بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
Recently, the Board of Directors of the MSA at UCLA (MSA-UCLA) and of Al-Talib Newsmagazine have reassessed the handling of the community’s concerns regarding the article, “The American Muslim Imperative to Study and Oppose US Intervention in Syria.” Upon assessing these concerns in light of our previous decisions, we have come to realize the impact of this article on the well-being and safety of Muslims at UCLA. We begin by reminding readers that neither the MSA-UCLA nor Al-Talib are associated with or affiliated with terrorist organizations and/or groups, and we refuse to endorse any individual who is. We further recognize that praying against the Syrian regime does not in any way affiliate anyone with any terrorist organizations nor does it make them supporters of terrorist organizations such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda.
To address concerns about the taking down of the article: after the article is published, it legally belongs to Student Media who is bound by free speech guidelines, and to take down an article is a violation of their policies. Only a decision by the Communication Board, who oversees Student Media, can take down the article. Neither the MSA-UCLA nor Al-Talib have the power to take down the article. However, the Communication Board may take down the article if they find sufficient evidence that the article constitutes hate speech, libel, or defamation. Al-Talib will be updating the article with a statement written by the writer following it in the near future. The updated version will include the removal of the first paragraph, which included the portion concerning khateebs and the making of duaa against the Syrian regime. The MSA-UCLA Board of Directors and members of the incoming Al-Talib Board will be making efforts to work with the Communication Board to take down the article. Considering how the Communication Board handled prior similar incidents, it is possible that our efforts will prove unsuccessful, and we would like to acknowledge that we are not guaranteeing the removal but only our best efforts.
We will attempt to address the previous concerns of the community when approaching the Communication Board, but if there remains something that the community believes was not thoroughly addressed or if you have concerns that you wish to reiterate please address them to the MSA-UCLA Board of Directors at [email protected]. We apologize for the delay in responding to this issue, as well as the improper handling of student concerns since the release of the article. We know that many of our community members have been affected and hurt by this issue, but we would like to thank you all for the respectful manner in which you have conducted yourselves and the incredible patience that you have shown with leadership in addressing the community’s concerns.
May Allah SWT guide us all on serving the right path,
Al-Talib and MSA-UCLA