The matter has been forwarded to the Orange County district attorney for possible criminal prosecution, but a decision won’t be made until later this week because the office has not yet received the complaint, said Susan Schroeder, spokeswoman for the D.A.’s office.
But the D.A.’s office should drop the charges because the incident occurred on campus, said the Anaheim office of a pro-Islamic group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“We feel this is a campus event. It was noncriminal, nonviolent and nonthreatening,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR’s Greater Los Angeles Area office. “Off-campus police should not be involved in such matters. The D.A.’s office shouldn’t be involved in such matters. It was just a bunch of students who spoke out at a student event.”
If the campus decides to pursue disciplinary action, then it would only be perceived as “selective enforcement,” Ayloush said, adding that the campus probably does not want to be viewed in such a light.
“We strongly see the protest as a matter of free speech, regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees,” he said. “Students complain all the time, they interrupt all the time, or they boo people all the time. This is nothing new. People have yelled to me, ‘Go home, you terrorist,’ and I take it. I don’t complain.”
UCI spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon said the process of disciplinary action has already begun and that the university will treat the case “just as it would with any student who faces university discipline.”