Deleted site causes stir for Muslim organization

Provost Nikias takes down posted documents calling on Muslims to kill Jews.

Ashley Archibald

Issue date: 9/5/08
Section: NewsPage 1 of 2 next >
Provost C. L. Max Nikias has approved the deletion of part of a Muslim student group website that hosted religious documents urging Muslims to kill Jewish people. The material was removed from a collection of scriptures known as hadiths, historical sayings of the Prophet Muhammad not included in the Quran. The hadith in question, along with thousands of others, are hosted in their entirety on a USC server as part of the now defunct Muslim Student Association’s website.

Nikias first heard of the hadiths’ phrasing when Rabbi Aron Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human-rights organization, approached USC trustee Alan Casden with his concerns. Hier was troubled by five hadiths advocating Muslim violence against Jews to hasten the coming of the “final hour.”

Nikias reviewed the site, and responded that “the passage cited is truly despicable. … We did some investigations and have ordered the passage to be removed.”

Members of the Muslim Student Union, which is the dominant Muslim student organization on campus but which is not associated with the MSA, declined to be interviewed, but in a statement, they called Nikias’ actions “unprecedented and unconscionable” and said they amounted to unwarranted censorship. Nikias did not consult the group before he took down the hadith, they said.


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