Hamline-Islam mega thread

The links for this topic are becoming too unwieldy. So here is a place to add new links so they can be organized and searched. I suppose you could call it a “link farm”, but maybe “bibliography” is more dignified.

The obvious starting point is the New York Times article, and a sort of timeline.  Then maybe think pieces and if there is time, profiles of individuals and organizations. Oh, official statements.

Some are unfortunately behind a paywall, and I will mark those so you don’t click on something you can’t read.  I’m not talking about NYT and WaPo who usually have an archived copy if you want to go to all the effort. Maybe I will put the paywalled stuff together so if you are at a place that has institutional access you can just skim them all at the same time.


Prologue: the class

The faculty meeting

The Oracle‘s disappearing letter

The Hamline student paper the Oracle published a letter from Mark Berkson, head of religion department, then removed it. It was then published by Volohk Conspiracy. The Oracle later restored the letter. .

The professor is doxed

It was just a matter of time, of course. The name was probably already well known on campus and in academia’s art circles, or just to anyone with the current class schedule. The name was published online by the Spectator, then by two art publications, and the next day by the NYT.



Then everyone got on the bandwagon.

a couple of twitter accounts that retweeted the controversy

CAIR-MN press conference

January 11, 2023, convened by Jaylani Hussein

Lawsuit against Hamline University


FIRE billboard campaign protest

first day of spring term 1/23

Hamline Faculty asks president to resign


Hamline president Fayneese will not step down

Think pieces

Official statements


CAIR-MN “rally” after Hamline lawsuit

The full video of this meeting does not seem to be available any longer, but here are some screenshots I took earlier, along with the current news report posted on YouTube.

The meeting was Sunday Jan 22, 2022. It had been announced at the CAIR-MN press conference on Jan. 11.  It is unknown what organization sponsored the meeting, The local news report only says the meeting was held by “a Muslim community” at “St. Paul ballroom”.

Speakers included Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN, Aram Wedatalla, president of Hamline University’s Muslim Student Association, Kassim Busuri, executive director of the Minnesota Dawah Institute, and at least one other.

Here is the current news report, along with a couple of screen shots in case they take it down.

Left to right: Jaylani Hussein speaks while Kassim Busuri sits in background, unidentified male in brown speaks while Kassim Busuri sits in background, Kassim Busuri speaks to press.

Here are a few more screenshots.

Left to right: a closer view of the unidentified male speaker in brown, Aram Wedatalla arriving with two escorts, Aram Wedatalla speaking with two escorts.

This is the current local news video, with over a million views.

Here are screenshots from the earlier video.

At the beginning of the meeting, I count 20 in the women’s section and 26 in the men’s section

By the time the guy in brown is done speaking, there are about 37 in the women’s section and 51 in the men’s section.

Jaylani Hussein speaks to the press:

“We believe that this incident and the act that the individual did is Islamophobic. However, we never mentioned that she’s a bigot because of that incident,” Hussein said.”

Well, I didn’t say that Jaylani Hussein was a weasel either, did I.

A couple of profiles

Dramatis personae

Jaylani Hussein

Jaylani Hussein is a Somali-born activist, and the Executive director of the Minnesota branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

He has been receiving more and more negative press, especially since being named in the lawsuit against Hamline University. https://www.meforum.org/64077/cair-vs-cair-at-hamline-univ-inciting-a-firing

He has been director of CAIR in Minnesota since the day before the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

“The position at CAIR-MN came up, and honestly, you know, it wasn’t really the kind of job that I applied for. And when I made that decision, it was like: I had an MPR interview on Wednesday, on Thursday there was the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and there you go, that’s my first week on the job.”

In 2017, CAIR moved its office to Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood.


Rainbows? Is that Islamic now?  And a wedding with two brides?

Before CAIR, he did fundraising at ARAHA (American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa). Hussein helped set up schools, distribute food and improve infrastructure in northern Somalia and along the Ethiopian border.

He has a bachelor degree in Community Development and City Planning from St. Cloud State University, and Bachelors in Political Science from North Dakota State University (2009 – 2011).

Jaylani Hussein was born in Hargeisa, Somalia, July 1, 1982. His family emigrated from Somalia to Minnesota in 1993. He speaks English, Somali, and Arabic.

Oh look, awards.

He received the 2017 Twin Cities International Citizen Awards for Social Justice. In 2018, Jaylani was named by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 2018 40 Under 40 list of among the emerging business and community leaders.

I do hope someone makes a Wikipedia article for him.

Aram Wedatalla

Aram Wedatalla  (2000- ) is a senior at Hamline University and the president of the Muslim Student Association from 2021-2023. She describes herself as Sudanese. She is from Woodbury, Minnesota. “Woodbury is one of the more affluent places on MONEY’s list, boasting a median family income of over $120,000.”

Kassim Busuri

Kassim Busuri is the executive director of the Minnesota Dawah Institute since 2010. From 2015 he has been expert on “youth violence prevention for Somali community”. for the City of Minneapolis Department of Health.

There was a Kassim Busari who represented Ward 6 in the St. Paul City Council in Minnesota, from February 6, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Is this the same guy?

Erika López Prater, Hamline, and Islamic art

You might think that Erika López Prater would have some attorneys telling her to keep a low profile, after filing a lawsuit this week against Hamline University over the teaching of Islamic art.  But no.  Earlier in the week she made a surprise appearance at a Carlton College panel on the subject, and now she has appeared in a podcast with Islamic art historian Christiane Gruber.

I really don’t like podcasts, they take too much time, and there is rarely a transcript. Also they are hard to use as a “reliable source” for Wikipedia purposes, since they are so hard to fact check. But the Millennials thrive on them, or maybe it is the Zoomers, so podcasts are now pretty much inevitable.

This one looks promising.

I suppose I will end up listening to it.  I will add any pull quotes or talking points I find later.  In the meantime, this one is pretty good.

Dr. Erika López Prater:

“Colleges and universities have adopted a customer-service model. They’ve slashed tenure track positions in favor of cheap adjunct labor. Meanwhile, that is accompanied by administrative bloat.”


Oh my, it’s on Wikipedia now: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Depictions_of_Muhammad&oldid=1134695539#Hamline_University https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hamline_University&oldid=1135686098#Teacher_fired_over_Muhammad_art

Hamline professors ask president to resign

I have to admit I did not see this one coming.

Hamline’s Muslim students return to campus with a plea for understanding

The Hamline president is toast, of course. There is no way her career will survive this, and it was obvious from the beginning. But given all the dog-whistle threats of violence, and some of the very very unfortunate statements coming out of CAIR-MN —  they are naming her directly, and repeatedly in all their speeches — I wonder if she ever had a choice. There is even more stuff behind a paywall, and what I can read of it in snippets of search results is quite concerning. In any case, it was CAIR-MN that backed her into a corner and flushed the toilet.

In fact, here is a screenshot of an article that has escaped over the paywall and shows the president of CAIR-MN comparing the art class to pedophilia and Hitler.

Faculty statement here: https://www.thenation.com/article/society/hamline-university-fayneese-miller/ Oh, that one was good.

Here’s the local news piece, it has the full statement.

I see the Star-Tribune and the Pioneer Press have covered it as well.

Oh, and there’s a truck driving around campus with a picture of Michelangelo’s David wearing undies. https://www.thefire.org/news/fire-targets-art-censorship-mobile-billboards-hamline-university

Now that is one fine statue.


The new format: what fresh madness is this?

Here is what happens when you try to look up “Lachin corridor”.

Suddenly it is centered. But “white space”? It has blue space all in the right margin. And isn’t there supposed to be a table of contents in the space on the left that used to be for navigation? It’s been cut off. Oh well, at least it isn’t crooked.

People, this is a simple google search. I shouldn’t have to hang out in IRC schmaltzing everyone for which bits to toggle to be able to google the Lachin corridor.

This is the Lachin corridor by the way.

The new Wikipedia format “Vector 2022”

User: Eloquence, former deputy director of the WMF, architect of ‘superprotect’

The new RfC:

The original RFC, with 154 supports and 165 oppose

Yes, they implemented it anyway.

There is a huge thread on reddit, with links and stuff;

I am also going to make an exception here about the long-standing practice on genderdesk of not linking to my wild and crazy brothers over on Wikipediocracy and Sucks (because they dox) and just say that Barbour has found the SPI team going after new accounts.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Vector2022isTrash/Archive 🍿 🍿 🍿 🤣

Here are their respective threads

This is going to be another Visual Editor level fiasco.


Nathan Larson coroner report

Nathan Larson‘s cause of death has now been recorded as “Suicide”, specifically  “Complications of Protein Calorie Malnutrition and Wernicke’s Encephalopathy”. https://omecasestatus.maricopa.gov/

Wait, what is this new idiocy? Wikipedia’s new “tools” again. The contents, or at least some of them, are now in the sidebar. But not all of them.

Why even bother with a TOC if you’re not going to put the actual contents in there? And what happened to “what links here” and “permanent link”?  Can you not link to the current version any more?  Are they destroying the functionality for a reason, or is someone just paying them to “change Wikipedia”.

Wikipedia is becoming more and more an insider’s game.

This is how fiefdoms expand, you just keep hiring people and telling them to “do stuff” without having any clue of what they are doing and whether it is actually a good idea.  But everybody gets their paychecks at the end of the week, so where is the problem.

In any case, the suicide article does not mention hunger strikes.

There is some stuff here about hunger strikes in prison — in general, force-feeding is internationally considered to be a form of torture, but various countries treat it differently. https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/resources/documents/article/other/health-article-010198.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_strike

Erika Lopez Prater v Hamline board of trustees is now online

Aram Wedatalla, president of Hamline Muslim Student Association and Jaylani Hussein, of CAIR-MN 

Text of lawsuit: https://www.scribd.com/document/620375663/Lo-pez-Prater-Press-Release#

A more readable version: LopezPraterComplainthttps://reason.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/LopezPraterComplaint.pdf [PDF download]

There are links to some commentary in the updates to the petition. https://www.change.org/p/petition-in-support-of-dr-erika-l%C3%B3pez-prater-the-dismissed-hamline-instructor-wrongly-accused-of-islamophobia

Bedtime stories

Time for something frivolous. Tonight I’ve got two things for my devoted readers.

Here is a Brazilian drag queen, I believe the name is “Kitara Ravache”.

I don’t honestly believe the GOP cares about this, any more than anyone else, or for that matter, any more than they care about the dog thing, but they are going to have to pretend that they do, which could be popcorn-worthy.

The second one is the Hardy Boys books by Franklin W. Dixon that just entered the public domain this new year.

(Good Lord, what is THIS lopsided monstrosity, like a picture hanging on the wall crooked. The new “tools” in action.)

There are three, but I didn’t realize they had been rewritten, so only the earliest Grosset & Dunlap editions are in the public domain. Anyhow I have chased down some URLs for you.

The Signpost covers the Saudi debacle

The Signpost has published early, and has gone to a “fortnight” schedule, if anyone can figure out what that is.

They cover the imprisoned Saudis here:

Meanwhile, back on the mailing list, Andreas is having his usual awkward time trying to get any answers about the endowment fund.  You may recall that the fund is tied to TIDES in some way, and that the recently departed head legal beagle came to the WMF from TIDES.