Right-wingers tried to fan the flames of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate at the University of California-Irvine (UCI) on February 28, sponsoring a meeting titled “Unveiling the Cartoons”. Following the lead of a few college newspapers that reprinted cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist, the UCI College Republicans sponsored the public meeting to display the offensive caricatures.
But Arabs, Muslims and their supporters didn’t take this provocation sitting down. As many 1,000 people turned out to counter the racists’ message, outnumbering the Republicans’ audience. “We are standing up against racism and hatred. We are not going to let it happen, not here,” said Quanita of the Muslim Student Union (MSU). Students at the protest wore armbands to express their solidarity and held banners saying “Stop Islamophobia!”