The Muslim Public Affairs Council has come out in defense of the students at the University of California at Irvine  who repeatedly interrupted a speech  last week by Israel's ambassador to the United States, leading to arrests and university investigations. Advocates for free speech generally defend the rights of those opposed to a speaker to picket or rally outside, ask tough questions or hand out literature, but generally object to heckling mid-speech. But the council is taking a different view. "These students had the courage and conscience to stand up against aggression, using peaceful means," said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the council. "We cannot allow our educational institutions to be used as a platform to threaten and discourage students who choose to practice their First Amendment right."