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Davis, California

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Letter to the Editor


UC Davis did not ignore anti-Semitic sermon


To the Editor:

Re “UC Davis remains silent in wake of anti-Semitic sermon” (Op-Ed, Nov. 2):


I first want to express my concern for the intolerant and hate-filled aggressions Charline Delkhah described experiencing on campus. They are personally disturbing to me, and they do not represent the values of our university.

Secondly, to clarify Delkhah’s account of the administration’s response to Imam Shahim’s July sermons at the Davis Islamic Center: UC Davis was not silent. On July 26, Chancellor Gary May and Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter (current executive vice chancellor and provost) issued a public statement condemning the hateful remarks. It remains available online. Here is an excerpt:

“Like others in the Davis community, we are deeply disturbed by reports of comments delivered last Friday at the Islamic Center of Davis concerning Jewish people. These reports have understandably caused great pain and alarm. We harshly condemn hateful remarks and have extended to those members of our community our immediate and ongoing support. We want to emphasize that we do not condone any type of discrimination.”

On Aug. 7, our chancellor and provost also sent a letter to Davis Muslim Hands in response to the organization’s public statement. In part, May and Hexter wrote:

“On behalf of the entire UC Davis community, we the chancellor and provost, write to express our deep admiration and appreciation for your letter […] We find both heartening and encouraging the depth of compassion that your message shows for members of the Jewish community in Davis and on our campus, as well as the sensitivity to the way that Jewish historical experience makes anti-Semitic utterances all the more painful and frightening […] We must all work together to defend the inherent value, dignity, and rights of all people.”

Finally, I want to thank Delkhah for addressing this important issue. In our diverse intellectual community, our voices and positive actions are the most powerful tools we have. Campus leaders were not silent in July, and we will continue to speak loudly against hate and discrimination on behalf of our entire community.



The writer is the vice chancellor of Student Affairs and a distinguished professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis.  


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.


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