Ad in ‘Lantern’ upsets Muslims
By Encarnacion Pyle, The Columbus Dispatch
Many Muslim students at Ohio State University have been outraged by an ad in the student newspaper that ties former Muslim student leaders in the U.S. to terrorist groups.
The advertisement, which ran on the second page of The Lantern on Monday, lists 10 terror suspects under the headline: Former Leaders of the Muslim Student Association (MSA): Where Are They Now?
The ad also pitches a pamphlet called Muslim Hate Groups on Campus, published by FrontPage, an online publication funded by the conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The center, based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., paid for the ad.
“I am offended not only as a Muslim or as a general-body member of the MSA, but as a member of the OSU community,” said Jana Al-Akhras, an 18-year-old international-studies major. “We do not stand for discrimination, hate or intolerance here.”
Al-Akhras said she doesn’t know the history of any of the listed individuals, but there can be “bad apples” in any organization.
All 10 individuals listed in the ad appear to have been linked to terrorism by authorities, but they have not all been convicted of a crime.
“I am extremely disappointed in The Lantern for allowing this ad to run. It was paid for. It is not an op-ed, and they had every right to deny it as hate speech,” Al-Akhras said.
Dan Caterinicchia, faculty adviser for The Lantern, said the newspaper can reject advertising that denigrates individuals, groups or organizations based on such things as race, nationality, ethnicity and religion.
“In this, the adviser and co-chair of the publications committee agreed that the ad did not violate the policy,” he said.
Caterinicchia added that The Lantern plans to publish a commentary on the ad in the Student View section of the paper, as well as a few letters to the editor and an “editorial response of some kind.”
The ad isn’t scheduled to run again. Caterinicchia said that the black and white quarter-page ad cost $502.42.
The Lantern has drawn criticism over ads before.
In April 2001, the newspaper’s advisory group voted to run an ad that was shunned by many other student publications. It denounced paying black Americans reparations for slavery.
David Horowitz, founder of the organization that carries his name, said Ohio State was one of the first schools his group sent the ad to, and the first to agree to run it.
He’s glad it created a stir.
“There is no other hate group that can be on campus and have public support,” he said. “I think people just have their heads in the sand, and I want to help inform them.”
OSU Undergraduate Student Government President Nick Messenger called the ad “false, bigoted and full of hate speech that doesn’t have a place on campus.”
Linda Deitch and Nathan McGuirk of The Dispatch library staff contributed to this story.
Original post: Ad in ‘Lantern’ upsets Muslims