Letters to the Editor 4/2

Candidates’ behavior should be reported

There was a Student Government presidential and vice-presidential debate sponsored by the Election Rules Commission on Thursday.

Although I feel The Oracle did an excellent job covering the debate, I feel there were many aspects that were left out. One of the biggest problems with Thursday’s debate was the behavior of the candidates. Presidential candidate Mike Berman and his running mate Ronda Bostick were both smirking and rolling their eyes during the entire debate, while other candidates were presenting. Bostick was talking to people in the audience, while other candidates were speaking and, at one point, laughed inappropriately at a response. It seemed to me that both candidates did not take the debate seriously, and I was appalled at their behavior.

It also seemed that Berman and Bostick were hiding behind the issues. I also attended the Resident Hall Association debate, which The Oracle failed to cover. I was very irritated that the same questions were repeated at the RHA debate and came from the same people who sat during the ERC debate pointing to themselves saying, “that one was mine,” wearing a Mike and Ronda button.

The problem for me wasn’t the fact the question was repeated, it had more to do with the questions being trivial. No one asked about any of the issues that are present, including the fact that USF has been censured once — going on twice — academic freedom, immigration registration, excessive tuition increases or the fact that our Student Government, despite the largest budget deficit we have ever seen, completely supported an $88,000 raise for our president. What pays for that? Our excessive tuition increases.

They don’t want people to know where they stand on these issues because it would scare people. Why else would Berman be so candid and say, “if it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck; if it quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck and it should be eaten and taken off of our campus,” when it comes to the Al-Arian issue. I am offended by this comment. Is he saying that anyone who has dark skin or an accent that is not like his deserves to be taken off campus? I have a problem with the president of my senate speaking on my behalf with such absurd comments. When Berman was confronted about his statement, he was proud to admit that he said it. I think this is an issue that people should consider. They should be frightened of a candidate who is willing to judge and do so on behalf of the 37,000 students who attend this campus.

Mary Hodgson is a senior majoring in mass communications.


An opinion cannot be right or wrong

I am writing this in response to “The rights and religion of the Quran,” an article published March 21.

An item that was not mentioned in the article, but was at the lecture, is hijab. Hijab is an Arabic word that means barrier. Though the word hijab is not mentioned in the Quran, the Quran does state for a woman to cover herself and whom she does or does not need to cover up in front of.

The Quran tells both men and women to guard their modesty and lower their gaze. The Quran states for a female “… that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty …” (Ch. 24:31). In Ch. 33:59, it states ” … that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (themselves when outdoors), that is most convenient, that they should be known and not molested … ”

From this verse, one again sees that the covering of a female is mandated in the Quran, and it is so she is known as a Muslim woman. A woman in Islam must cover up upon attaining puberty; the hair, ears, neck, chest, abdomen, arms and legs.

I would like to make clear that Dr. Riffat Hassan didn’t say that hijab isn’t in Islam, she clearly stated six times that it was her opinion or her interpretation that hijab doesn’t make one better or is needed today.

I would like to end by saying, “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah (God) and His Apostle to have any opinion about the decision; if any one disobeys Allah and His Apostle, he (or she) is indeed on a clearly wrong path” (Quran, Ch. 33:36).

Ameena Zia is a sophomore majoring in religious studies.


President’s actions aren’t violations

This is in reference to Monday’s letter by Stephen C. Bedell, “International law no longer applies to war.” What bothers me most, Mr. Bedell, is not that you are too stupid to understand U.S. or international law, but that there are many more stupid people who believe the same things you do.

You refer to President George W. Bush as “our un-elected son of a president,” clearly showing that you have no understanding of the Constitution of the United States, which states the person gaining the majority of the electoral college votes becomes president (Article 2, Section 1, Clause 3). It has been more than two years since Al Gore lost the election: Don’t you think it’s time to get over it?

You go on to say that the president has violated international law by invading Iraq. Obviously, you have not read United Nations Science Committee Resolution 678, paragraph 2, which, “Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq, on or before Jan. 15, 1991, fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.”

The dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, chose to violate UNSC Resolution 1441. The United States, along with at least 45 allied states, is now using the necessary means to implement the the subsequent resolution.

I write this realizing that you, and those empty-headed people who agree with your position, will not allow yourself to be swayed by any amount of logic or fact. I write this hoping that someone, who has a more than the minimum number of brain cells required to support respiration, will realize that the facts support this war and totally refute your stance.

Jack Huesman is a graduate student majoring in physics.

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