom of speech it's their right. Muslim students do something similar and the Teapublicans say they committed a crime. So it is clear the rules are different for the Tepublicans right. At least that's the way they look at it. Please note I am not condoning the actions by either group, I'm just pointing out the different reaction of the Republicans.