The Irvine 11 Campaign – 30 Aug 2011
Mosques across Southern California will be filled with worshipers echoing similar prayers this Sunday night, showing support for ten students who could be facing up to one year in prison for interrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech last year. The trial is set to begin Monday.
The ten students, who have been dubbed the ‘Irvine 11’ (the eleventh student’s charges were dropped earlier this month), are awaiting trial which begins at 8:30 a.m. on Monday Aug 29. They are facing one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one misdemeanor count of the disturbance of a meeting. If convicted they could face up to a year in jail.
Peaceful protesters, especially on college campuses, usually never face criminal charges. This has led some to believe that District Attorney Tony Rackaukas is singling the students out because of their faith and the politics involved.
“There is no question that these students are being treated like criminals because they’re Muslim,” said Kifah Shah, spokesperson for the Stand with the Eleven Campaign.
“Tony Rackakus is more concerned about next year’s election than he is with serving justice,” Shah said, adding: “[Rackaukus is] just feeding into right-wing xenophobia, when he has a chance to do the right thing and drop the case.”
Shah will join thousands of other Muslims this Sunday night in mosques across Southern California to pray for the students.