The video of an alleged “Pro-ISIS panel at UNM” has sparked more than a few fires since it went viral online. I had a few questions of my own regarding the entire incident that took place on April 1st.
After my article ISIS Panel at University of New Mexico was published, I did get some partial answers.
One of the questions from my article was about 45 minutes of video missing from the UNM Muslim Student Associations panel on ISIS.
According to the event sponsors, the camera ‘died’ after filming for about 1 hour and 15 minutes of the event. I was not able to ascertain what was said during the last portion of the panel, nor was I able to independently confirm the topic of discussion between the panelists and attendees.
No other witnesses at that time had come forward. However, on April 3rd, a comment was left on my original article:
Later that evening an email was sent to Lady Liberty from one of the witnesses Michael Guebara mentioned in his comment. The email opened with this statement:
Lady Liberty, I am the student who asked the imam about Sharia law. I was also sitting almost right behind Michael Guebara. If anyone challenges Michael Guebara in any way, I will back him up regarding what happened at the ISIS panel event. – Sam
A letter was attached to the email from ‘Sam’. I spoke in-depth with its author asking if this person wished to remain anonymous or go by ‘Sam’. This was the reply:
Thank you for your response. Please feel free to use the PDF link publicly. My real name is Samuel Ryu, you may verify this on directory.unm.edu if you wish. I do NOT wish to be anonymous, as this is very important and the Muslim Student Association did not upload the last segment of the proceedings, which has a lot to do with my participation and questions towards the imam…who ended up self-incriminating himself by not refuting the Salafi method. Another reason is because I publicly quoted a verse in Sahib Bukhari that mentions the “Hour” not being established until the rocks cry out to the Muslims and tell them to kill the Jews. This is important because the “taken out of context” argument can’t be used. In essence, the MSA was trying to protect themselves and censor me as well.
*Note: Some additional content from the email will be released for the second part of this post including an interview with Samuel Ryu.
I have posted the 3rd video released by the UNM Muslim Student Association again starting at Mr. Ryu’s question to the Imam. At the 14 minute 7 second mark, Mr. Ryu’s question regarding the Salafi’s and sharia law is heard. The answer was issued, but was cut off.
In his email, Mr. Ryu had this to say regarding Michael Guebara:
I agree with what Michael said, but Michael was not able to present an argument as to why the panel was pro-ISIS. The imam actually came after Michael by having him quote Bible verses from the Old Testament, and making him look bad and having him accept that the Bible was equally violent to the Quran. Michael even said “fair enough” and then left right after he said that. He was not able to defend the Bible or argue his point. This is why my actions that day would support Michaels actions. The missing segment of the proceedings would also show an audience member walking out after telling the imam that he was telling lies about Islam. By only showing Michael’s actions, the MSA put themselves in a position where they look more legitimate.
Here is Mr. Ryu’s letter in its entirety:
Through conversation’s with UNM Muslim Student Association members I was able to confirm the following about the panel:
- There was a student that asked multiple questions during the 45 minutes that were left in the panel. The description of that student matches not only the video but the one given by the UNM MSA. I can confirm this is Samuel Ryu.
- The topics discussed and the questions were what Sharia says about Jihad, questions regarding apostasy, the Salafi and the school of thought, as well as the “Kufr” or non-believers in Islam were also asked.
- The Imam say to Mr. Ryu, he is “Half a Muslim”
- An attendee did accuse the Imam of lying about Islam, and that after this statement was made the individual walked out of the room where the panel was being held.
However, I can not confirm the answers the Imam gave other than what was on the third video.
There are two other topics discussed in Samuel Ryu’s letter.
- One is an editorial by Sayyed Shah in the Daily Lobo describing what Jihad is, and the reaction to the panel.
- The other is regarding Resolution 6S. ASUNM (Associated Students of the University of New Mexico) passed unanimously a cautionary resolution urging UNM administration to state their opposition to Islamophobia. This action followed the Charlie Hebdo murders and the murders of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, NC.
There were other topics in the Ryu letter that I could not get independent confirmation on. Though I had conversations with members of the UNM-MSA, some of those conversations were on the record, while others were not. I have been asked not to reveal the names of the individuals I spoke with. I will honor that request.
Though both Michael Guebara’s video and Samuel Ryu’s letter contain opinions, Mr. Ryu’s letter does contain confirmed information. There is however an accusation of “editing” regarding the three videos posted by the UNM-MSA that Mr Ryu alleges in his letter. This can not be confirmed without seeing further video footage of the panel.
This letter is an important piece to the puzzle of the last part of the panel discussions. If the alleged statements and answers given by the Imam that Mr Ryu cites in his letter are accurate, then there must be further questions asked of the University Of New Mexico Muslim Student Association.
The second part of my interview with Mr. Samuel Ryu will be published soon. This will also include a statement from Michael Noah Guebara.
Updates will be posted if/when we receive them.
Thank you Doug Ross @ Journal for linking
Thank you to Muslim Anonymous for linking
Thank you Beowulf with the Grendel Report for linking