Mid-East flyer causes uproar
USC considering sanctions for club
By Laura Katsirdakis
HATRED? The distribution of flyers in the UCC atrium
that allegely contains hateful material has created
an uproar within certain University Students' Council-run
A series of incidents last week involving literature and posters
distributed by Middle East clubs will force the University
Students’ Council to inspect all contentious Clubs Week
material in the future, after a flood of complaints from students.
In a letter to the editor, second-year political science student
Sherie McKenzie recounted her shock at receiving a flyer from
the Israel Action Committee during last week’s Clubs
Week, which showed an image of the World Trade Center burning
and read, “Of 28 armed conflicts today, 25 involve Muslim
forces against a non-Muslim army.”
“Apparently [the flyer] was on the table by accident,” said
Matthew Fisher, the IAC’s media chair. He noted the remainder
of the flyer’s text moderated that statement .
A copy of the flyer, provided by the IAC, read: “When
will moderate Muslims reclaim Islam from their extremist leaders?” It
also defined several terms, including Dhimmi: second-class
status relegated to Christians and Jews under Muslim regimes,
and Dar al-Harb: parts of the world yet to be conquered under
the sword of Islam.
“This grotesque flyer stirred flashbacks of Sept. 11,
and I was enraged by the flyer’s explicit suggestion
that Muslims are responsible for almost all the conflicts in
the world and the attacks on the WTC,” McKenzie stated
in her letter.
Adrienne Kennedy, the USC’s VP-campus issues, said she
received many complaints similar to McKenzie’s. “In
the past, material used during Clubs Week was not reviewed
[by the USC], but in the future, all material will be reviewed
by [USC] Reservations and the USC,” Kennedy confirmed.
“[The flyer] is religiousizing the issue and spreading
hate on campus,” said Hussan Ayyad, president of Solidarity
for Palestinian Human Rights.
Politically-charged material distributed by several clubs
have sparked controversy this year. “We are currently
in the process of re-drafting our poster policy,” Kennedy
said, explaining this is due to complaints received about posters
by several campus clubs.
Fisher said the IAC put up a series of posters last week and
by Monday they were all gone. “Every one was replaced
by SPHR posters,” he said. “They were strongly
anti-Israel [and] they used some very contentious wording.”
“There is no need to reverse the table and ask why we
are taking down posters,” Ayyad said, citing an incidence
of SPHR posters being stolen on Friday, Jan. 16. “In
the tunnel between [the University Community Centre] and the
Social Science Centre, six posters were put up and an hour
later [they were] all gone.
“I am not pointing fingers; I do not know who’s
been taking [the SPHR] posters down — there is a larger
problem here. The mentality of the students taking down the
posters reflects the nature of the conflict; the other side
does not intend to listen or understand,” Ayyad said.
In an e-mail obtained by The Gazette, Randa Mouammar, an executive
of SPHR, alleged that s. 319(2) of the Canada Criminal Code
(willful promotion of hatred) as well as USC regulations were
broken by the IAC. “Does the USC honestly believe that,
in their dealings with the IAC, they have effectively addressed
the gravity of the offenses committed?” she asked in
“I am confident in saying that the USC acknowledges
the gravity of the issue and is dealing with it very seriously — the
process is still ongoing as to what further sanctions will
occur,” Kennedy said. “It is difficult to say now
because the issue [has been turned over] to the clubs policy