Student hate group in Michigan gets new faculty adviser

WichmanMichigan State University (MSU) mechanical engineering professor Indrek Wichman made international headlines in February 2006, when, using his faculty E-mail account, he sent a blistering E-mail to the university’s Muslim Student Association, calling on Muslim students to either accept Western cultural standards or return to their “ancestral lands.”

“I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems … [i]f you do not like the values of the West – see the 1st Amendment – you are free to leave,” Wichman wrote. “I hope for God’s sake that most of you choose that option.”

Although Provost Kim Wilcox formally admonished Wichman, the anti-Muslim professor remained on the MSU faculty. Now, he’s apparently taken on a new role in the MSU campus community: faculty adviser for the MSU chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, or MSU-YAF, an extreme-right student organization. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated MSU-YAF a hate group for its hosting of white supremacist lecturers and repeated bigoted statements against Muslims and Latinos, among other groups.

According to the MSU Department of Student Life guide for the upcoming academic year, Wichman has replaced William Allen, a professor of political philosophy, as MSU-YAF’s faculty adviser.

Wichman’s association with MSU-YAF dates back at least to February 2008, when he was scheduled to give a lecture on “How Muslims Suppress Free Speech” at an MSU-YAF event that was booked at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Mich. That lecture was canceled after Holocaust Memorial Center administrators learned of MSU-YAF’s background, including that MSU-YAF had previously sponsored a lecture on the MSU campus by Nick Griffin, a Holocaust denier who heads the racist British National Party.

Southern Poverty Law Center, 29 July 2009