At San Francisco State University, you can do anything you want to a US flag or a Christian religious symbol: burn it, deface it, submerge it in bodily fluids. It’s all good. But step on paper copies of Hamas and Hizballah flags, and you’re in a world of hurt. (Hat tip: zombie.)
Not because they’re flags, though. Because they contain the world “Allah.”
This story starts with an “anti-terrorism rally” held last October on campus by the College Republicans. To emphasize their point, students stomped on Hezbollah and Hamas flags. According to the college paper, the Golden Gate (X)Press, members of Students Against War and the International Socialist Organization showed up to call the Republicans “racists,” while the president of the General Union of Palestinian Students accused the Repubs of spreading false information about Muslims.
In November, the Associated Students board passed a unanimous resolution, which the (X)Press reported, denounced the California Republicans for “hateful religious intolerance” and criticized those who “pre-meditated the stomping of the flags knowing it would offend some people and possibly incite violence.”
Now you know that there are students who are opposed to desecrating flags on campus — that is, if the flags represent terrorist organizations.
But wait — there’s more. A student filed a complaint with the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development. OSPLD Director Joey Greenwell wrote to the College Republicans informing them that his office had completed an investigation of the complaint and forwarded the report to the Student Organization Hearing Panel, which will adjudicate the charge. At issue is the charge that College Republicans had walked on “a banner with the world ‘Allah’ written in Arabic script” — it turns out Allah’s name is incorporated into Hamas and Hezbollah flags — and “allegations of attempts to incite violence and create a hostile environment,” as well as “actions of incivility.”
At an unnamed date, the student panel could decide to issue a warning to, suspend or expel the GOP club from campus. … The university’s response? Spokesperson Ellen Griffin told me, “The university stands behind this process.”
And: “I don’t believe the complaint is about the desecration of the flag. I believe that the complaint is the desecration of Allah.”
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