Koala editors under investigation for anti-Islam edition
CALIFORNIA — A satirical newspaper at the University of California at San Diego could lose funding because of its June edition, which portrayed the religious and cultural practices of Muslims in a sexual manner.
Koala editors also faced disciplinary charges, but university officials determined in July that they could not be punished for violating the code of conduct because they were protected by the First Amendment.
The investigation was sparked by a complaint filed by the Muslim Student Association, which claimed that the issue, titled “Jizzlam, An Entertainment Magazine for the Islamic Man,” discriminated against the Muslim community. The 16-page edition included illustrated articles like “The Jizzlam guide to sexual positions during prayer” and “The Miss World Jizzlam burkini contest.”
Nick Aguilar, director of student policies and judicial affairs, said the student government, is now determining if the Koala violated the media charter, a set of rules that all student publications that receive student activity fees are required to follow.
Francis Galvin, commissioner of communications for the Associated Students, said a disclaimer was not published in the “Jizzlam.” As required under the media charter, editorsmust write that the paper does not share the views of the student government. If found in violation of the charter, the Koala’sfunding could be frozen until student government officials hold a hearing, Galvin said.
She said the investigation of the Koala was based on a possible media charter violation, not for content.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that universities or their student governments cannot determine funding for campus groups based on the views they express.
Koala editors said the “Jizzlam” edition was published using advertising revenue only and therefore should not be subject to the media charter.
Koala Editor Bryan Barton said he never thought the “Jizzlam” issue would cause so much debate on campus.
“People need to let loose,” he said. “I hurt people’s feelings, but that is the price you have to pay for free speech.”
He said a former editor of the paper was attacked by a group of people who were angry about the edition.
The university police also took 200 copies of the newspaper when officers were called to another altercation between Koala editors who were distributing the publication and a group of offended students, police said.
California, Fall 2003, Koala, reports, University of California at San Diego