Jewish groups including the prominent Simon Wiesenthal Center strongly objected to her nomination, citing her involvement in a campaign to divest university funds from companies with business connections to the Israeli military.
They also objected to her sponsoring a student senate resolution that condemned a lecturer at the system’s Santa Cruz campus for what the resolution said was Islamophobic rhetoric. The groups said it was Saifuddin who showed an intolerance toward opposing viewpoints.
“In a year where campus climate issues have been the dominant theme of the UC system, a vote to appoint somebody who has served to polarize thousands and thousands of people in the campus community and beyond is shocking,” said Rabbi Aron Hierof the Wiesenthal Center, which petitioned the regents to deny Saifuddin a seat on the board.
“An appropriate Muslim candidate could have ably served in this position. We don’t believe Sadia is that appropriate candidate,” he added.
Despite the opposition, 25 university regents voted on Wednesday to confirm her appointment with one member, Richard Blum, abstaining from the vote. He cited concerns about Saifuddin’s divestment efforts.
But not all Jews objected to her selection. Regent Bonnie Reiss, the chair of the student regent selection committee, said:
“Sadia is a remarkable young woman. She is committed to supporting all of UC students, and to this university and this country which she loves."
Reiss does not believe Sadia is anti-Semitic in spite of her divestment efforts.
Of course Ibrahim Hooper, of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), had to pipe in calling the critics Islamophobes.
“Anytime an American Muslim rises to a prominent position, or starts to rise to prominence, that tiny minority of ‘Islamophobes’ in our society goes into action and seeks to marginalize and disenfranchise that individual,” Hooper said.
Source: Al Arabiya