University of New Mexico students ban opposition to the 'political force' of Islam

by Will Hall, |
This graphic seems to show the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico, a student government group, as a top-down political organization and not a representative body deriving its powers from UNM students.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Christian Examiner) – The Association of Students of the University of New Mexico, a student government organization, has reportedly banned any opposition "against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force."

An unnamed representative of the student group told Christian Examiner the actual policy statement was not ready to be distributed.

But the university's student publication Daily Lobo published accounts describing Resolution 6S as countering "Islamaphobia" such as the "February killing of Muslim students attending the University of North Carolina" as well as "the continuing fight against ISIS in the Middle East."

ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now known simply as Islamic State, is an Al Qaeda linked terrorist group that has attacked Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and most recently made headlines for burning alive a captured Jordanian air force pilot and beheading 21 Coptic Christians. A multinational force, including the politically and religiously disparate Muslim nations of Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, has been conducting military strikes against Islamic State murderers who also have been destroying world cultural sites such as the ancient Assyrian ruins of Nimrud.

The Daily Lobo has published both positive and negative reactions to the student initiative.

A member of the Muslim Student Association said he hopes the statement provokes a look into the "Islamic religion and culture" to counter false impressions.

"I definitely hope it's a first step for us, to get out there and tell people that we understand what's going on," he said. "They can even come talk to us. We want to open people's eyes to acceptance. There's no cause for the fear and hysteria, it's just unnecessary."

But letters to the editor published online have not been so kind.

One writer said the resolution wrongly defined Islamophobia and falsely claimed "there are no contradictions between American values and Islamic values."

"UNM students should definitely do their research, which should lead them to the conclusion that Islam is not peaceful, apolitical, tolerant of other religions or compatible with democratic norms," he said.

A "concerned citizen who pays taxes" likewise was affronted.

"Any resolution that seeks to silence political opposition is, fundamentally, an affront to the freedom of speech and expression that has formed a cornerstone of our nation since its inception," he said. Citing among other offenses "the horrible treatment of women that results from Islam as a political system," he added that "the imposition of any religious ideology and theology in the realm of politics ... should be fundamentally resisted by all American citizens.

"I am appalled, saddened and, quite frankly, incensed that this kind of blatant frontal assault on one of our fundamental and essential liberties would be not only tolerated, but celebrated at any American university."