By Mark Tapson:
Last weekend I attended the 15th Annual Muslim Student Association (MSA) West Conference at the University of California campus in the beautiful seaside town of Santa Barbara. A thousand Muslim students flocked to the school for a packed three-day weekend of speaker sessions and workshops on spiritual tools, campus activism, and “institution building,” all with the supervision and support of the American branches of the subversive Muslim Brotherhood.
The MSA is a fifty-year-old Muslim Brotherhood affiliate with chapters on many hundreds of college campuses (check out this report on the MSA from Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism). The Brotherhood, as I’m sure all FrontPage Mag readers know, is devoted to the elimination of Western civilization. They don’t officially exist in the United States, but of course they have operated here for many decades in the guise of powerful, well-funded legacy groups, the most prominent of which were intimately involved in the MSA West Conference.
The thrust of the annual conference, as its welcome letter stated, was “to inspire, empower, and provide attendees with a tangible plan” – “action items… to improve their personal lives, their MSAs, and their communities at large” – and to link spirituality and activism: “Spirituality is the foundation, providing roots for activism; activism is actualized when produced by a sound spiritual community.” “We weren’t made to sit on the sidelines and not play an active role in society,” reads the description of a workshop led by Edina Lekovic, Communications Director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Toward that end, the MSA hosted nearly 1000 Muslim students, according to its website, for the intense conference. I can attest to the fact that the 860-seat Campbell Hall auditorium, where the main sessions of the conference took place, was always almost entirely full for the main sessions, with more young women than young men in the strictly segregated audience. Speaking of the young women: by my estimate, more than 90% of them were wearing the hijab.
Many of the program listings for the weekend sounded as innocuous and self-actualizing as a Deepak Chopra seminar: “Unlock Your Potential,” one was titled. “Rebirth of the Spiritual Warrior” was another. “Blueprint from the Divine.” “Finding the One.” “Green Your Deen.” Even “Time and Stress Management.” And indeed, there was much lecturing from the speakers about purely spiritual matters: how to be a better Muslim, how to more closely model one’s behavior after the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his companions (whom one speaker, Maryam Amirebrahimi, referred to as “the Prophet’s homeboys and homegirls”), how to redefine masculinity and womanhood, how to deal with campus temptations like drinking and gender relations, etc.
There were also, however, quite a few workshops and talks with an overtly political slant.
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