The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Student Hate Group in Michigan Gets New Faculty Adviser

By David Holthouse on July 29, 2009 - 2:24 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

Michigan 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.

  • Ed

    Be afraid, be very afraid. Our freedoms are being eroded. Although the SPLC’s opposition to the expression of hate which the SPLC finds offensive is at odds with the very freedom of speech that protects the SPLC’s right to express its opposition, eventually even the right of SPLC to express opposition to hate speech will be eviscerated by the very group the SPLC believes it is protecting. Freedom of speech, as long as I agree with what you say is what is practiced by the media, moderate liberals and radicals.

  • Judy

    I would get back to the issue of what the Muslims demanded – an apology. That is totally unnecessary. They were acting like victims – oh, poor us. I wouldn’t agree with any denier of the Holocaust but I sure get tired of the inroads Muslims are making in our country.

  • Lisa G

    To those who posted sensible stuff hope you realize I didn’t mean you in the vaporheads comment! and to expand, Dr. Kamal – the rock throwing was in Bahrain, one of our “friends” I bet you mean. I’ll ask this question very seriously: does anyone really think that we have ANY real friends in the muslim world, or just governments for whom it is right now convenient and expedient and self-protective to be our friends but will they be if any tides turn? Saudi? please. Kuwait – we saved their butts but would they put themselves on the line for us? Far East muslim countries? please. Iraq? they’re busy power-broking and now looking to biggest bully on block for possible protection now that we are bugging out and leaving them high and dry and vulnerable vs. sticking with it a la Europe and Japan for over 60 years. And why bring up the Dark Ages – was just a bit of time ago, and things are very different – look what Iraq did with all that knowledge – zip. Ask NASA, ha. It is exactly a decline that we who want to keep America strong want to avoid – a dilution of our abilities and power. Muslims in Europe? you mean where they create ghettos and forbid the law of the land to intrude on their fiefdom yet feel free to take the bennies? where they keep “servants”? where they want the smell of bacon cooking in local fast food restaurant to be filtered so as to not offend muslims? If that weren’t real it would make a great Monty Python skit. @Nick – we already have a muslim president – in spirit if not in fact, and since I don’t know him I don’t know if he’s actually one or not. Elsewise why curry favor there, bow deeply, yet diss our traditional Christian and Jewish allies? again @ Dr. Kamal – culture is different from religion and faith?? in muslim dominated countries they are indistinguishable from each other, part and parcel of each other.

    While on that subject – the combo of culture and religion that dictates muslim female covering up: too many women over too many years gradually fought their way, and continue to fight their way, to equality and rights including the right to vote for me to find the sight of women walking around this United States of America alllll covered up because of culture and religion anything but offensive. Yet again, want the bennies but hold tight to the practices that have kept an entire gender down – muslim women can drive, vote, do whatever they want here on the backs of the women who fought, were imprisoned, were even physically assaulted for those rights, yet again a group gaining something instantaneously that they did not earn themselves. One muslim woman wrote an article declaring the joys of wearing the head scarf, that she had an extensive and beautiful collection of headscarves and was joyful in wearing them and was quite dismissive of the rest of us chicks who did not have this wonder in their lives because we’re not muslim – - – ok fine as long as you’re wearing them to be joyful and beautiful in, not because of your gender and a bunch of men saying you had to.

  • Lisa G

    Wow, just became aware of this issue – and now reading these comments – what a buncha smug, self-congratulatory, condescending vaporheads most of you all are!! This professor was expressing his opinion, he was not hating muslims, he was not telling them to go, he was saying if you don’t like it here go back to where you came from. He didn’t say muslims have no right to exist, he didn’t scream at them – he said he didn’t get offended at cartoons but saved his offense for more serious things. I’ve lived in three muslim countries – shall we compare and contrast to the rights and freedom we enjoy here, esp. women?? WOW. They can dish out the hate but can’t take even an honest opinion without getting their knickers in a twist whimper whimper – and you all just gooooo along. here’s an idea, why don’t all of YOU move to a muslim and sharia dominated country and check out exactly what you are championing???? I’m with the professor on this all the way – why move here if you hate it? or is it that they want the product of others’ generations of hard work and freedom so that they don’t have to do it themselves?? on that subject, without the engineering knowledge that the prof. teaches, the oil that makes so many muslims so smug would still be under all that sand. Maybe it should have stayed there so that outsized egos would have been restrained by earned circumstances instead of given unearned free rein. Dr. Kamal – I’ve had rocks thrown at my car for committing the SIN of a female driving through a neighborhood where the men and boys disapproved – what is going on with islam in the world right now isn’t a government hijacking a religions, it is either that the religion DOES hate the infidels or members of that religion have hijacked it – - what would the muslim world be saying about a bunch of Christians cutting off heads flying into buildings setting bombs IN THE NAME OF THEIR RELIGION – outrage outrage outrage where is the moderate Christian condemnation etc etc etc well I don’t hear mainstream moderate muslim condemnation.

  • Michael Long

    I fully agree with the professor. It is a very simple equation. You can either live in a country where religion can be debated and criticized or you can live in a country where it can not be.

    I am not a Christian or Muslim which is why I love the first amendment. I do not want to see “hate speech laws” extended to cover religion.

    I don’t know what Islam or any other religion preaches and I really don’t care. I do know that I want to live in a country that fully and unequivocal protects my right to criticize any idea or religion.

    Maybe we should make criticism of Israel illegal because it is the Jewish holy land? Maybe we should make criticism of sex abuse in the Catholic church illegal because the Pope does not like it?

  • Larry

    The professor appears to be inviting Muslims to conform to America’s lifestyle or go back home where they can practice Sharia and bother no one. One can call it hate or one can call it factual but I call it they way many Americans feel since our Muslim symphathising president appears to care more about not making Muslims mad as he does about doing the right thing. I believe Muslims have the right to be here and worship as they please like everyone else but mort Muslim Americans or Muslims around the world do not agree with the radical Islam violence that has been perpetrated by some, as the professor so eloquently spoke of.

  • Ray

    Re Professor Wichman – I have read the comments disapproving of his email. In them I have seen much hate, much complaint, much disgust. But what I haven’t seen is any calm, rational discourse stating what is factually wrong with his comments.

    I was particularly in synch with his comparison to a mere cartoon and physical acts of killing people in horrendous ways. Again – I saw no comments dealing with that.

  • Nick

    Dear Sir,

    I agree with the grain of your email, however, I must point out that Muslims in the USA also have a right to free speech and protest.

    If you want to cure this problem, then you have to start doing what the Europeans have started. Ban the Burqa by Law. if you succeed at that start passing laws that will curtail their religious activities in your country. The same as you have curtailed the religious activists of your own religion.

    If you do not do this quickly, then it will not be long before your country has a Full Muslim President and then the S**t will really hit the fan.

    Political correctness is really the beginning of the end. Vote banks and Politics are the real dangers. First your University should stop the intake of any new Muslim from any country. Then fail and deport all those who are part of the Muslim organization on your campus. Start the cleansing at one end, they will take it to court, fight it there.

    Start now, or by the time a few years go by, and with the way in which the Muslims multiply, they will soon take over your country through the ballot.

    Best of luck

  • Scott

    Dr. Kamal,
    Yeah what happened to that woman, as well as other in that region of out world, is a travesty and that is as nice as it can be said. With the inferences you have with your words I cannot disagree because it speaks truth and I agree with you in that many times religion is, as you said, hijacked by governments or sects in society to use as their reasoning for their actions and deeds. On the same note though I’m sure you can see how it can make many distrustful of certain ideologies because of those actions and not want to have themselves be forced to defend that. I think, and I feel this is also how you feel, that no group or followers of particular religious beliefs should be judged as a whole because of the actions of few. However this is also where the majority should take a stand against those that defile their beliefs and how the rest of the world views them instead of jumping on a person that makes a statement. Quite simply until we all make a choice to stop these things nothing will ever happen to end them.

  • Dr. Kamal

    Scott,
    Hate describes what you said here. If someone wants to be hateful and ignorant, I cannot do anything to stop it, but I must say that rape and murder are both big sins in Islam.
    Again, culture is different from religion and faith. If poverty and cultural problems have led to a crime like gang rape, that has nothing to do with their religion. They would do it with any other faith.
    Religions are sometimes hijacked by governments for money, power, etc. This is sad, but the real truth has been always protected by true believers.
    I would suggest that you expand your sources of information. For example see:
    http://www.nasr.org/
    Prof. Nasr’s son is Dr. Vali Nasr an adviser to President Obama.
    Happy new year and wish everybody true happiness.

  • Scott

    I’m glad to see there’s is at least one person in the University world that has some common sense. All of this “baby them because it might offend them” crap is beyond ridiculous. Yeah, some great religion you have there that says to rape and kill. Call me wrong? Then maybe you should use your computer to do some research yourself or maybe you think it was ok and justified that a woman was gang raped because of something her father did. Yeah, some great belief system you have there.

  • Dick Sargent

    Kamal……..you need to read “The Trouble With Islam Today” by Irshad Manji who is also a Muslim. I have a great deal of respect for this Muslim woman who tells it like it actually is. Don’t avoid the truth……read the book. She was raised in Iran…..were you? The professor’s remarks to the Muslim’s Student’s Assoc. was in response to their deriding the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammad as a terriorist. Where do you suppose that came from? He was not a non-violent person preaching “turn the other cheek” was he? This was left out of the article about the professor. I’m sure, like a lot of us, he’d had about enough of groups like this condemning free speech. We live in America…..not Iran. Here it’s legal as it is in Denmark. Political cartoonists are as common as rain-drops and we either take them or leave them, but we don’t put out a death edict on their heads. Only the Muslims have done that. I have many Muslim friends and also a Qur’an on my book shelf. I have read it….have you? I suspect you need to, or better yet read Irshad Manji’s enlightening book and it might open your eyes and those of the Muslim Student’s Assoc. Maybe you should all be outraged by the way your religion is being hijacked by the extremists or better yet write an article on the Islamic father in Texas who murdered his 2 wonderful daugthters simply because they were dating Occidentals. Your faith refers to this as an “Honor” killing. Where does all of this venom come from in your religion? Mohammad?? The good professor probably would have rather seen the Muslim students attack something like that instead…….do you think? Write back to this when you have read her book…..I’d like to hear from you.. My e-mail is dickj@aloha.net

  • pcstench

    This has the stench of PC. oh, wait, the first amendment and free speech are only for leftwing bigots. unhappy? hit the road and dont let the door hit your arse

  • Kamal

    To Larry and Dr. Tims:
    I am a Muslim, so I may be a little biased. BUT I hope one day you put the hate aside and see the truth about Islam. Just like Christianity, there are extremists in Islam. Just like some Jewish extreme thoughts, there exist extreme ideas in Muslim World. Any religion has its ups and downs. Consider a religion as a tree. When people forgot the root and blindly focused on the branches, they got lost with a life-style of imitation and extremism. This can be true for any religion or line of thought. I would like to say (by Muslims I do not mean extremists):
    1- No, Muslims are not forbidden to have a non-Muslim friend. What you call “Taqiyyah” is for a time when a Muslim’s life is in danger. Otherwise, why should someone act friendly when it is forbidden? “Lie” is in fact forbidden.
    2- As long as someone confines his/her information gathering tools to websites or TV channels or talk shows such as Foxnews, I don’t blame him/her to be hateful. Open up your mind and do some research from non-biased, professional sources.
    3- I am asking Dr. Tims; why are you mixing some geo-political or cultural habits in some Arab countries with Islam? Why don’t you look at Muslims in Europe, South Asia, Canada, or Persia? Just read about the centuries before the Dark Days in Europe when Muslim Scholars were teaching Medicine or Philosophy in Baghdad (Iraq), or Rey (Iran), or in Central Asia. Have you ever read about Rumi, Razi, Khayyam, Avecina, etc.? If not, you need to spend more time in the library.
    4- Just be fair. The best friends of US in the Middle East are countries with monarchy, no democracy and more responsible for any extreme acts. I don’t name those countries, and encourage you to find out!

  • Dr. Mark Tims

    I support professor Wichman 100%. Having been deployed to the middle east twice as a military medical provider and observing just what radical Islam is capable of, I have become convinced that this false faith inspires violence predicated on passages from a false religious text.
    The YAF is NOT a radical right wing organization. I was a member in my undergraduate years and their values and objectives merely mirror the spirit of patriotism, traditionalism and conservatism was was mainstream in the U.S. not too many years ago. Anyone or any leftist organization that attacks the YAF is merely projecting their own issues onto an orgnaization made of of young Americans that will be tax payers someday…not members of the great unwashed/entitled/socialist population that is consistently seeking to re-engineer America along the lines of a banana republic or an old Warsaw Pact nation.
    MSU is blessed to at least one professor that will not walk “lock-step” with all the politically-correct, radical socialists lurking in the halls of major universities.

  • Larry B.

    Jen,
    It is interesting to hear that you have several muslim friends. Did you know that in islam, muslims are forbidden to have non muslim friends? It is ok for them to “act friendly” towards a non-muslim just as a farmer acts friendly towards his livestock . It would be interesting to hear what your so called friends are saying behind your back. Acting friendly towards a non believer is a very common form of taqiyya.
    As far as your comments “…obvious hate and misinformation about Muslim people” and about “a true Muslim” The hatred is from muslims towards all the unbelievers and the misinformation is what you have accepted as truth. True Islam is the islam as practiced by Mohommed himself—the one who personally killed 300-350 people himself.
    It’s interesting that on arab television shows, when a “radical” muslim and a moderate get into an argument, the moderate always loses. The radical just has to start quoting from the Koran and the moderate has nothing for a comeback.

  • Joe

    To Beholder:
    …and that sets up the next aggrieved group for the next 400 years of problems.
    You can not make a past wrong right by creating a new class of aggrieved persons.
    It does not work, just makes the problem perpetual.
    I have no slave holding ancestors and no benefit from your so-called wealth building. I am a third generation American who is paying for these discriminatory policies.

    It is just a perpetual grievance system, not a solution.

    To Ruslan:
    Are you insane?
    “(you know, like legacy scholarships and all the cockamemie admission schemes that tend to benefit white students)”
    The white student is at a huge disadavantage in admissions. Whites are rejected all the time to give you whatever quota of whatever races you wish to have in admissions, all based on race, not merit.

    Preferences based on race, by definition, are racist.

    “…a little boost here and there for those who have been on the receiving end isn’t going to be the end of the world.”

    A “little boost?”
    Are you kidding?
    Have you ever looked into what all these government programs cost us, combined with all the waste involved in administering these ridiculous programs in higher education, businesses etc.?

    “Little” is hardly the right word for trillions of dollars.