Letters to the Editor 2/4

Al-Arian is proven to be no threat

This is in response to Mr. Chrader and Ms. Sivils. You both are spewing tired rhetoric that is both unimaginative, offensive and embarrassing. Anyone who feels threatened by Sami Al-Arian’s presence on campus needs to stop watching television propaganda aimed to instill fear in our hearts and twist things around to create controversy and boost ratings.

The reality of the matter is that Al-Arian has been teaching for years without anyone feeling threatened by his presence on campus. You need to look at what you’re saying more critically. You are saying that after you actually found out who Al-Arian was or what the media portrays him to be, you are now scared to be on campus with him. You sound stupid. Also, of course, this issue is about his race and religion.

The whole controversy stemmed from post-Sept. 11, hysteria and not trusting Arabs and Muslims. I don’t blame people for being cautious, but you cannot ruin a man’s life just because you have decided that he is a terrorist. It is not your job to do so. In America, we are innocent until proven guilty, and that is just not the way Al-Arian is being treated. He has been cleared of allegations to terrorist ties by a judge who actually reviewed all the evidence.

On the contrary, the judge found that his organization that was under investigation, World and Islam Studies Enterprise, was a very reputable and scholarly institution. It was a shame that it was shut down, because it helped bridge the gap between the Islamic and Western worlds, which is something we desperately need now.

So, to all those people who think they know what they are talking about, tell me what you know that the judge doesn’t.

Please bring this to the public’s attention, so President Judy Genshaft can stop wasting our time and money deciding whether or not to fire him.

Layelle Saad is double majoring in mass communications and international relations.


President needs to back up threats

President George W. Bush needs a wake-up call immediately. I think he has only been successful, in his term as president, of polarizing a nation and setting up the country for one disaster after another. Many people put blame on the Clinton administration for holding back with Osama bin Laden. Bush’s own administration cannot escape that criticism, as nothing was done in the infancy of his own presidency.

Nevertheless, there is a bigger matter in the very near future: the pre-emptive strikes on Iraq. I am not against strikes on Iraq, but I am against prolonging the issue. The nation is waiting for rationale for a possible strike on Iraq and still hasn’t heard anything that’s particular about why we should strike. If there is a question of whether weapons of mass destruction are present, why isn’t there a more active attempt at discovering them? If Saddam says that certain missiles are simply missing, why not make extreme efforts to confirm his statements?

It just seems to me that there’s only a deadline established now with little to no active excuse. I mean, if our Central Intelligence Agency really has something hard and concrete, I don’t think most Americans would be against a pre-emptive strike without reason, but by prolonging the issue, it leads many to speculate exactly why our president feels it’s necessary to begin striking Iraq.

President Bush either needs to give us the information, if he wants the public to judge a need for strikes in Iraq, or go ahead and assume some power and finish any nonsense on Iraq. If he can’t do either, then I question the legitimacy of authority. As a person who didn’t vote for him in 2000, I’ve been singing, “Hail to the Thief” for a while now. President Bush shouldn’t give me anymore reason to do so.

We need either justification for possibilities of our men in service to die or we need a strong president to make good, morally correct decisions — if intelligence sensitivity is a must.

Jared Schaeffer is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary natural sciences for healthprofessions and in secondary science education.

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